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Arkansas Opens Series with 10-4 Win

Jordan Farris and Jake Wise each homered and drove in three runs as the top-ranked Arkansas baseball team defeated Evansville, 10-4, in the series opener on Friday at Baum Stadium.
FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. – Jordan Farris and Jake Wise each homered and drove in three runs as the top-ranked Arkansas baseball team defeated Evansville, 10-4, in the series opener on Friday at Baum Stadium.

The Razorbacks improve to 5-1 with the win, while Evansville is now 1-3 after the loss.

Wise was the offensive start of the day for Arkansas, tying a career high with three hits and three RBI and hitting his first home run of the season. Farris also drove in three runs and added the first homer of his Razorback career in the win. Tyler Spoon added three RBI as well and went 1-for-5 at the plate. Brian Anderson went 2-for-4 and scored a run.

Arkansas reliever Brandon Moore (1-0) took the win on the mound, giving up two runs, only one earned, on four hits and striking out a pair over 3.2 innings. Jalen Beeks and Chris Oliver combined to throw 2.1 shutout innings to close out the win.

Ryne Stanek started for the Razorbacks and received a no decision after striking out four and giving up two runs in three innings.

Evansville starter Kyle Freeland (1-1) took the loss. Freeland gave up four runs on seven hits and struck out five in five innings.

Kevin Kaczmarski drove in three runs and went 2-for-4 to lead the Purple Aces offensively. Chris Pearson and Michael Eckstein each added two hits, with Eckstein scoring a pair of runs. Jason Hockemeyer also accounted for an RBI for the Purple Aces.

Evansville struck first, scoring two runs in the top of the second. Pearson singled with one out and advanced to second on a single up the middle by Eckstein. Kaczmarski then doubled to the left-center field alley, scoring both runners. Kaczmarski was thrown out trying to advance to third on the play to end the inning.

Arkansas answered back with two runs of its own in the bottom of the second. Anderson blooped a single into right field and with one out, Wise launched his first home run of the season, a two-run shot over the wall in left field to tie the game at two.

The Razorbacks took their first lead of the game with two runs in the bottom of the fourth. Eric Fisher led off the inning with a single and advanced to second on a wild pitch. He came around to score on a base hit to left field by Wise. The throw into the infield by the left fielder got away, allowing Wise to advance second on the E7. A fly out to deep center by Jacob Morris moved Wise to third and he scored on another wild pitch.

Arkansas stretched the lead to five with a three-run bottom of the sixth. With one out, Farris reached on an infield single. Back-to-back walks with two out by Matt Vinson and Joe Serrano loaded the bases for Spoon. Spoon hit a liner to the alley that allowed two runs to score. Spoon made a wide turn around first and was caught in a run down between first and second. While he was caught in the rundown, Serrano was able to cross home to put the Razorbacks in front 7-2.

Evansville got two runs back in the top of the seventh. Shain Showers and Eckstein hit back-to-back singles to start the inning to put runners on the corners. Kaczmarski drove in Showers with a sacrifice fly to center. With two out, Pollock hit a pop up to shallow center. McAfee went out on the fly ball, but it hit off of his glove, allowing Pollock to reach and advancing Eckstein to third. Hockemeyer drove in a run with a single to right to cut the Arkansas lead to 7-4.

The Razorbacks again responded, scoring three times in the bottom of the seventh, with all the runs coming with two outs. Wise started the two-out rally with a single to left and then advanced to second after a throwing error by the Evansville shortstop on a ball hit by Morris. Farris cleared the bases with the first home run of his collegiate career, a three-run blast into the Razorback bullpen in left field.

The Purple Aces were able to get a runner on base in both the eighth and the ninth innings, but couldn’t score as Arkansas held on for the 10-4 victory.

Arkansas and Evansville will meet in game two of the series on Saturday at 1:05 p.m. Junior right hander Barrett Astin (1-0, 1.80) will start for the Razorbacks, while the Purple Aces will throw redshirt junior righty Sam Johns (0-0, 9.00). Single-game reserved tickets are available for Saturday’s game for $10 each. Tickets may be purchased by calling 1-800-982-HOGS (4647), by visiting the online ticket center at ArkansasRazorbacks.com or on gameday at Baum Stadium, while supplies last.
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