Arkansas blows out Texas in midweek opener


Photographs by J.T. Wampler

Arkansas pitcher Kacey Murphy throws a pitch during a game against Texas on Tuesday, March 13, 2018, in Fayetteville.

Arkansas 13, Texas 4 - Final

Jacob Kostyshock allowed a leadoff single and a two-out walk in the ninth, but a 6-4-3 double play canceled the first base runner and Jack McKenzie grounded out to end the game.

The Razorbacks improved to 12-4 this season. Texas fell to 9-8.

Kacey Murphy (3-0) was the winner. Beau Ridgeway (0-1) was the loser. Kostyshock earned his first save.

The teams are scheduled to play again tomorrow at 4 p.m. We'll have more here on WholeHogSports.com after we interview coaches and players.

Arkansas 13, Texas 4 - End 8th Inning

Neither team had a base runner in the eighth. Jacob Kostyshock is back on for the ninth and could earn a textbook save because this is his third inning of work.

Arkansas 13, Texas 4 - Bottom 7th Inning

Eric Cole is really seeing the ball well. He just hit a two-run double with no outs in the seventh to put the Hogs back up by nine runs.

Cole's line drive went to the ball in front of the opposing bullpen in right field and scored Carson Shaddy and Easton Murrell. Shaddy singled to left to leadoff the inning and Murrell was hit by a pitch in a pinch-hit appearance.

Cole is 3-for-5 with 3 RBI and 2 doubles tonight against his home state team.

Arkansas 11, Texas 4 - Middle 7th Inning

DJ Petrinsky's second home run - a two-run shot - pulled Texas within 11-4 with two outs in the inning. Petrinsky took little-used Arkansas reliever Jacob Kostyshock to the video board in straightaway center field.

For Arkansas, the highlight came from Dominic Fletcher, who fully extended to make a diving catch and rob the Longhorns of a base hit with one out. Tune in to ESPN tonight and you'll probably see it on SportsCenter.

The actual attendance tonight is 5,140. Arkansas sold 8,051 tickets.

Arkansas 11, Texas 2 - End 6th Inning

The Hogs put two more on in the sixth but couldn't score. Cole Turney pinch-hit for Luke Bonfield at DH and walked in four pitches to leadoff the inning, then Dominic Fletcher singled in the next at-bat after Turney stole second.

But Arkansas couldn't get a sac fly. Grant Koch struck out and Jax Biggers followed with a flyout to shallow left. The inning ended when Jordan McFarland struck out looking.

The Razorbacks have stranded six.

Arkansas 11, Texas 2 - Bottom 5th Inning

Casey Martin was 0-for-3 coming into his fourth plate appearance. Now he has a three-run home run - one of the most bizarre you will ever see.

Martin hit a 0-2 pitch high into the air and into foul ground in left field. But the north wind blew the ball back into play and it his the outside corner of the foul pole - about 8 feet above the ground - for a home run.

Martin hit the ball so high that he probably watched it for 7-8 seconds until it hit the pole on its way down. On the Texas radio broadcast, longtime pro Keith Moreland said, "I've been around the game 40 years and I've never seen anything like that."

Arkansas 8, Texas 2 - Bottom 5th Inning

Arkansas has chased the third Texas pitcher of the game with back-to-back-to-back hits to leadoff the fifth. Grant Koch pulled a single to left then advanced to third on a hit-and-run swing from Jax Biggers, who went the opposite way to left.

Jordan McFarland followed with an opposite-field RBI single to right, scoring Koch and forcing the pitching change. McFarland is 2-for-2 tonight with 4 RBI and a walk.

McFarland has reached in five consecutive plate appearances, dating to Sunday. He is 4-for-4 during that stretch with 8 RBI on 2 home runs, a double and a single. He is going to be hard to keep out of the lineup.

Arkansas 7, Texas 2 - Middle 5th Inning

Murphy battled back with a popup to the pitcher, then struck out Texas' nine-hole hitter Duke Ellis, who looked at strike three on a 0-2 count.

Murphy has three strikeouts tonight. He has 65 pitches and might go a while to save the bullpen for tomorrow and this weekend against Kentucky. Arkansas doesn't have any pitchers in the bullpen as of now.

Arkansas 7, Texas 2 - Top 5th Inning

Texas catcher DJ Petrinsky just hit his first home run to pull the Longhorns within 7-2. Petrinsky turned on a fastball from Kacey Murphy and sent it well into the Hog Pen in left field.

Both Texas runs have come on solo homers.

Arkansas 7, Texas 1 - End 4th Inning

Eric Cole made it to third base with one out but was stranded there in the fourth. Luke Bonfield struck out for the second out and Dominic Fletcher grounded out to end the inning.

Cole doubled with one out and went to third when Texas pitcher Chris Fearon was called for a balk. The balk was called as Heston Kjerstad grounded out to third base, a swing that did not count.

Arkansas batters had done a nice job of laying off the breaking pitches, but Bonfield chased one inside on a 1-2 count.

The Razorbacks have out-hit the Longhorns 6-3. Arkansas has stranded four.

Arkansas 7, Texas 1 - Middle 4th Inning

Zach Zubia's two-out solo home run to center field has put Texas on the board and ended Kacey Murphy's streak of innings without allowing an earned run at 13 2/3.

Texas is bringing in another pitcher for the bottom of the fourth inning. It is right-hander Chris Fearon, who has not pitched this season.

