Smith Becomes Razorbacks’ All-Time Strikeout Leader in Extra-Inning Loss to Aggies.

Hagen Smith struck out 14 over six shutout innings to become the Razorbacks’ all-time strikeout leader, but No. 3 Arkansas (42-11, 19-9 SEC) lost 1-0 in a heartbreaker to No. 5 Texas A&M (43-10, 18-10 SEC) in Thursday night’s series opener at Olsen Field at Blue Bell Park.

The Aggies secured the win in the bottom of the 11th with a bases-loaded, two-out walk by Razorback reliever Will McEntire, capping a pitching duel in the first game of the series between SEC Western Division rivals. The Arkansas pitching staff totaled 20 strikeouts, while Texas A&M pitchers notched 13 strikeouts.

Smith was stellar on the mound, pitching six scoreless innings without a walk. The junior left-hander allowed two hits and struck out 14 for the second time in three starts, marking his program-record 11th double-digit strikeout game of the season and his team-leading 11th quality start.

With his 11th strikeout of the night, recorded in the fifth inning against Texas A&M shortstop Ali Camarillo, Smith surpassed Nick Schmidt to become Arkansas’ career strikeout leader, finishing the game with 349 career strikeouts, surpassing Schmidt’s 345 from 2005-07.

Smith also continues to rise on the program’s single-season strikeout leaderboard. Following his six-inning, 14-strikeout performance against the Aggies, Smith’s season total stands at 150, just five shy of David Walling’s single-season record of 155 set in 1999.

In relief of Smith, the Razorback bullpen combined for 4.2 innings of one-run ball with six strikeouts. Christian Foutch (1.0 IP, 1 SO), Gabe Gaeckle (2.2 IP, 3 SO), and Stone Hewlett (0.1 IP) were impressive, delivering four consecutive scoreless frames after Smith left the game after 98 pitches, including 63 strikes, through six innings.

Arkansas collected nine hits against Texas A&M pitchers Ryan Prager and Evan Aschenbeck but struggled with runners on base, going 2-for-19 (.105) and 0-for-9 (.000) with runners in scoring position. This inefficiency proved costly as the Aggies capitalized in the 11th to secure a 1-0 win.

Game two of the series between Arkansas and Texas A&M is set for 7 p.m. Friday, May 17, on SEC Network, with Tom Hart (play-by-play) and Kyle Peterson (analyst) on the call. The Razorbacks’ lead over the Aggies in the SEC Western Division is now just one game, and they can clinch the divisional title with a win on Friday or Saturday.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *