No. 1 Arkansas completes sweep of Evansville
FAYETTEVILLE - The Arkansas offense pounded out a season-high 15 hits and scored 10 runs as the top-ranked Razorbacks completed a three-game sweep of Evansville with a 10-2 win on Sunday at Baum Stadium.
Arkansas won its fifth straight game and improved its record to 7-1, while Evansville dropped to 1-5 with the loss.
Eight of Arkansas' nine position starters had at least one hit in the win with six different players recording two or more hits. Leadoff man Matt Vinson had a game-high three hits and scored three runs. Brian Anderson, Eric Fisher, Brett McAfee, Joe Serrano and Jake Wise each had two hits. Wise drove in three runs, while Anderson had two RBI and scored twice. Jacob Mahan added the first home run of his Razorback career.
Arkansas starter Trey Killian (1-0) earned the win for the first victory of his collegiate career. Killian allowed two unearned runs on two hits and struck out five in 4.2 innings.
Four Razorback relievers combined to throw 4.1 shutout innings. Colin Poche worked 2.1 scoreless frames with a strikeout, while Landon Simpson retired all three batters he faced in an inning. Tyler Wright worked 0.2 scoreless innings, while Thomas Altimont retired the only batter he faced to finish the game.
Evansville starter Kyle Lloyd (0-1) took the loss. Lloyd allowed four runs on eight hits and struck out three in six innings.
The Purple Aces had just three hits in the loss. Jason Hockemeyer, Andy Lasher and Chris Pearson each had a hit. Pearson and Shain Showers each added a RBI.
The Razorbacks struck first with two runs in the bottom of the first. Vinson and Serrano drew back-to-back walks to start the inning and an infield single by Tyler Spoon loaded the bases. Fisher then blooped a single into right, scoring Vinson and moving each runner up a base. Anderson then hit a smash that was caught by the first baseman, who then doubled off Fisher at first base for the first two out of the innings. Arkansas plated its second run of the inning on a wild pitch, scoring Serrano from third.
Arkansas added another run in the home half of the fourth. Anderson reached on an infield single and advanced to second after a ground out by Mahan. Wise grounded a single into left field to score Anderson from second and put the Razorbacks in front 3-0.
Evansville got back in the game with two runs in the top of the fifth. Hockemeyer singled to start the inning and with one out Lasher hit a grounder to third that was bobbled by Anderson, allowing Lasher to reach and advancing Hockemeyer to second on the fielding error. Pearson put the Purple Aces on the board with a single to left-center field, scoring Hockemeyer and advancing Lasher to third. Showers drove in the second run of the inning with a sacrifice fly to center.
The Razorbacks stretched the lead to two with a run in the bottom of the sixth. With one out, Mahan hit a 1-1 pitch over the right field wall for the first homer of his Arkansas career to put the Razorbacks in front 4-2.
Arkansas broke the game open with a five-run seventh. McAfee doubled to the left-center field gap to start the inning and advanced to third after a single to right by Vinson. Serrano then laid down a perfect bunt single up the first base line, scoring McAfee and advancing Vinson to second base. With one out, Fisher lined a single to right to load the bases for Anderson, who sent the first pitch he saw into left field for a two-run single to stretch the lead to 7-2. After a ground out by Mahan for the second out of the inning, Wise hit a grounder up the third base line that hit off the third base bag and went into left field, scoring Anderson and Fisher for the fourth and fifth runs of the inning.
The Razorbacks tacked on one more run in the eighth. With one out, Vinson singled to left and Serrano walked. Spoon then hit a grounder to second. The second baseman flipped to the shortstop to start a double play, but the shortstop's throw to first was high, allowing Vinson to score from third on the throwing error and putting Arkansas in front 10-2.
Evansville put two runners on in the ninth, but Altimont got David Patton to fly out to right to end the game and give the Razorbacks a 10-2 win.
Arkansas returns to action on Thursday as it faces No. 20 Arizona State in the Coca-Cola Classic in Surprise, Ariz. First pitch between the Razorbacks and Sun Devils is set for 5 p.m.