Fletcher and Stephan help Arkansas split with Tennessee

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Arkansas split its series against Tennessee Saturday.

In game one, freshman Dominic Fletcher’s solo home run in the fifth inning was all Arkansas needed. His homer coupled with a great performance on the mound by junior Trevor Stephan gave Arkansas the 2-0 victory over the Volunteers, its 14th conference win of the year.

Stephan was locked in from first pitch striking out the side in the first and third innings. He ended up tallying 11 strikeouts over a complete seven innings, his third outing of 10 or more strikeouts this season. It’s also the first complete game by a Razorback pitcher this year and first since Zach Jackson pitched a complete game shutout in seven innings at Kentucky on April 23, 2016.

The victory for the Hogs (35-13, 14-9 SEC) is key for them to stay in the hunt for the SEC Western Division as their 14 conference wins keeps them just a game and a half back of leader Mississippi State and just a half game behind Auburn.

In game one, a fielding error by Chad Spanberger in the sixth inning allowed the go-ahead runs to score for Tennessee and ended up being the difference as the Volunteers won the recently suspended game, 5-4.

The lead changed hands three times with Arkansas holding the advantage on two separate occasions. However, once starting pitcher Blaine Knight was taken out of the game, sophomore Jake Reindl was brought in to try and continue the success that Knight had going. Two runners reached for Tennessee before the one-out error allowed the two runs to come home unearned.

Arkansas gets back to Baum Stadium next week for its final regular-season home series of the 2017 season when it welcomes Vanderbilt for a three-game set starting on Friday, May 12 at 6 p.m. It will be Senior Weekend for Razorback seniors Alex Gosser, Josh Alberius, Dominic Taccolini, Jake Arledge, and Cannon Chadwick. All seniors will be honored prior to the series finale on May 14.

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