|Updated: 2/28/2012 10:06 pm
||Published: 2/28/2012 10:01 pm
FAYETTEVILLE, AR - Four Razorback pitchers combined for a three-hit shutout and the top four batters in the Arkansas order each had an RBI as the fourth-ranked Razorbacks defeated BYU 5-0 on Tuesday afternoon at Baum Stadium.
Arkansas improves to 8-1 with the win, while BYU is now 4-3.
The shutout was Arkansas’ first of the season and the first for the Razorbacks since June 4, 2011, when Arkansas blanked New Mexico 3-0 in the NCAA Tempe Regional.
“The pitching was outstanding,” Arkansas head coach Dave Van Horn said. “They took it personal what happened on Sunday and I think they got together and had a talk yesterday as a pitching staff. They decided it was time for us to do what we feel like we can do. They went out and got it done today. BYU is a good hitting team. They’re big and physical.”
Sophomore Brandon Moore made the start for the Razorbacks and earned his first win of the season, giving up just two hits in four shutout innings. Moore struck out three and did not issue a walk.
“Brandon Moore came out and set the tone in the first inning,” Van Horn said. “He got us in the dugout. We scored a run (in the first inning). The second inning went quick and we scored three runs (in the bottom of the second). Having a four-run lead on a day when the wind is blowing straight in about 25 miles per hour, it’s like having a seven-run lead. It’s a lot tougher to come back.”
Out of the bullpen, Cade Lynch, Michael Gunn and Colby Suggs preserved the shutout, combining to throw five scoreless innings. Lynch struck out three in two innings, while Gunn threw two hitless innings with a pair of punch outs. Suggs closed the game in the ninth with a perfect inning, recording one strikeout.
BYU starter Tyler Westensee took the loss, allowing four runs in an inning plus.
The top four batters in the Arkansas batting order had at least one RBI each. Jimmy Bosco was a perfect 2-for-2 at the plate, while Tim Carver added a hit, scored two runs and had an RBI, which extended his streak of consecutive games with at least one RBI to seven. Sam Bates, Bo Bigham and Dominic Ficociello also had one RBI each. Matt Reynolds, Matt Vinson and Jake Wise each recorded a hit in the victory.
Austin Hall, Adam Law and Stephen Wells each had one hit for BYU to account for the three Cougar hits in the game.
The Razorbacks struck first with a run in the bottom of the first. Carver started the inning with an eight-pitch walk and moved to second on a single to right field by Bosco. A sacrifice bunt by Ficociello moved each runner into a scoring position. Bates drove in Carver on a grounder to first that was booted by the first baseman for a fielding error that allowed Bates to reach. The Razorbacks were unable to cash in any more runs as Reynolds grounded into a 1-6-3 double play to end the inning.
Arkansas added three runs in the bottom of the second. Vinson led off the inning with a single and moved to third on a hit-and-run single to left by Wise. A walk to Jacob Morris loaded the bases with nobody out. Bigham drew a bases loaded walk to bring home Vinson. Back-to-back sacrifice flies by Carver and Bosco scored Arkansas’ third and fourth runs of the game.
The Razorbacks closed the scoring with a run in the bottom of the fourth. With one out, Carver reached on an infield single. Bosco added his second hit of the game with a single to right field. A fielding error by the right fielder allowed Carver to advance to third and Bosco to move to second. Ficociello plated Carver with a sacrifice fly to center to put Arkansas in front 5-0.
BYU’s biggest offensive threat in the game came in the top of the sixth inning. With one out, Jaycob Brugman walked. After Brock Whitney struck out for the second out of the inning, Alex Wolfe reached on a dropped fly ball by Sam Bates in right field to put runners at the corners. Lynch was able to work out of the jam by getting Dillon Robinson to fly out to center to end the inning.
The Cougars would go down in order each of the next three innings as Arkansas completed the 5-0 shutout.
Arkansas and BYU close the two-game series on Wednesday at 3:05 p.m. Junior right hander DJ Baxendale (2-0, 2.45) will start for the Razorbacks, while the Cougars are expected to counter with sophomore righty Desmond Poulson (0-0, 3.00). Single-game tickets for Wednesday’s game are $10 for reserved seats.