FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. – The No. 3 Arkansas Baseball team brought the offense Saturday in game two against Bucknell and didn’t let up. The Hogs nearly scored a school record for runs in a game as they throttled the Bison, 32-4, at Baum Stadium, winning the series.
The program record for runs scored in a game by an Arkansas team is 33 set in 1984 against Southwest Baptist and the Hogs fell just one run short of tying the record on Saturday. With the help of 22 hits, six home runs and four innings of five or more runs, Arkansas’ starting pitcher Isaiah Campbell was able to relax through his four innings of work.
Campbell, who was making his first appearance since being shut down with an injury in the second week of the 2017 season, pitched well over four frames, allowing just three hits, one earned run and two walks. He also tallied seven strikeouts, which was a career high.
At the plate, freshman Casey Martin had a breakout day, going 4-for-6 with five RBIs and three runs scored, leading all hitters. He also hit one of Arkansas’ six home runs in the game as he blasted his first round-tripper well into the Hog Pen in left field in the sixth inning to bring three runs in. Dominic Fletcher, Grant Koch, Luke Bonfield, Carson Shaddy, and Jared Gates each hit a home run in the game as well. For Shaddy, it was his second in as many days.
Moments That Mattered
Coming off his injury a year ago, Campbell hoped to have a strong first outing on the mound, but struggled in the first inning when he allowed a lead-off walk, threw a wild pitch, and then gave up an RBI double, giving Bucknell the early lead. However, he was able to settle down nicely to retire nine of the next 10 batters he faced, striking out six during that span.
After Campbell got things under control, Arkansas’ offense went to work starting with a three-run home run by Bonfield in the first inning to take the lead right back. Then, in the second inning, Arkansas plated six more runs, five off the homers from Shaddy, Fletcher, and Koch to take a 9-1 lead.
The Razorbacks biggest inning came in the third as they scored seven times, but only needed two hits to do it. Bucknell’s pitching staff struggled mightily with control in the third as they allowed six walks and the Razorbacks took advantage, scoring on a fielder’s choice, a bases-loaded walk, a two-RBI single by Heston Kjerstad and a three-RBI double by Shaddy.
It’s been a banner weekend so far for Shaddy with still one game to go. Through the first two games, the redshirt senior is 3-for-4 with two home runs, eight RBIs, four walks, and three runs scored. The eight RBIs leads all Razorbacks and the four walks ties him for the team lead with Eric Cole and Grant Koch.
Back on the mound, Evan Lee, Cody Scroggins, Zebulon Vermillion, Hunter Milligan, and Jacob Kostyshock all followed Campbell with each working one inning. Scroggins, Milligan, and Kostyshock each threw perfect frames, while Lee and Vermillion gave up three of Bucknell’s four runs.
“It was good to see Isaiah (Campbell) bounce back after that first inning. He did a good job getting out of that inning. You could tell he was uncomfortable. I think he was a little bit nervous. He threw extremely well the next three innings. We needed to see that and he needed to see that. Once he got over the hump, he did what he does and they have a hard time hitting him.” – Head coach Dave Van Horn on Isaiah Campbell’s first start back after injury
“What I liked about the offense today was the same thing as yesterday; we didn’t go out of the zone a whole lot. They made their (Bucknell’s) starting pitchers throw a lot of pitches. We waited until we got a good pitch to hit or two strikes before we went after anything. It was just a good job of taking the walks.” – Head coach Dave Van Horn on his offense’s performance
“You never know how many runs you’re going to score. You don’t want to run it up on anybody. They were probably trying to save some guys for Sunday’s game. When our starters did well, we brought in other guys. Those guys want to make an impression and do well. It’s one thing we have and that’s competition. There’s competition to play, competition to pitch and it’s healthy for our team. I know we’re capable of scoring runs. I made that comment in the fall. We predicted we’d have some days where we scored 15 or 16 runs, but you can’t predict something like that.” – Head coach Dave Van Horn on the large offensive output
“I’m not going to lie, I was really nervous. I haven’t thrown in a game in a full year. Getting back in front of the crowd, I had my nerves, but after that first batter, I settled in and was good after that.” – Isaiah Campbell on his first start coming off the injury
“I think this showed the work we’ve put in. Our approaches were really solid today. Nothing against Bucknell’s pitchers. They had to come out and endure some long innings. We’ve been there. I think we were just locked in today and prepared to get a win.” – Carson Shaddy on the offense’s showing
The Razorbacks will meet Bucknell on Sunday for the series finale at Baum Stadium. First pitch is slated for 12:02 p.m. and will be televised on SEC Network+.
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