In their quest to stay ranked in the top 25, Arkansas did exactly what they needed to do Tuesday night to keep a chance at staying there.
The Razorback offense was productive early on, and then went stale for a few innings. The first inning made it feel like the game was headed towards the mercy rule. After Tyler Spoon lead off the game with a strikeout looking (bizarre for him, I know), Andrew Benintendi doubled down the right field line. Joe Serrano singled to right, putting runners on the corners for Brian Anderson. He hit a deep sacrifice fly to center field, scoring Benintendi from third. It was actually so deep that, Serrano was able to tag up from first. That was key, because Blake Baxendale followed that up by smoking a screamer past the third baseman scoring Serrano.
Bobby Wernes lead off the bottom of the second with a single to right. He later scored when Benintendi hit the most routine groundball possible to second base, that was bobbled and booted around. Regardless, good things can happen when you put the ball in play and the Hogs were able to capitalize.
Down 3-0, the Demons haunted Razorback starting pitcher Colin Poche in the top of the fourth. After retiring the first two batters, four straight singles for the Demons resulted in a run and the gate for Poche. Jackson Lowery came in and got the final out of the inning to stop the bleeding. Lowery stayed in and threw 3 1/3 innings of scoreless relief and getting credit for the win.
Once the Diamond Hogs were deep into the Northwestern State bullpen, they did more damage. The Hogs added three in the seventh and two more insurance runs in the bottom of the eighth.
Several players had a huge day at the plate for the Hogs. Benintendi was 3-4 with a run scored and a RBI. Anderson had a monster day going 2-3 and three RBIS. Baxendale continued his hot hitting streak, going 3-4 with a double and two RBIs.
The Hogs will do it all over again tomorrow for a nice midday game. First pitch is set for 3:05 p.m.