It was Bark in the Park this week at Baum-Walker Stadium and there was plenty of bite from the Hogs bats over the two games against Northwestern State. Arkansas pounded out 19 hits in a 19-2 win over the Demons on Tuesday, while losing 10-7 on Wednesday.
In game one, Kole Ramage got the start and looked good over 5 innings giving up 1 earned run on 5 hits with 5 strikeouts and 1 walk. Ramage has struggled in his weekend appearances lately and Dave Van Horn seemed to want to get him some confidence in a lower stakes mid-week outing. The same method worked for Connor Noland last week, and hopefully Ramage can get back on track for the Tennessee series starting Friday.
Every position player recorded a hit in game one, and 7 players had multi-hit games including three hit games from Heston Kjerstad, Zack Plunkett, and Curtis Washington Jr. Matt Goodheart, Dominic Fletcher, Jack Kenley, and Jordan McFarland all had two hits apiece.
Arkansas also hit 5 home runs in the game as Kjerstad, Kenley, and McFarland all homered and finished with 3 RBI apiece, and Fletcher and Washington Jr. also hit home runs and drove in 2 and 1 runs, respectively.
Game two was a bit of a different story as Marshall Denton started the game on the mound and allowed 4 earned runs in just three innings of work. Elijah Trest came on in relief to give up 3 earned runs in two innings and the Razorback bullpen pieced the rest of the game together from there, allowing three more earned runs over the 8th and 9th innings.
The Razorback bats showed up again in game two, starting in the first inning with Fletcher’s grand slam to put them on top 4-1. Trevor Ezell, Casey Martin, Fletcher, and Kjerstad all had two hits in the contest, and Jacob Nesbit contributed with a home run of his own.
Arkansas (31-11, 12-6) now looks ahead to the weekend when they welcome former assistant coach Tony Vitello and the Tennessee Volunteers (31-11, 9-9) to town for a top 20 matchup. Coming into today’s action the Razorbacks were number 3 in the RPI and ranked number 8 in the nation according to D1Baseball. They have average 12.3 runs over their last 7 games, but they will have their hands full with a Volunteer pitching staff that boasts and SEC best 2.68 ERA.