Hogs finish home schedule with fourth SEC series sweep

Isaiah Campbell (KATV photo)

For the fourth time this year, the sixth-ranked Arkansas Razorbacks completed a three-game sweep in conference play, defeating the 20th-ranked Texas A&M Aggies, 6-3, at Baum Stadium Sunday afternoon. Senior Luke Bonfield drove in four of the Hogs’ six runs, while redshirt sophomore Isaiah Campbell had his best outing in four weeks.

The last time Arkansas swept four or more conference series in the same season was 1999. That year, the Razorbacks won 42 games and the SEC regular-season title. This year’s squad not only swept four conference series, but did not lose a series inside Baum Stadium and set a record for most home wins in a regular season (30) with one game occurring at Dickey-Stephens Park in North Little Rock, Arkansas. The Razorbacks need just two more wins to tie the school record for most wins at Baum Stadium in a single season (31 in 2004).

Arkansas (36-15, 17-10 SEC) remains at the top of the SEC Western Division with the three-game sweep over the Aggies, one game ahead of Ole Miss and three games up on LSU. The sweep by Arkansas was also its first over Texas A&M (34-17, 12-15 SEC) since the Aggies joined the league prior to the 2013 season.

Isaiah Campbell (4-5) had his first strong outing in nearly four weeks, going five scoreless and scattering five hits while racking up seven strikeouts on 72 pitches. It’s the fifth time this year he’s struck out five or more and first since tallying a career-high eight against No. 4 Kentucky on March 17. Campbell never let more than one batter reach base through his first four innings and also got some help from his defense that turned three double plays. It was the fifth time this year that Arkansas had turned three or more double plays in a single game.

Cody Scroggins, Evan Lee, and Jake Reindl all followed after Campbell’s exit and was able to maneuver through the Aggie lineup in the sixth and into the seventh inning. Then, sophomore Matt Cronin made his return to the mound in the seventh after missing the previous 11 games due to an illness..

Cronin looked good in his first game back, striking out two over two innings while throwing 27 pitches. He nearly locked up the save before running into trouble in the ninth with two consecutive walks. But, Barrett Loseke finished it off in his second appearance of the weekend, facing three batters and needing just five pitches to get the final two outs.

“It was a great weekend for our team, bouncing back after not playing really well in Baton Rouge. Going into the last weekend against LSU and A&M we were hoping to go 4-2, obviously you’d like to do a little better, but at a minimum 4-2. I’m proud of the team for hanging in there this week and getting through finals and coming out and winning three games against a really good team," said Dave Van Horn.

Arkansas will finish the 2018 regular season on the road next week as it travels to Athens, Georgia to face the No. 12 Georgia Bulldogs with a three-game series starting on Thursday at Foley Field. First pitch for game one is set for 6 p.m. CT and will be televised on ESPN3.

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