- The Arkansas baseball team (23-15) jumped out to an early lead Tuesday evening and never looked back, picking up a 7-2 win over Stephen F. Austin (15-21) at Baum Stadium.
Michael Bernal paced the offense from the bottom of the order, going 3-for-3 with three runs batted in, including a two-run double off the left field wall in the second inning to give the Razorbacks an early 3-0 lead.
Blake Baxendale continued his recent hot streak with two more hits that featured a two-out RBI single in the first inning to give Arkansas a lead they would never relinquish. Andrew Benintendi singled home a run in the fifth inning, one of two hits on the night for his 12th multi-hit game of the season.
Colin Poché (3-0) picked up the win in relief, tossing 3.0 scoreless innings and giving up two hits, while striking out four. Jacob Stone and Michael Gunn each worked 2.0 scoreless innings out of the bullpen, closing it out for starter Alex Phillips who lasted 2.0 innings and surrendered two runs on as many hits.
Arkansas returns to action this weekend, welcoming No. 11 Vanderbilt to town for a three-game SEC series at Baum Stadium. The two teams will play Friday at 6:35 p.m., Saturday at 6:05 p.m. on CST and Sunday at noon on ESPN.
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Coach Dave Van Horn Quotes:
Arkansas Head Coach Dave Van Horn (Opening statement) – "I thought we came out and swung the bats pretty well tonight. I feel like offensively, up and down the lineup, it is starting to get better and a little more consistent. I know we weren't facing SEC weekend pitching, but he still had a good arm with a good breaking ball. I thought we did a good job with pitches that were in the zone and that were hittable."
Arkansas Head Coach Dave Van Horn (On the Arkansas pitching performance…) – "Alex Phillips just didn't throw strikes. I think he was a little nervous. SFA is basically in his hometown, and I'm sure that had a little bit to do with it. Stone came in and did a nice job for us. Poché had pretty good stuff, he just missed a couple calls that could have really helped him, but they might have been an inch or two out of the zone. Then, Gunn came in and we were just trying to get him some work."
Arkansas Head Coach Dave Van Horn (On playing a tough SEC schedule) – "We did play a tough schedule; every team is good. Timing has a lot to do with it. The positive to me is that I do feel like we're getting better. Another positive is that we play nine of the 15 games at home, and we've played pretty well at home this. Some years we play a little better on the road, but this team seems to like playing here, so hopefully we can keep going."
· The Razorbacks improve to 5-0 in the all-time series with Stephen F. Austin.
· Arkansas moves to 10-2 when scoring in the first inning and 21-3 when scoring before the opponent.
· The Razorbacks have allowed two runs or less in 20 of the 38 games this year.
· Arkansas is now 21-1 when leading after six innings, 21-1 when leading after seven innings and 22-0 when leading after eight innings.
· Jake Wise threw out another base stealer to bring his total to an SEC-leading 12. He threw out three base stealers over the weekend at LSU, including two runners at third base.
· Brian Anderson extended his reached base streak to 14 games and has hit safely in 32 of 38 games this season.
How They Scored
· Arkansas 1, Stephen F. Austin 0; Bottom 1: Blake Baxendale singled through the left side; Tyler Spoon scored.
· Arkansas 3, Stephen F. Austin 0; Bottom 2: Michael Bernal doubled off the left field wall; Eric Fisher and Bobby Wernes both scored.
· Arkansas 3, Stephen F. Austin 1; Top 3: Mackenzie Handle doubled to left field; Matthew Dickey scored from second base.
· Arkansas 3, Stephen F. Austin 2; Top 3: Connor Fikes singled on a field's choice. Ricardo Sanchez scored from third.
· Arkansas 4, Stephen F. Austin 2; Bottom 5; Infield single by Andrew Benintendi; Michael Bernal scored from third.
· Arkansas 6, Stephen F. Austin 2; Bottom 5; Sacrifice flied to center by Joe Serrano; Tyler Spoon scored on the sacrifice; Andrew Benintendi advanced to third then scored on a throwing error by the centerfielder (E8).
· Arkansas 7, Stephen F. Austin 2; Bottom 8; Michael Bernal singled up the middle; Blake Baxendale scored from third.
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