San Diego State played another tightly-contested game with No. 19-ranked Arkansas, but the Razorbacks prevailed 4-3 on Friday night with a walk-off homer by Joe Serrano with two outs in the bottom of the ninth inning before a crowd of 3,375 in Fayetteville, Ark.
The Aztecs (7-7) were tied or had the lead up until the final swing. Left fielder Matt Munoz gave SDSU a 2-0 lead in the second inning with a two-run homer, the sophomore's first career home run. The Aztecs would load the bases later in the inning, but did not score again.
Arkansas (9-5) tied the game in the third inning when SDSU starting pitcher Philip Walby allowed a walk and a single, with both runners eventually scoring on a pair of wild pitches.
SDSU took a 3-2 lead in the fifth when Brad Haynal's double followed Tim Zier's single to put runners at second and third. Jake Romanski followed one out later with an RBI single. Arkansas made it 3-3 with a run in the seventh when Tyler Spoon singled off reliever Justin Hepner to bring home teammate Jacob Mahon.
Arkansas reliever Jalen Beeks (2-0) picked up the win in relief, limiting the Aztecs to one hit while striking out three over the final 2.2 innings. Evan Potter was the only SDSU player with more than one hit, collecting two of the Aztecs' seven hits.
Hepner came on in the seventh for Walby, who allowed six hits and three runs over 6.1 innings with four walks and three strikeouts. Hepner (0-1) pitched effectively into the ninth, allowing one hit and striking out two before Serrano got him for the home run. Hepner got a strikeout and a groundout in the ninth before Serrano's ball cleared the fence in left field at Baum Stadium.
The four-game series concludes Saturday with a doubleheader, necessitated because of poor weather predicted for Sunday. SDSU senior right-hander Ryan Doran (2-1) is the scheduled starter for the Aztecs in the first game. The starter for the second game has not been announced.