The No. 24 Arkansas baseball team (33-21, 14-14) used a trio of home runs Thursday evening to roll past Missouri (20-31, 6-21) 9-4 in the series opener at Taylor Stadium.
The long ball proved to be the difference, as Brian Anderson launched two home runs, including a grand slam in the ninth inning, while Clark Eagan broke a 2-2 tie in the seventh inning with a two-run blast to give Arkansas a 4-2 lead they would never relinquish. With the victory, Arkansas clinched a spot in next week’s SEC Tournament.
Anderson finished with three hits, including two home runs, a triple and three runs batted in, while Clark Eagan reached base five times, tallied three hits and belted his second home run in the last four games. Eric Fisher recorded a pair of doubles in the contest and drove in a run as the Razorbacks finished with 11 hits.
Trey Killian put together another stellar performance on the mound, tossing 6.0 innings and giving up two runs on four hits, while tying his career-high with nine strikeouts to earn his third win of the year. Jacob Stone worked a pair of hitless innings, while Jackson Lowery came on in the ninth to record the final out.
The Razorbacks and Tigers will play game two of the series Friday evening at Taylor Stadium. First pitch is slated for 6:05 p.m. and will be televised on Cox Sports Television.
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Head Coach Dave Van Horn Quotes
On the win: “I just thought we played really well. We played good defense, pitching was outstanding and Killian did a great job giving us a chance to win that game. Killian had a good fastball tonight and he did a tremendous job on the mound.”
On the importance of bouncing back: “This is a big series for us. It was good for us to get a win today, especially since we lost last Sunday and you don’t want to go back-to-back losses this time of year.”
·With the win, Arkansas clinched a spot in next week’s SEC Tournament in Hoover, Ala.
·Brian Anderson’s two home runs marked his first career multi-homer game of his career.
·Anderson became the first Arkansas player to hit two home runs in a game since Derrick Bleeker did it nearly two years ago to the day on May 17, 2012 at Tennessee.
·Anderson’s grand slam in the ninth inning marked the first of his career and the third for the Razorbacks this season.
·The career-high five-RBI game for Anderson is the second for Arkansas this season after Blake Baxendale accomplished the feat at LSU on April 13. Both players recorded grand slams in their respective games.
·Arkansas hit three home runs in a game for the first time this season.
·Clark Eagan went 3-3 in the contest and is 9 of his last 12 over the last four games with two home runs.
·Trey Killian tied his career with 9 strikeouts in 6.0 innings of work.
·The Razorbacks will look to move over the .500 mark in SEC play for the first time this season in game two of the series.