Arkansas improved to 4-0 on the young season with a 6-2 series opening win over Eastern Illinois. Jalen Beeks again got the win, improving to 2-0 in his two Friday starts.
In those two starts, Beeks has thrown 11 2/3 scoreless innings, given up just six hits and struck out 11. Lots were questioning whether or not Beeks' transition from reliever to starter would be an easy one, and so far he's had no issues. He's been strong in both starts and is allowing hitters to hit just .146 off him so far.
Arkansas got it going offensively in the third inning when freshman Andrew Benintendi lined his first hit, a double, into left center, scoring Clark Eagan. Benintendi would also add another double to left center in the fifth inning and would later score on a double to left by Tyler Spoon. Benintendi went 2-for-4 in the game and continues to find his way on base any way he can, and finally did it with base hits.
Brian Anderson bounced into a fielder's choice in the third, also, bringing in Bobby Wernes who was hit by pitch for the third time in four games.
Tyler Spoon went 1-for-4 for the game with the RBI double in the fifth. He also hosed an EIU player at second base attempting to stretch a softly hit ball down the line in right. Spoon turned and rifled a shot to second and gunned the runner down on a bang-bang play at the bag.
Then, following Spoon's double, Brian Anderson showed off his speed again and scored on a wild pitch. Spoon would advance to third on the wild ball, and Eric Fisher's sacrifice fly to the wall in left brought in Spoon to put the score at 6-0.
Landon Simpson and Lance Phillips pitched the final 3 1/3 to close out the game in relief of Beeks. Simpson pitched 2 1/3 innings, giving up just one hit and fanning one. Phillips gave up back-to-back doubles and gave up two runs, only one earned (Anderson throwing error) in the ninth to push the score to 6-2.
Arkansas again found a way to win a ball game by getting fewer base hits than runs scored, but it speaks to the "we'll take what you give us" mentality of the ball club in the way they manufacture runs.
Paid attendance for the game was 6,921. Actual attendance was 2,844.
Junior Chris Oliver is projected to get the ball in game two of the set on Saturday. First pitch for game two will be at 1:05 p.m.