Just like last year, Dave Van Horn's squad starts the season with a series sweep, this time over the 2015 MAC Champions.
Central Michigan proved to be a much tougher opening series opponent than North Dakota was last season, but the Hogs were able to start the season 3-0 with 13 players making their Razorback debut.
It began as a pitchers duel between Hog starter Keaton McKinney and Chippewa starter Pat Leatherman. Both teams were held scoreless through the first three and a half innings, until the Hogs took the lead in the bottom of the fourth. Cullen Gassaway tripled to right center and later scored on a sacrifice fly to center by Rick Nomura.
Arkansas did not keep the lead for long as McKinney gave up three singles in a row after hitting the lead off batter. Anthony Dahl came in with a 1-1 tie to stop the damage. After a sacrifice fly gave up two runs giving the Chippewas a 3-1 lead, Dahl was able to retire the final two batters of the inning.
Austin Catron and Tucker Pennell both walked two give the Hogs two base runners in the bottom of the fifth. A snowball fight broke out allowing both runners to score without Arkansas swinging the bat. Throwing errors by the Chippewa catcher and right fielder, trying to pick off runners, allowed both runners to score and tie the game at 3-3.
A two RBI double by Michael Bernal and a RBI single by Tucker Pennell highlighted the bottom of the sixth for the Hogs, giving them a lead they would never relinquish
The Hogs still continued batting practice in the bottom of the seventh, highlighted by a three-run bomb by Luke Bonfield.
Due to travel restraints, they could not start a new inning after 2:29 CST, which was the exact start time of the eighth inning.
The weekend as a whole was impressive on the field, considering Central Michigan is picked to win the MAC again this year, and in the stands as an opening weekend record 28,492 came to see the Hogs over the three game series.
The Hogs continue their five game home stand this week as the host MIssissippi Valley State for a two game series on Tuesday and Wednesday. Just like this weekend, both games can be seen on SEC Network+.