Shreveport, La. – The Arkansas Razorbacks equaled their best start in team history with a pair of wins at the Gent Classic Wednesday afternoon.
Arkansas improved to 18-2 overall, its best start since going 18-2 to open the 1996 season.
After a game one win, the Hogs beat Louisiana Tech 19-7 in the second game of the day. The Bulldogs fell to 6-14-1 on the season.
Arkansas will now return to Baum Stadium to host the ninth-ranked Mississippi State Bulldogs. Game one of the series is set for 6:30 p.m. Friday in Fayetteville.
At the Gent Classic, Louisiana Tech jumped out to a 1-0 lead when Jody Wood took the first pitch of the game out of the park for a solo home run.
The Bulldogs made it 2-0 in the second inning when Ben Haddox doubled home Ryan Jackson. Still in the second, John Brandon then singled home Haddox for a 3-0 Louisiana Tech lead.
The Razorbacks took the lead with five runs in the bottom of the third inning. Judd Kindle doubled to begin the inning and scored on Scott Hode’s double to left. Nick Pitts then singled to plate Hode and make it a 3-2 deficit.
Following a walk to Haas Pratt, Andrew Wishy tripled to right to score two and give the Hogs a 4-3 lead. Ryan Fox gave the Razorbacks a 5-3 lead with a single to center that scored Wishy.
In the fourth inning, Haas Pratt doubled home Brett Hagedorn, who reached on a single, to push the lead to 6-3.
The Razorbacks increased their lead to 8-3 in the bottom of the fifth inning. After a pair of errors put Matt Yost and Judd Kindle at second and third, Hode doubled to left to plate both runners.
Arkansas broke the game open in the bottom of the sixth. The Hogs put up eight runs, highlighted by Pitts’ grand slam which gave the Razorbacks a 16-3 lead.
The Razorbacks plated three more runs in the seventh to take a 19-3 lead before Louisiana Tech ended their scoring drought with four runs in the top of the eighth to cut the deficit to 19-7.
Jon Richmond (1-0) earned his first win of the season after going three innings in relief. Richmond surrendered only two hits and did not allow a walk.
In game one, Arkansas rallied from a 7-1 deficit by scoring in four of the last six innings to come away with a 14-9 victory over the Centenary Gents.
Jimmy Mobbs (3-0) earned the win after pitching one and one-third innings of relief. Mobbs did not surrender a hit and struck out one. Caton Hall (1) notched his first save of the season after throwing two and one-third innings and allowing one run, earned, on three hits.
Patrick Rhodes (0-4) took the loss for Centenary after allowing nine runs, seven earned, on 12 hits in six and two-thirds innings.
The Razorbacks took a 1-0 lead in the top of the first inning on Andrew Wishy’s RBI double to left. Haas Pratt, who reached on a single through the left side, scored on the play to give the Hogs the lead.
The Gents answered the Razorbacks with a run in the bottom of the first to tie the game at 1-1. With one out, Patrick Beale hit a solo home run over the centerfield fence to event he score.
Centenary exploded in the bottom of the second inning to take a 7-1 lead. The Gents scored six runs on five hits and chased Arkansas starter John Findley. Beale knocked in his second and third runs of the game with a one-out double down the right field line.
Arkansas picked up a couple of runs in the top of the third on Clay Goodwin’s two-out double to left that plated Brett Hagedorn and Ryan Fox. Goodwin’s double extended his career-best hitting streak to 13 games and cut the deficit to 7-3.
The Razorbacks continued to chip away at the Centenary lead in the fourth inning. After Scott Hode reached on a booted ball the third baseman, Nick Pitts hit is third home run of the season to make it a 7-5 game. It was Pitts’ second home run in as many games.
Centenary made it an 8-5 game in the bottom of the fourth on a bloop double to right by Beale that plated his fourth RBI of the game.
The slugfest continued in the top of the fifth. Wishy doubled off the wall in left and came in to score on Fox’s home run down the left field line. It was Fox’s fifth home run of the season and made it an 8-7 game.
Arkansas regained the lead in the seventh. Jason Pyle doubled to begin the inning and scored on a double off the wall in right by Brady Toops to tie the game at 8-8. Hode then reached on an error and Pitts walked to load the bases.
Centenary pitcher Kevin Willborn then threw a wild pitch to plate Toops for the go ahead run. Hagedorn then reached on a ball that was booted by the shortstop that allowed Hode to score and give the Hogs a 10-8 lead.
The Razorbacks held off a Centenary scoring threat in the eighth. After Mobbs hit two batters and walked one to load the bases with two outs, Caton Hall came in and forced a fielder’s choice to end the inning and preserve the 10-8 lead.
Centenary made it a one-run game in the bottom of the eighth, but the Razorbacks put up four runs in the top of the ninth for the final 14-9 margin of victory.