Arkansas 7, Texas 0 - End 3rd Inning

Arkansas has blown the game open with Jordan McFarland's three-run double on a 3-2 pitch from Bryce Elder, who thought he had ended the inning on a borderline ball a pitch earlier. Texas' dugout argued the call and was issued a warning but home plate umpire Scott Cline.

McFarland was stranded at second when Carson Shaddy struck out to end the inning.

After Elder entered the game, Dominic Fletcher hit a long sac fly to center to score Heston Kjerstad. Grant Koch came back from a 0-2 count to draw a walk. The ball got away from the Texas catcher, which allowed Luke Bonfield to advance to third, but it was moot when Jax Biggers walked in five pitches, although that ball four got past the catcher, too.

Elder, the Texas reliever, is wearing out the dirt in front of the plate with some 59-foot breaking balls. Koch and Biggers did a good job of laying off those off-speed offerings.

Arkansas 3, Texas 0 - Bottom 3rd Inning

The Razorbacks have been teeing off Beau Ridgeway in the third. After Heston Kjerstad drew a five-pitch walk, Luke Bonfield fisted an RBI double the other way to score Eric Cole from second. The ball landed just inside the right field line between the first baseman and right fielder.

Ridgeway's night is over but the book is still open. Right-hander Bryce Elder inherits Kjerstad at third and Bonfield at second, with only one out in the inning.

Arkansas 2, Texas 0 - Bottom 3rd Inning

Eric Cole nearly hit a home run on the second pitch of his at-bat against Ridgeway, but it curved just foul near the foul pole in right field. One pitcher later he hit a liner into center to score Shaddy from second - an RBI single.

There are pitchers warming in the Texas bullpen.

Arkansas 1, Texas 0 - Bottom 3rd Inning

The Razorbacks are up after the Longhorns committed two errors in one sequence. Jordan McFarland drew a four-pitch walk and advanced to third on a hit-and-run single by Carson Shaddy through the hole at short and third.

That's when things got interesting. The Texas left fielder overthrew the third baseman for the first error, which caused Shaddy to advance to second. Texas pitcher Beau Ridgeway threw wide at second and that sent McFarland to the plate. The throw from the outfield was high and he scored on a foot-first slide. Shaddy is still at second with no outs.

Ridgeway might be a short outing for the Longhorns. He is their closer and might be on a short count tonight so he can be ready for the start of Big 12 play this weekend.

Arkansas 0, Texas 0 - Middle 3rd Inning

Kacey Murphy worked around a one-out double by Jake McKenzie for his 13th inning without an earned run this season. Murphy came back and froze Duke Ellis on a 0-2 fastball for a called strike three and the inning ended when leadoff hitter David Hamilton grounded to Jordan McFarland at first base.

The Longhorns are out-hitting the Razorbacks 2-1. Both teams have stranded a runner in scoring position.

Arkansas 0, Texas 0 - End 2nd Inning

Arkansas had something going in the second, but a base-running mistake by Grant Koch hurt the Razorbacks' chances of scoring.

Dominic Fletcher drew a one-out walk and Koch followed with a single down the left field line. Fletcher went first to third, but Koch - probably assuming the outfielder would attempt to gun down Fletcher - tried to advance to second. He was out easily.

Jax Biggers hit a line drive just foul down the first base line that would have scored Fletcher, and the inning ended later in the at-bat when Biggers popped up to shallow left.

Arkansas 0, Texas 0 - Middle 2nd Inning

Todd Austin ripped a grounder up the middle for a one-out single, but Carson Shaddy did a great job of starting a 4-6-3 double play off the bat of Ryan Reynolds to end the inning.

Kacey Murphy has been efficient through two innings. He has only needed 20 pitches.

Arkansas 0, Texas 0 - End 1st Inning

Arkansas hit two shots to the warning track, but the Razorbacks came away scoreless in the first.

Eric Cole and Heston Kjerstad both hit line drives to almost the same spot in left field, but Texas' left fielder Mason Hibbeler ran both down. Casey Martin worked a 3-2 count in the first at-bat of the inning, but Texas third baseman Ryan Reynolds made a nice catch on a popup to the wall in foul ground.

Arkansas 0, Texas 0 - Middle 1st Inning

Kacey Murphy worked a 1-2-3 inning with a flyout and two infield popups. Murphy did a nice job of locating his off-speed pitches on a few occasions. He is taking a lot of time in between pitches, usually taking the 20-second pitch clock down inside 5 seconds.

There is a good sized crowd here - probably going to be announced in the 8,000 range. It is cool and probably will be near 40 degrees by the end of the game. The wind is blowing out of the north, which will benefit left-handed pull hitters.


Arkansas and Texas are getting set to play their first game in Fayetteville in 27 years. That was five years before Baum Stadium was built.

Both teams put talented pitchers on the mound. Arkansas will throw Kacey Murphy, who was the Razorbacks' top midweek guy a year ago and who has not allowed an earned run in two starts this season. Texas will throw its normal reliever, right-hander Beau Ridgeway. Ridgeway has struggled a bit this season with an 8.31 ERA, so the Longhorns are trying to change things up to help him some mentally.

Statistically, Arkansas is the better team, but Texas is probably a little more tested to this point. The Longhorns have already faced LSU and Stanford this season, in addition to a good mid-major program, Louisiana-Lafayette.

There is only one notable change in Arkansas' lineup tonight. Jordan McFarland, who hit two homers in a pinch-hit role Sunday, is going to start at first base. Jared Gates suffered a groin injury Sunday when stretching to complete a double play.

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