COLUMBIA, MO. - The No. 24 Arkansas baseball team (34-21, 15-14 SEC) used a trio of fifth-inning runs to lead the Razorbacks to a 4-0 series-clinching victory against Missouri (20-32, 6-22) Friday evening at Taylor Stadium in SEC action.
Joe Serrano led the way at the plate with three hits, including a two-out RBI double in the fifth inning to plate the first run of the game. The run-scoring hit came in the middle of four consecutive base knocks for Arkansas, capped by a two-run single from Andrew Benintendi as the Razorbacks raced out to a 3-0 lead.
Arkansas added an insurance run in the sixth inning when Brian Anderson walked, stole second base and came around to score on a two-out single up the middle by Bobby Wernes to give the Razorbacks all the runs they would need in a 4-0 road victory.
Chris Oliver (7-4) tossed another masterpiece in the victory, allowing just two hits and no runs in 6.0 innings of work, while striking out five. The junior earned his sixth conference win of the year in 10 starts. Zach Jackson worked a pair of hitless innings and Michael Gunn worked a scoreless ninth frame to close out the Tigers.
The Razorbacks will go for the series sweep Saturday afternoon in the regular season finale for both teams. First pitch is set for 3:05 p.m. and will be televised on CST.
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Head Coach Dave Van Horn Quotes
Opening comment: “Today we put together a big inning in the fifth, all with two outs, to score three runs and then in the next inning we did the same thing and got some big two-out hits to score another run and it held up. I thought Oliver did a tremendous job tonight on the mound.”
· Arkansas has won the first two games of a series in consecutive weeks after not doing so in the previous eight SEC series this season.
· The Razorbacks will have a chance to record their first three-game SEC series sweep of the year.
· Arkansas clinched its first road series victory of the year in conference action.
· The Razorbacks scored all four runs in the game with two outs.
· Chris Oliver earned his sixth SEC victory in 10 league starts this season.
· Joe Serrano recorded his team-leading 19th multi-hit game of the year and sixth three-hit contest of the season.
· The Razorbacks have allowed two runs or less in 30 of the team’s 54 games this season.
· The shutout by the pitching staff is the first since blanking No. 1 South Carolina 7-0 on April 5. It is also the eighth of the year, tying for the seventh most in program history in a single season.