The No. 1 Arkansas Razorbacks beat the Texas A&M Aggies in both games of a Saturday doubleheader after Friday night’s game was moved due to bad weather. The Hogs were in need of some solid starting pitching after last weekend, and they got it through Patrick Wicklander in game one and a dominant performance from Peyton Pallette in game two. The top home run hitting team in the nation laid the lumber on the Aggies with three in the afternoon session to win 13-0. However, the evening game would turn out to be a pitchers’ duel that was only decided in extras when Robert Moore would score on a throwing error after a Brady Slavens shot.
The Arkansas offense stayed hot with a bases-loaded double by Brady Slavens to bring a pair home in the first inning. This would be a sign of what was to come for Slavens on the afternoon.
The Hogs stranded three on base to end the inning, but they would go to work again in the next frame. Matt Goodheart would add a score after reading a pitch from Texas A&M’s Dustin Saenz for a solo home run.
After the next runner got on base, Slavens would hit another homer that would just stay fair for his tenth home run of the season. Arkansas led 5-0 after two innings.
Meanwhile, Patrick Wicklander got the start for the Hogs and put his stamp on this game. He sat the 1-2-3 order in three different innings and finished with just one hit on zero runs with seven strikeouts on 65 pitches. He took a no-hitter to the fifth before finally being relieved after loading the bases for the Aggies.
This would be a pivotal moment as A&M had an opportunity to get back in the game. However, Caden Monke would come in and strike out the next batter to end the inning.
The Aggies kept Saenz out there until the sixth but not before a sacrifice fly by Cullen Smith would tack on another run to make it 6-0. Saenz threw 103 pitches which were almost 40 more than Wicklander for the Hogs.
Meanwhile, Monke was dealing.
Cayden Wallace then would hit a double with the bases loaded, scoring three more runs, and the rout was on with the score 9-0. A&M continued to have no response.
In the seventh, Jalen Battles would hit an RBI, and Robert Moore would blast another home run to extend the Razorbacks’ lead to 12-0. Arkansas leads the nation in home runs and total runs.
Christian Franklin would score one more on a sacrifice fly in the next inning, and the Hogs won game one 13-0.
Monke pitched great in relief and would pick up the win as the Aggies only mustered three hits all afternoon.
The top of the order powered the Razorbacks. Wallace and Slavens went 3-for-4 while Moore and Goodheart batted 2-for-4 in the game.
Matt Goodheart got the second game off to a bang with a solo home run in the first inning. It was the Razorbacks’ 67th of the season and his 10th of the year, which ties him with Brady Slavens for the team lead.
However, that would be the last run the Hogs would score for almost the next three hours as the momentum failed to carry over from game one. Instead, a pitchers’ duel would ensue between Peyton Pallette for the Hogs and Bryce Miller for the Aggies in game two.
Pallette was dominant. He sat the first eight batters he faced before A&M finally got a hit, and he would follow that by retiring six more in a row. His fastballs were particularly effective through six innings. Pallette would finish by giving up three hits and zero runs and walks while striking out seven on 73 pitches.
However, at the same time, the Hogs could barely get a hit off of Miller through six, and the team finished with only six hits in the entire game.
Kevin Kopps would make his first appearance of the weekend in the seventh, but his first batter, Brett Minnich, finally would get the Aggies’ first run of the day on a homer to tie the game 1-1.
In the ninth, the Hogs would look to win the game when Braydon Webb would steal second to get in scoring position, but unfortunately, the next two batters could not bring him home.
We would go to the 10th, when Goodheart and Robert Moore would get on base to bring Cayden Wallace to the plate. He would hit into what initially appeared to be a double play, but second baseman Ty Coleman would botch the throw and in would come Moore for the winning run and a 2-1 victory. The team celebrated as if Wallace hit a walk-off by running him after him into the outfield.
Kopps is credited with the win, and the Hogs are now 30-5 overall and 11-3 in the SEC.
With the results elsewhere, Arkansas has a two-game lead over Mississippi State and Ole Miss in the division, and they have the best overall record in the conference.
Arkansas claims the series win and will now go for the sweep on Sunday at 2 pm.