The Razorback baseball team returned to Fayetteville late on Sunday night after a chilly round of baseball. The Hogs competed against Indiana, no. 6 Stanford, and Louisiana in the Karbach Round Rock Classic over the weekend. The Hogs brought home a 2-1 record and several positives to build on in the coming days. Let’s take a deeper look into the ups and downs of the Diamond Hogs’ weekend in Texas.
The Hogs started the weekend with a 5-2 win over Indiana. Scoring was not an issue as a Robert Moore base-hit single plated Cayden Wallace in the first inning. Transfer catcher Michael Turner got in on the action with some middle innings firepower before another Robert Moore single drove in the fifth Razorback run during the 7th inning.
Defensively, the Hogs put together a solid game against the Hoosiers. Connor Noland recorded ten strikeouts through six innings and allowed only one earned run. Grinding out a win in 30-degree temperatures is not easy, but the Hogs got it done on Friday night.
After rain showers eliminated Saturday baseball, the Hogs returned to action against the Stanford Cardinal on Sunday afternoon. Unfortunately, the Razorback bats did not wake up in time for the matinee segment of the doubleheader. Ten Arkansas batters went down on strikes, and the bases were left loaded twice on the way to a scoreless performance. Freshman pitcher Hagan Smith worked some solid early innings but ran into trouble as the Hogs dropped game two 0-5.
The weekend’s final game was another grind-it-out type performance for the Hogs against Louisiana. Sophomore starter Jaxon Wiggins recorded six innings pitched and allowed three earned runs on just three hits. The Razorbacks didn’t secure their first lead of the game until an eighth-inning three-run homerun from Jalen Battles. From there, Kole Ramage came in to slam the door on the Ragin’ Cajuns. Arkansas won the game by a final of 6-4.
Regardless of the loss to Stanford, much good seemed to have come from Arkansas’ weekend in Texas. From a pitching standpoint, the weekend performances were solid. Connor Noland struggled a bit in his opening day outing but appeared to have Friday starter-type stuff against Indiana. Additionally, veteran Kole Ramage recorded two saves on the weekend as he continues to make his case as a reliable late-inning arm.
Seeing redshirt Nick Griffin make his college debut in a critical spot against Louisiana is huge for the Razorbacks as well. The big lefty missed out on his freshman year due to injury but may very well become a reliable arm out of the bullpen this season.
Offensively, the Hogs struggled at times during the weekend. However, veterans Robert Moore and Jalen Battles submitted some clutch hitting to help carry the Razorbacks. Ultimately, it is fair to assume that the bats will continue to heat up as the season progresses and the weather warms up. The Hogs are bound to get the bats going sooner rather than later.
Today, the Hogs came in as the third-ranked team in the country, according to D1Baseball. So, the loan loss over the weekend did not cause much damage. Instead, the weekend proved some strengths for the team and some areas to practice.
The Hogs welcome Omaha and Southeastern to Baum-Walker Stadium this week as a part of their 13-game home stand during March.