FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. – Casey Coon crushed a first-inning grand slam and No. 7 Arkansas never looked back in a 10-2 win over No. 10 Wichita State on Wednesday evening in front 7,537 fans at Baum Stadium.
Coon busted out of a 0-for-9 slump with his blast as the Razorbacks jumped out to a 4-0 lead. It was Coon’s first home run since March 21 at Centenary and the junior-college transfers first at Baum Stadium.
It was the third straight win for the Razorbacks who improve to 33-11 on the season entering this weekend’s tussle at Auburn. UA is now 3-1 against top-10 teams this season. The Shockers drop to 34-11 with their second loss in as many nights.
Coon finished 2 for 5 at the plate and increased his team-leading RBI total to 51. Ben Tschepikow and Matt Willard also chipped in with two hits each as the Hogs collected 11 as a team.
Willard led off the second inning with a double down the right field line and was chased home by Tschepikow’s double into the left-center field gap as the Razorbacks opened up a 5-0 lead.
The Shockers came right back with an unearned run in the top of the third inning when Coon misplayed Andy Dirks double to left allowing Damon Sublett to score. Evan Cox came on in relief of Keuchel with two outs in the inning and got Danny Jackson to fly out to center field.
Keuchel pitched 2.2 innings to earn his fifth win of the season and improve to 5-2. He gave up two hits and one unearned run with a walk and two strikeouts. Cox worked 1.1 innings, giving up one run on two hits with three strikeouts.
Stephen Richards and Chris Rhoads both threw two-scoreless innings before Travis Hill closed things out with two strikeouts in a perfect ninth inning. The UA pitching staff held the Shockers to five hits on the night while fanning nine and issuing just one walk.
WSU starter Max Hutson took the loss to fall to 0-2 on the season. He surrendered five runs – four earned – on four hits in 1.1 innings.
The Hogs tacked on three more runs in the bottom of the fourth inning with a little help from Wichita State second baseman Damon Sublett who dropped a pop up in short right field. Two walks by Anthony Capra to lead off the inning scored on the play and Wayne Hrozek followed with a RBI single up the middle to make it 8-1.
Jake Dugger’s diving attempt on sinking line drive to center field led to a run for the Shockers in the top of the fifth inning. Dusty Coleman followed with a RBI single to right field to make it 8-2 that ended the night for Cox.
A hit by pitch, single and an RBI groundout led to Arkansas’ ninth run of the game in the bottom half of the fourth. Willard was plunked – the 80th hit by pitch of the season for the Hogs – and Sean Jones then executed the hit and run to perfection, slapping a single through the hole at shortstop who was covering second base. Tschepikow hit a slow roller to second base that scored Willard and gave UA a 9-2 lead.
Jeff Nutt ripped a two-out RBI single in the bottom of the seventh to take a 10-2 lead.