FAYETTEVILLE — No. 1 Arkansas used power hitting and outstanding pitching to complete the midweek sweep of Little Rock 10-3 on Wednesday afternoon at Baum-Walker Stadium.
Arkansas jumped out to a 4-0 lead in the bottom of the first on two more home runs. Robert Moore and Christian Franklin walked to start it off. Brady Slavens followed with a home run over the fence in center field for a 3-0 lead. Charlie Welch, serving as designated hitter today, hit a solo shot over the fence in left that cleared the Arkansas bullpen. It was weird bottom of first for Little Rock starter Cole Evans. He walked two, allowed a pair of home runs, but also fanned three Razorback hitters.
In the bottom of the fourth, Moore took a 2-0, two-out pitch over the fence in right-center field to put the Razorbacks up 5-0.
Caleb Bolden started and worked four innings. He allowed four hits, fanned four, walked two, no runs, faced 17 batters, threw 62 pitches and 40 were strikes. Evan Gray replaced him on the mound. Gray worked 1.0 inning allowing two hits, a pair of runs (earned), one walk, faced six batters, threw 26 pitches and 13 strikes. Elijah Trest replaced him for the top of the sixth. Trest worked 2.0 innings, allowed one hit, a run (earned), one walk, two strikeouts, faced seven hitters, threw 28 pitches with 13 for strikes. Gabriel Starks came on to replace Trest in the top of the eighth. Starks worked 1.0 inning, allowed one hit, struck out one, faced four hitters, 20 pitches and 11 strikes.Heston Tole worked a perfect ninth for the Hogs. He faced three hitters, struck out one, threw six pitches with five being strikes.
Little Rock got some offense going in the top of the fifth against Gray. Eldrige Figueroa walked to start the inning. Nathan Lyons then singled. A wild pitch by Gray allowed Figueroa to go to third and Lyons to second. Jorden Hussein then grounded out to Moore at second base to allow Figueroa to score. Tyler Williams grounded out to Slavens at first allowing Lyons to score.That pulled the Trojans to within 5-2 in the top of the fifth.
Cole Evans got the start for the Trojans. He worked one inning, allowing two hits, four runs (all earned), a pair of walks and three strikeouts. Luke Wallner then worked 3.0 innings. He allowed two hits, one run (earned), walked a pair and struck out one. Calvin Hunt worked 1.0 inning, walking one and striking out one. Cal Beardsley came on to pitch the bottom of the sixth for the Trojans.
With one out in the bottom of the sixth, Jalen Battles reached on an error on Beardsley. Dylan Leach then hit a triple to the fence in left field that plated Battles. Then a wild pitch by Beardsley allowed Leach to score to make it 7-2. Moore then singled with one out. That brought Erik McKnight in the game to replace Beardsley. Moore then stole second and went to third on a wild pitch. McKnight was impressive. He worked 1.2 innings and struck out two. John Boushelle replaced him for the bottom of the eighth. Boushelle walked the two hitters he faced so the Trojans went to Chance Vaught.
In the top of the seventh with one out, Lyons hits a home run to left field to pull the Trojans to within 7-3. That was all the Trojans could get as Trest closes the door after the home run.
In the bottom of the eighth, Boushelle walked Cullen Smith and Battles to start the inning. That brought Vaught in. After he fanned Leach, Moore singled to left to score Smith with one out for 8-3 lead. Slavens then singled to plate both Battles and Moore. Slavens now has five runs batted in the game. Cayden Wallace lined out to end the eighth and that saw his 11-game hitting streak come to an end.
Bolden (1-0) gets the win while Evans (1-1) takes the loss.
Arkansas (24-4, 7-2) will be at Ole Miss (23-6, 7-2) on Friday night at 6 p.m. Little Rock (12-13, 3-3) will be at home to host South Alabama (16-10, 5-1) at 6 p.m. on Friday. Both those will be three-game series.