With plenty of hits and run support, the Razorbacks had no trouble cutting down the Lumberjacks Tuesday night.
The Diamond Hogs got the lead in the bottom of the first and never looked back. Tyler Spoon lead off the inning with a single and later scored on an RBI single by Blake Baxendale.
Arkansas plated two more runs in the bottom of the second. Eric Fisher and Bobby Wernes had back-to-back singles to start the bottom half of the inning. They scored on a two RBI double from Michael Bernal. You know it is going to be a good night when you get that type of production from the bottom of the order.
The Lumberjacks chopped away at Arkansas' lead in the top of the third. Matthew Dickey and Ricardo Sanchez lead off the inning with back-to-back singles (seems like a common theme for the night). Dickey scored on an RBI double by Mackenzie Handel and Sanchez scored on a fielder's choice by Conner Fikes. Both runs were charged to starter Alex Phillips, who exited the game after giving up the pair of singles.
Phillips, a native of Nacogdoches, TX (where Stephen F. Austin in located), struggled after a solid outing last week against UNLV. It might have been the jitters of playing his hometown team as he couldn't find the plate, walking three batters in the first inning.
The Razorbacks added three more runs in the bottom of the fifth. Bernal lead it off with single. Next, Spoon drew a walk, which brought up Andrew Benintendi. His RBI single scored Bernal to give the Razorbacks a 4-2 lead. Joe Serrano had a nice routine sac fly to center, which scored Spoon, and a wild throw to third that ended up in the dugout, scored Benintendi. At this point, we all knew it was just routine for the Hogs to finish the game.
They even added a run in the bottom of the eighth for good measure. Blake Baxendale lead off the inning with a nice double to right center. He advanced to third on a wild pitch and later scored on an RBI single for Bernal, his third RBI of the game.
The bullpen was outstanding for the Razorbacks. Jacob Stone, Colin Poche, and Michael Gunn combined for seven shutout innings and 10 strikeouts. Poche was the pitcher of record, because he is the pitcher that finished the fifth inning and was most effective, throwing a team high three innings. He is now 3-0 on the season with a 1.71 ERA.
Arkansas now sets their sights on a big home series this weekend against Vanderbilt. First pitch of the series is set for 6:35 p.m. While the Friday game is not scheduled for TV, the Saturday (CST) and Sunday (ESPN) games are.