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Bill’s Blog: This is baseball

BY ANDRES FOCIL
Bill’s Blog: This is baseball

4:02 p.m. — For baseball, the final game of the series with Ball State starts at 1:05 p.m. No television, but the game will stream live with video or audio from RazorVision at ArkansasRazorbacks.com. Remember, Razorback women’s basketball hosts Senior Day tomorrow also, a 2 p.m. start with Alabama. The game is also the Pink Zone event to raise awareness for breast cancer and funds for the Ozark affiliate of the Susan B. Koman Foundation.4:02 p.m. — No blog tomorrow as we have the special Pink Zone game for women’s basketball. Full game blogs for the Razorback baseball team begin with SEC action, but you can get inning-by-inning score updates via our official Twitter feed, @ArkRazorbacks, before we hit league action.4:01 p.m. — That’s a wrap here at Baum Stadium. Morgan Coombs gets the win with five innings of relief of the BSU starter Cal Bowling. Arkansas’ Geoffrey Davenport gets the loss.

3:54 p.m. — Coombs looks to close it out for BSU. Zack Cox leads off the bottom of the ninth. He grounds out 4-3. Hauskey is the last chance. He works a tiring Coombs to a full count, but goes down swinging.

3:46 p.m. — An error by McKinney puts pinch hitter Ryan Chenoweth on first for BSU with two outs. Cards get one more on before McKinney can redeem himself with a fly-out to end the inning.

3:43 p.m. — Into the ninth. The third President? Richard Nixon for the 1969 football "Game of the Century" with Texas. As a couple of media point out here in the Baum press box, if you count then House of Representatives member George H.W. Bush, there were four. Bush 41 eventually did see the Razorbacks in person as President, but it was at Miss State.

3:41 p.m. — Infield hit almost leads to a DP for BSU, but a high throw to first allows McKinney to reach. Runners on the corners, and BSU pitches out — behind Tim Carver. He flies out foul to the Cardinal first baseman to strand two.

3:37 p.m. — Cardinal shortstop T.J. Baumet extends, but can’t reach Kuhn’s shot into the gap. Travis Sample is another pinch hitter for Hogs. Coombs goes inside on Sample twice, and puts himself in a 3-0 hole trying to find the outside corner. He gets the courtesy strike before Sample takes a big swing to bring the count full. Check swing will being the tying run to the plate in McKinney. Derrick Bleeker will pinch run at first for Sample.

3:35 p.m. — McCann goes down to open the 8th, with Coach Dave Van Horn sending a pinch hitter in Collin Kuhn to the plate.

3:34 p.m. — The press box consensus is three heads of state. Martinelli today is the first foreign head of state, joining two U.S. Presidential visits. Of course, Arkansas native Bill Clinton had his share of basketball visits, notably during the 1994 National Championship season.

3:34 p.m. — Attendance today is 8,004.

3:26 p.m. — Heatley delivers his first pitch to Claypool. The third baseman gets behind in the count, 1-2, but reaches first to put Cardinals on first and second. Blake Beemer steps in as pinch hitter with two out, two on. He gets to the 2-2 count, and the crowd reacts loudly to a 3-2 call. Heatley settles, and brings it hard to challenge Beemer and get the final out. BSU gets two, but no more, 5-2.

3:22 p.m. — While we wait for the warm-up pitches, we wonder out loud — how many heads of state have attended Razorback sporting events in Fayetteville?

3:19 p.m. — Dygert takes a 0-1 pitch right out of the park and into the Hog Pen, scoring Vitek, and taking the BSU lead to 5-2. The no-out homer by Baxendale, brings some activity in the Razorback bullpen. DJ walks Matt Reynolds of Ball State, and Jeremy Heatley heads in from the Razorback bullpen to replace Baxendale.

3:16 p.m. — Line score as we hit the eighth; BSU, 3 runs, 7 hits, 0 errors; UA, 2 runs, 7 hits, 2 errors.

3:13 p.m. — Coombs walks it full with two outs to face Eibner. Gets ahead of the Razorback centerfielder, 0-2, then pulls the string back to have Eibner go down swinging. Hogs strand three.

3:07 p.m. — McKinney steps up to start the 7th and tears one on a bounce to the home bullpen for a stand-up double. Carver and Cox outs threatenh to leave him stranded. Wilkins earns the intentional walk, and Tom Hauskey comes in as a pinch hitter. BSU coach walks out to the mound to confer with Coombs. No activity in the Cardinal bullpen.

3:00 p.m. — Time for the seventh inning stretch. Drizzle has stopped.

2:57 p.m. — Baxendale is on to start the 7th, getting the first two Cardinals quickly. Franchetti gets one deep in the hole, Carver turns on it but one-hops to Wilkins. He can’t quite scoop it out so error to Carver and the BSU catcher is on board with two out in the seventh. The BSU lead-off, shortstop TJ Baumet, gets on, but Campbell grounds out into a 3-1 out to end the inning with no further damage.

2:47 p.m. — Kreder leads off the sixth with a hit, then steals second. Eibner is patient with Coombs, and takes the walk. Brings McCann up with two on, no outs. He executes the near-perfect sac bunt — almost gets on himself — to advance the runners. Vinson steps up, and Coombs sends it past his catcher, Franchetti, to allow Kreder to rush the plate. Ump says he’s safe, and the Hogs now have the tying run at third with Eibner. Coombs composes himself after the passed ball to end the inning.

