Arkansas Cruises Past Eastern Illinois 17-3; C
BY ANDRES FOCIL
FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. – After trailing early in the game, the Arkansas Razorbacks exploded for 11 runs in the bottom of the first inning while holding Eastern Illinois scoreless the rest of the way en route to a 17-3 victory over the Panthers Saturday afternoon.
Arkansas (3-0) will go for the series sweep as the teams meet Sunday at 1 p.m. in the weekend finale.
The Razorbacks struggled early as EIU (0-2) used a two-run home run and a solo blast to take a 3-0 lead off starter Scott Roehl in top of the first inning.
But, Arkansas quickly erased the deficit in the bottom half of the inning. The first eight batters of the inning reached base and scored before the Panthers were able to record the first out of the inning.
Haas Pratt tallied the first runs of the day with a two-run double to left that plated Kirk McConnell (walk) and Scott Bridges (double). Andrew Wishy was then hit by a pitch and Chris Williams walked to load the bases for Ryan Fox.
Fox gave the Hogs a 4-3 the lead with single to center that scored Pratt and Wishy. Clay Goodwin, in his first action of the season, doubled to right to bring in Williams and Fox and push the Arkansas lead to 6-3.
Scott Hode picked up an RBI with ground out to second to make it a 7-3 game. Batting for the second time in the inning, McConnell drove in Goodwin with single up the middle and later scored on a bases loaded single by Williams. Bridges and Pratt also scored on the single to give the Hogs an 11-3 lead.
The 11 runs were the most scored in an inning by the Razorbacks since scoring 10 in the fourth inning against Auburn on May 17, last season.
Arkansas added a run in the second inning on a sacrifice fly by Bridges that plated Pitts for a 12-3 advantage. The Razorbacks continued the outburst with a pair of runs in the third inning as Fox doubled home Wishy (double) and Goodwin knocked in Fox on a fielder’s choice.
Goodwin drove in his career-best fourth run of the day in the fifth inning with a double to right that scored Fox (walk). Goodwin later scored on a single to left by Brett Hagedorn. Jason Pyle capped the scoring for the Razorbacks with an RBI single in the eighth that plated Matt Yost (single).
After picking up three runs on two hits in the first, Eastern Illinois was held scoreless the final eight innings and limited to just six hits. Roehl went 3.0 innings, giving up three runs, all earned, on three hits with three strikeouts. Kyler Pomeroy (1-0) picked up the win after allowing just two hits and striking out five in 3.0 innings of work.
Josh Merryman, John Findley and Fox pitched an inning each as the Razorbacks recorded their ninth straight win over Eastern Illinois. Fox’s appearance in the ninth inning marked is collegiate debut on the mound.
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