FAYETTEVILLE – The No. 9 University of Arkansas baseball team scored a school-record 14 runs in the first inning on its way to a 32-8 win over Saint Louis Wednesday evening at Baum Stadium in a seven-inning game. The Razorbacks’ run total in the game is the program’s highest since scoring 28 runs against Wisconsin-Milwaukee in 2007. Bo Bigham tied his career high with four RBI and led the offensive charge with a 4-for-7 night at the plate.
In the record-setting first, Arkansas (23-6) sent 18 hitters to the plate with the first 12 reaching base before the first out was recorded. Bigham and Travis Sample each had three RBI during the scoring barrage. The Hogs tallied 11 hits in the first, including five doubles. Prior to Wednesday’s game, Arkansas had scored 12 runs in an inning on two occasions-April 20, 1993 against Oral Roberts (sixth inning) and March 8, 2008 against Siena (seventh).
The Razorbacks also tied a program record with 30 combined RBI. Bigham and Tim Carver each drove in four runs. The four RBI also tie Carver’s career high. Sample, Monk Kreder and Matt Vinson all tallied three RBI against the Billikens. Kreder also scored a career-high four runs and extended his hitting streak to 11 games.
Arkansas’ first-inning streak came without benefit of a home run. Carver drove in the final run of the frame with a one-out double to left field. Saint Louis (15-15) used three pitchers in the opening frame, including its starter Mike Schrader who was taken out of the game before recording an out. All told, the visitors used seven pitchers compared to Arkansas’ five. Randall Fant, on a limited pitch count, collected his second win of the season.
With a 14-1 lead after SLU scored a run in the top of the second, the Razorbacks tacked on three scores in their half of the second with the help of two home runs. Collin Kuhn led off the inning with his seventh home run of the season, a solo shot to left field. Brett Eibner added a two-run homer later in the inning, his eighth long ball of the year.
Bigham hit his first home run of the year, and second of his career, with two out in the third. Kreder had an RBI single in the frame and Carver hit a two-run double to push the Hogs’ lead to 21-1 after three innings. Vinson provided a big swing in the bottom of the fourth, a three-run blast to left, to take care of the team’s scoring in the frame.
Saint Louis put together a five-run inning in the fifth. Mike McKean drew a bases-loaded walk to push across the Billikens’ first run of the inning. One base hit, a walk and an infield error allowed SLU to plate four more runs in its biggest output of the game.
After scoring a pair of runs in the fifth, the Hogs padded their lead with six runs in the fifth. Derrick Bleeker, who picked up his first hit as a Razorback earlier in the game, had a two-run single to drive in the club’s last runs of the game.
Head coach Dave Van Horn turned to his bench early in Wednesday’s game. In addition to Bleeker, Kyle Atkins and Zac Russell came away with the first hits of their respective careers. Atkins finished the game 2-for-3 at the plate with two RBI and two runs scored. Russell singled in the Razorback sixth and eventually came around to score on a base hit by Atkins.
With their nine-game homestand complete, in which they posted an 8-1 record, the Razorbacks hit the road for a Southeastern Conference series at Mississippi State. The weekend series begins Friday at Polk-DeMent Stadium in Starkville with first pitch set for 6:30 p.m.