2:45 p.m. — It wouldn’t be opening day weekend without some really unusual scoring questions, like does Wilkins get an error for his part in the exchange that allowed BSU’s third run.

2:35 p.m. — Baxendale lets Vitek get aboard, but catches the Ball State second baseman off first. Looks like an easy play in the run down, but the ball gets hurled into the dirt at short range by Wilkins. Nielson brings him home for Ball State’s third run. He’ll work his way out with a called strike, but gives up one run.

2:26 p.m. — Morgan Coombs now in for the Cardinals to pitch as we hit the bottom of fifth. He gets the Hogs in order. The light drizzle begins to pick up and becomes heavy enough for some fans to head out. Most of the fans just pull up their hoodies and break out the jackets.

2:20 p.m. — Davenport is done now for the day with 65 pitches. D.J. Baxendale takes over here in the top of the fifth. He makes quick work of the Cardinals in order.

2:15 p.m. — Eibner’s infield fly opesn the fourth, but McCann rips one just fair down the third base side for a stand-up double. Vinson strikes out to bring up Matt Reynolds, who flies out to finish the inning.

2:11 p.m. — Into the top of the fourth, and Davenport dispatches the first two Cardinals — Benbow and Claypool — quickly. Sends down Elliott with the K, and it’s 3-up, 3-down.

2:01 p.m. — Tim Carver gets aboard after McKinney’s opening flyout. BSU’s Bowling gets Zack Cox, but Andy Wilkins steps up with a first-pitch shot to right to move Carver over to third. Wilkins gives Bowling a ride toward the left field fans, but the wind blowing in robs him of a homer. BSU escapes with no damage to hold its 2-1 lead into the fourth.

1:56 p.m. — Davenport gets ahead 2-0 on Nielsen. The BSU first baseman takes his third pitch into the right field stands, a nice hat grab by a fan on the foul. Davenport cuffs his second batter, and Nielson’s dribbler comes right back to the pitcher, he fires over to Wilkins at first and the inning is over without damage.

1:47 p.m. — Campbell picks up a single for the Cardinals to put two aboard for Ball State. Geoffrey Davenport, the Hogs’ left-handed sophomore, finds himself in a bind. He works the Cardinal DH, Dygert, to a full count. Huge break by BSU from second, Dygert fouls it off — fortunate as the Hogs likely lose a run — and everyone resets. Davenport goes twice to first to keep Campbell close, brings it home, another foul. Dygert misjudges the next pitch, finds himself in no-man’s land — can’t come all the way around, can’t pull back — ends up looping an easy out to second. Davenport gets one out closer to escaping the inning.

1:43 p.m. — Reynolds steps in with two outs and McCann still waiting. He works the count full, battles on a foul or two, then takes a called third strike. One run, one hit, one left — Ball State still up 2-1.

1:38 p.m. — McCann rips it down the first-base line to bring Eibner home for the first Razorback run of the day. Vinson now up with one out and McCann standing at first.

1:36 p.m. — Kreider earns the walk to start the second for Arkansas; Brett Eibner steps to the plate. He rips the first pitch at the BSU shortstop, who gets a reverse glove on it to save the base hit. Eibner will reach on the fielder’s choice as the force of his hit helps prevent the DP.

1:33 p.m. — Nothing for BSU in the top of the second, still 2-0 Ball State. RBI Girls head to the top of the dugouts for their first performance of the day.

1:29 p.m. — I’ll have a raw video file shortly of today’s pregame events, with RazorVision putting together a feature version later this weekend.

1:21 p.m. — Andy Wilkins comes to the plate with two outs and one on second, can’t bring McKinney home, BSU holds its 2-0 lead after one.

1:10 p.m. — We are a little late getting started with the pitch and anthems, and Ball State takes quick advantage. The Cardinals plate a pair of runners of two hits — one might have been an error to start things off. That’s two runs in one half inning, equalling their total output from yesterday’s 10-2 loss.

1:07 p.m. — While it might have been several years — he’s a 1973 graduate of the University of Arkansas — Martinelli’s Hog Call is still in fine form as he joins UA Chancellor Dr. G. David Gearhart and UA director of athletics Jeff Long and the Razorback baseball team in the pregame Hog Call.

1:05 p.m. — President Martinelli’s first pitch is in the grass, but he’ll get another shot. This one makes it to the catcher, and Martinelli is so obviously excited to be back.

1:03 p.m. — Former Miss Arkansas 2007, Allison Waldrip, performs the U.S. national anthem.

12:58 p.m. — And now, the Republic of Panama’s national anthem. A first for the Razorbacks. Flying in centerfield along with the American flag is the Panamanian flag.

12:50 p.m. — President Martinelli is obviously enjoying the chance to be with the Razorbacks in front of the home dugout as he warms up for the first pitch. His control on his pitch, well, he’s a distinguished head of state.

12:30 p.m. — Crowd working its way in and the dignitaries are starting to mass for today’s big events.

12:00 p.m. — Lots of excitement today as Ricardo Martinelli Berrocal, the president of the Republic of Panama, will be at the game today to throw out our first pitch. He was elected as president of Panama in 2009.



Sports Category : Baseball