FAYETTEVILLE — No. 2 Arkansas completed a weekend sweep of Southeast Missouri State with an 11-4 win at Baum-Walker Stadium on Sunday in a game that was called in the middle of fifth inning due to rain.
Arkansas jumped on SEMO again on Sunday. This time it was the bottom of the second. True freshman Cayden Wallace greeted Austin Williams with a home run. Brady Slavens followed and hit one over the fence as well. Following a strikeout, Casey Opitz doubled. On a ground out, Opitz moved to third with two outs. Jalen Battles then singled to plate Opitz and give the Hogs a 3-0 lead.
The Redhawks got onto the scoreboard in the top of the third without getting a hit. The first two hitters walked and then was followed by a couple of fielder’s choices. Right fielder Jevon Mason scored the run for SEMO.
The Razorbacks got a two-out rally in the bottom of the third. Slavens walked on a full count. He then stole second. Cullen Smith then doubled to center to plate Slavens. Smith would score when Casey Opitz reached on an error. Opitz appeared to be shaken up on the play and was replaced by Dylan Leach. Hogs took a 5-1 lead to the top of the fourth.
The Redhawks got to Lael Lockhart in the top of the fourth. SEMO got two hits and three walks in the inning to score two more runs. The Hogs now had a 5-3 lead.
Lockhard exited after 3.2 innings. He allowed three hits, a trio of runs, all earned, three walks and five strikeouts. He threw 77 pitches with only 47 being strikes. Caden Monke replaced him, but walked both hitters he faced. Kevin Kopps came in for Monke and got the Hogs out of a bases loaded jam. Arkansas took a 5-3 lead into the bottom of the fourth.
After SEMO put together a threat in the top of the fourth, Arkansas answered with a big inning of its own in the bottom half. The Razorbacks scored six runs on six hits and one SEMO error to take an 11-3 lead. The Hogs sent 11 batters to the plate in the inning.
Robert Moore started the bottom of the fourth with a double. Christian Franklin reached on an error on the SEMO shortstop that allowed Moore to score. Matt Goodheart then hit a shot over the fence to also score Franklin. Wallace followed with a double which was followed by a Slavens double that plated Wallace. True freshman Ethan Bates then singled to right field to score Slavens. Battles then doubled to score Leach, who had reached on a walk.
SEMO first baseman Austin Blazevic hit a solo home run off of Kopps to start the fifth. The Hogs still were in control though.
The Hogs will be at Baum-Walker Stadium again next weekend. They will host Murray State on Friday at 3 p.m., Saturday at 2 p.m. and then at 1 p.m. on Sunday. Murray State is 4-3, but will play a midweek game at Arkansas State on Tuesday. They have beaten Middle Tennessee once and Purdue Fort Wayne three times. The losses were two to Lipscomb and one to Purdue Fort Wayne.
Kopps got the win and Austin Williams took the loss. Arkansas is now 7-0 and could be ranked No. 1 in the new polls that come out this week.