Photographs by J.T. Wampler
Arkansas outfielder Eric Cole hits a double during a game against Texas on Tuesday, March 13, 2018, in Fayetteville.
Wednesday, March 14, 2018
FAYETTEVILLE -- The Arkansas Razorbacks gave their old Southwest Conference rival Texas a rude welcome back to the Ozarks on Tuesday night.
The No. 10 Razorbacks erupted for seven runs in the third inning and battered the Longhorns 13-4 on a chilly night before a crowd of 5,140 at Baum Stadium.
Jordan McFarland drove in four runs, Eric Cole went 3 for 5 with three RBI and Casey Martin hit a wind-aided three-run home run to back Kacey Murphy (2-0).
The University of Arkansas, Fayetteville (12-4) won its second in a row over the Longhorns, who visited the UA campus for the first time since a three-game SWC series in 1991.
"Overall, I thought we played solid baseball," Arkansas Coach Dave Van Horn said. "We didn't make any mistakes in the field. ... It was a good win for us and we'll go at it again tomorrow."
Arkansas matched its largest-ever victory over Texas by the same score on March 31, 1984, in Austin, Texas. The Longhorns (9-8) lost their fourth game in a row.
Arkansas cranked out 13 hits against five Texas pitchers and drew six walks.
"First of all, we gave them too much," Texas Coach David Pierce said. "We just gave them way too many free passes. They're a very quality team.
"Dave does such a great job. They pitch, play defense and have really got some guys in the lineup that can hurt you if you don't pitch them right. They did that tonight, so we have to bounce back and be ready to play them tomorrow."
The left-hander Murphy gave up his first two earned runs of the season in his third start on solo home runs in the fourth and fifth. Murphy allowed 5 hits and 2 runs and struck out 3 while throwing 78 pitches in 6 innings.
"I had a lot of confidence in all three pitches I threw," said Murphy, a junior from Rogers. "I really worked on my change-up early and once I started see them jump that a little bit, I went right to the slider. I've been struggling with that pitch the past two games, so it really was nice to see that pitch working."
Van Horn said Murphy delivered just what the staff wanted.
"He gave us six innings, he didn't walk anybody, had three strikeouts, got us off to a good start throwing the ball over the plate," Van Horn said.
D.J. Petrinksy launched two home runs for the Longhorns, the first two of his career, and drove in three runs. Zach Zubia hit a home run off the scoreboard in the fourth for the first earned run allowed by Murphy in his 14th inning of the year as Texas cut its deficit to 7-1.
Arkansas got to Beau Ridgeway (1-1) in the third. Jordan McFarland walked on four pitches, then Carson Shaddy hit a smash past shortstop on a hit-and-run play that triggered some errant throws by the Longhorns.
"The hit and run was executed perfectly and that kind of got the bats rolling," Cole said. "[Van Horn] always says you can't sit back and wait for a home run, so it was good to get the offense going without home run after home run."
Left fielder Masen Hibbeler's wild throw to third allowed Shaddy to scamper to second and Ridgeway, who backed up the throw to third, sent one wide of second that allowed McFarland to score the game's first run.
WHEN 4 p.m. today
WHERE Baum Stadium, Fayetteville
RECORDS Texas 9-8; Arkansas 12-4
STARTING PITCHERS Texas RHP Nico O’Donnell (1-0, 2.13 ERA); Arkansas LHP Hunter Milligan (0-0, 0.00 ERA)
RADIO Razorback Sports Network. Not all games will be carried by all affiliates. Check local listings.
INTERNET SEC Network-Plus
Arkansas first baseman Jordan McFarland’s three-run double in the third inning gave him seven RBI in his last three at-bats, adding to a grand slam against Kent State on Sunday. … Center fielder Dominic Fletcher laid out horizontally for a diving catch in the right-field gap to rob Austin Todd of a hit in the seventh inning for the defensive play of the game. … Hogs’ designated hitter Luke Bonfield has reached base in all 16 games.
TODAY Texas, 4 p.m. (SEC Network-Plus)
FRIDAY Kentucky, 6:30 p.m.
SATURDAY Kentucky, 2 p.m.
SUNDAY Kentucky, 1 p.m.
TUESDAY vs. Charlotte#, 6:05 p.m.
After Martin struck out, Cole stroked a single to center to plate Shaddy. Luke Bonfield hit an RBI single, Fletcher launched a sacrifice fly and McFarland laced a three-run double to left field.
"I just tried to find a pitch I could drive to the outfield and do my best with it for sure," said McFarland, who has all of his nine RBI in the last two games.
After Texas pulled within 7-2 in the fifth, the Razorbacks put the game away in the bottom of the inning, starting with McFarland's single to drive in Koch.
Martin's home run was strange. The freshman from Lonoke stood at home plate throughout the hit as Hibbeler drifted into foul territory in the corner tracking the ball. The wind blew it back into fair territory and it hit about 10 feet up the foul pole to give the Hogs an 11-4 lead.
"It clipped the foul pole, which was pretty amazing," Van Horn said. "I haven't seen one like that. ... It usually catches it hooking or going out or on the line. But that ball clipped the foul pole on the way down as it was pushed back about 5 feet, so pretty amazing. Obviously that changed the game a little bit there."
Cole was on deck to watch Martin's home run.
"I thought there was no chance it was staying fair, so I kind of gave up on it," Cole said. "Then I saw the left fielder go to the side wall and come back, so I was like, 'What is going on?'"
The teams wrap up their two-game set at 4 p.m., today with Arkansas freshman left-hander Hunter Milligan (0-0, 0.00 ERA in three innings) facing Texas freshman right-hander Nico O'Donnell (1-0, 2.13).
Sports on 03/14/2018
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