If Friday was great for Arkansas, Saturday somehow was even better. Kacey Murphy was dealing, Arkansas had a seven run 2nd inning, and the Hogs cruised the rest of the way to a 10-2 win. After dismantling a very good Southern Miss team, Arkansas is now in the 2-0 spot in the regional. The winner of tomorrow’s Southern Miss/Dallas Baptist game will have to beat the Hogs twice now.
Fireworks got started early for the Razorbacks, Jared Gates hit an opposite field home run to put the Hogs up 2-0. Then after a walk Eric Cole sent one into the opposite field bullpen. The Baum Stadium crowd of over 10,000 was fired up and Southern Miss starting pitcher Stevie Powers looked shook. Three more batters reached and Powers was pulled in his shortest outing of the year. But the Hogs weren’t done there, Carson Shaddy cleared the bases with a triple to top off the seven run inning.
Then Kacey Murphy went to work.
If there was any worry of any apathy after the big inning, that was put to rest fast. Murphy sent down the Southern Miss 4-5-6 hitters on just seven pitches, and set the tone for the night. Murphy retired the first 10 batters, and didn’t give up a hit until the 5th. He finished the night throwing eight beautiful innings allowing just two hits.
Arkansas would extend the lead in the 5th and 9th innings before Southern Miss finally got in the run column, but it was far too little too late. For the second game in a row, Arkansas was able to conserve their bullpen, avoiding using their key arms. Barrett Loseke, Matt Cronin, Jake Reindl, and Kole Ramage all haven’t been needed, and are a huge advantage for Arkansas.
Arkansas will be able use nearly their entire bullpen behind Isaiah Campbell tomorrow, while whoever the Hogs face will be down to their fourth starter and minus some bullpen arms. Arkansas has put themselves in the ideal position to get to that Super Regional, and now they’re just one win away.