FAYETTEVILLE — No. 1 Arkansas defeated Little Rock 7-2 on Tuesday night at Baum-Walker Stadium.
Arkansas (23-4) jumped out to a 1-0 lead in the bottom of the first when Cayden Wallace parked a 1-0 pitch over the fence in left field.
The Hogs added another pair of runs in the bottom of the second. Christian Franklin started the inning off with a double down the line in left field. With one out, Zack Gregory walked. Jalen Battles then singled to right field to score Franklin and get Gregory to third with one out. Gregory scored on a sacrifice fly by Robert Moore for a 3-0 lead.
In the bottom of the third, Brady Slavens singled up the middle. Then Franklin hit his second double of the game to put the Hogs up 4-0.
The Trojans (12-12) finally got to Arkansas starter Kole Ramage in the top of the fifth. After Ramage retired the first two hitters of the innings, a hit batter, single and double produced two runs to pull Little Rock within 4-2. Ryan Costeiu came in and got the final out of the fifth.
Ramage went 4.2 innings, allowed five hits, two runs (both earned), one walk, seven strikeouts, one hit batter, faced 22 batters, threw 81 pitches and 55 went for strikes. Costeiu went 1.1 innings, allowed one hit, struck out one, pitched to four hitters, 11 pitches and seven were strikes. Caden Monke came on to pitch the top of the seventh. Monke worked two innings. He walked one, struck out three, faced eight hitters, threw 40 pitches with 27 strikes. Zack Morris worked the ninth for Arkansas.
In the bottom of the seventh, Moore reached on a one-out double. He took third on an error and then scored on a wild pitch to make it 5-2 for the Hogs.
Arkansas’ Casey Opitz walked to start the bottom of the eighth. Gregory sacrificed him to second. Jalen Battles was hit by a pitch. Jacob Nesbit then singled to score Opitz for a 6-2 lead. Moore then reached on a fielder’s choice and Battles scored the final run of the game.
Costeiu (4-0) got the win while Sawyer Smallwood (0-1) took the loss. The Trojans were led at the plate by Tyler Williams and Kobe Barnum with two hits each while John Michael Russ knocked in two runs.
Moore and Franklin each had two hits for Arkansas with Moore knocking in two runs.
The two teams will play again at 4 p.m. on Wednesday.