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2
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Courtesy: Walt Beazley
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Pitchers, Ficociello lead Arkansas to win

03/13/2012
Chad Crunk, Athletic Media Relations
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FAYETTEVILLE – Five Arkansas pitchers combined for the team’s second straight shutout, while Dominic Ficociello hit his second home run of the season as the No. 4 Razorbacks defeated Gonzaga 1-0 on Tuesday night at Baum Stadium.

Arkansas won its fifth-straight game and improved to 15-2 on the season, while Gonzaga dropped to 10-4 with the loss.

The Arkansas pitching staff continued its strong pitching, posting its second straight shutout, third in the last four games and fourth of the season. The last time the Razorbacks turned in back-to-back shutouts was in 2007 when Arkansas blanked Alabama on May 23 and South Carolina on May 24 of the 2007 season. Dating back to the second game of the Binghamton series, Arkansas has thrown 22.1 consecutive scoreless innings.

Colby Suggs earned the win on the mound for Arkansas, improving his record to 1-0. Suggs worked a scoreless inning in relief, striking out one.

Barrett Astin finished off the win, recording his fourth save of the season. Astin struck out one in 1.2 hitless innings. With his performance tonight, Astin has thrown 14.2 scoreless innings this season and allowed just two hits.

Chris Oliver made his first career start for the Razorbacks and pitched well, throwing 3.2 scoreless innings and striking out two. Cade Lynch and Ty Wright also pitched in relief for Arkansas. Lynch struck out one and gave up a hit in 2.1 innings, while Wright pitched 0.1 of an inning, striking out one.

Gonzaga starter Billy Moon went the distance, but took the loss to drop to 1-1 on the season. Moon allowed just one run on three hits and struck out two in his eight innings.

Ficociello was the offensive star of the night for Arkansas, providing two of the team’s three hits, including the game-winning home run in the bottom of the seventh. The homer for Ficociello was his second of the season. Jacob Morris also had a hit and drew a walk for the Razorbacks. Tim Carver saw his 13-game hitting streak come to an end, finishing the game 0-for-4.

Travis Forbes and Marco Gonzales had two hits to lead the Bulldogs at the plate. Royce Bolinger and Eric Lane also had one hit each.

Gonzaga had the best scoring chance of the early innings, loading the bases in the top of the fourth with two out. However, Cade Lynch was able to get out of trouble as he got Andy Hunter to fly out to center field to end the threat.

Arkansas had its first good scoring chance in the bottom of the fifth. Sam Bates reached on a leadoff walk. Bates then stole second and moved to third when the catcher’s throw to second was low and got away. However, the Razorbacks were unable to bring Bates home as Gonzaga kept the game scoreless.

The Razorbacks broke the scoreless deadlock with a run in the bottom of the seventh when Ficociello sent a 2-1 pitch into the right field bullpen for a leadoff home run, his second homer of the season.

Gonzaga would get its last base runner of the game with one out in the eighth inning. However, Astin came in and worked out of trouble, retiring the next two batters in the eighth and then sitting down the Bulldogs in order in the ninth.

Arkansas and Gonzaga close the two-game midweek series on Wednesday at 3:05 p.m. The Razorbacks will start redshirt junior Trent Daniel (0-0, 13.50), while the Bulldogs have not announced a starter for the finale.

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