Arkansas Tops Creighton 9-5; Fox and Pratt Go
BY ANDRES FOCIL
FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. – Ryan Fox and Haas Pratt each hit solo home runs and starting pitcher Jarrett Gardner was perfect through five innings as the Arkansas Razorbacks opened the 2003 season with a 9-5 victory over Creighton Tuesday afternoon at Baum Stadium.
Arkansas (1-0) got a strong performance from Gardner who retired the first 15 batters in the game before giving up a leadoff single in the top of the sixth. Gardner (1-0) left the game in the sixth after surrendering two runs on three hits. He did not allow a walk and fanned three in earning the victory.
The victory also marked the first as a Razorbacks for head coach Dave Van Horn.
The Razorbacks jumped on the scoreboard early when Scott Bridges doubled to left to score Chris Williams who walked to begin the inning. Arkansas tallied another run in the second when Fox hit a solo blast over the bullpen in left for his 15th career home run.
Arkansas chased Creighton starter Tom Oldham (0-1) in the third inning. Pratt walked and moved to third on a double by Judd Kindle. Designated hitter Jason Pyle brought both runners home with a double to left to give the Hogs a 4-0 lead.
Fox was then hit by a pitch to put runners on first and second. Brett Hagedorn doubled to left-center to score Pyle and Fox and push the Razorback lead to 6-0.
Arkansas added a run in the fourth on Pratt’s solo home run to centerfield to give the Hogs a 7-0 advantage.
After the Bluejays scored twice in the sixth to cut the deficit to 7-2, the Razorbacks plated a run in the bottom half of the inning. Williams singled to begin the inning and moved to second on a bunt single by Bridges. Andrew Wishy walked to load the bases with one out. Brady Toops grounded out to first to bring home Williams and increase the lead to 8-2.
Creighton made it an 8-3 game in the seventh on a solo home run by Ryan Fitzgerald.
Wishy pushed the lead to 9-3 in eighth with a sacrifice fly to left that scored Bridges who tripled to leadoff the inning.
Creighton scratched out two runs in the ninth off reliever Caton Hall for the final 9-5 score.
Arkansas returns to action when it hosts Eastern Illinois this Friday at 2 p.m. in the first game of a three-game series at Baum Stadium.
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