TULSA, Okla. – Freshman Zack Cox had the first four hit game of his young career on Tuesday night to lead the No. 7 Arkansas Razorback baseball team to a 9-6 victory over Oral Roberts University in Tulsa, Okla., on Tuesday night.
The Razorbacks (27-11) rode a six run second inning to the win defeating Oral Roberts (21-10) for the first time this season at its home stadium where it had been 13-0 entering the day.
For the fourth straight game the Razorbacks put the first run on the scoreboard as they pushed one across the plate in the top of the second. A one-out walk to Andrew Darr would come back to bite the Golden Eagles as a double by Cox and single off the pitcher’s glove by James McCann brought Darr around to score.
In the third the Razorbacks were on fire as they sent nine men to the plate and scored six runs. The six run inning showcased four Razorback hits including a two-out three-run home run by Brett Eibner. The big inning for Arkansas was the most runs it has scored in a single inning since March 27 when it tallied six and seven runs in separate innings against Mississippi State.
Arkansas’ third began with a single by Chase Leavitt who then stole second and scored on a Scott Lyons single. Ben Tschepikow would also hit a one bagger to put two runners on and a fly out and hit batter later, opened the door for Cox who stroked a two RBI double. Eibner’s big fly followed and the Razorbacks would hold a commanding lead.
Undeterred by the Razorbacks’ big inning, Oral Roberts came back with a pair of runs on three-consecutive hits in the bottom of the third. A two-run home run in the fourth would make it a 7-4 game and give the Oral Roberts fans in attendance something to cheer about. A season best crowd of 2,387 fans were at J.L. Johnson Stadium on Tuesday night although many were wearing the cardinal and white of the Razorbacks.
Arkansas would tack on a pair of runs for good measure in the top of the ninth when an error by the Oral Roberts shortstop allowed the first run to score from second base. Cox’s fourth hit, a single through the left side scored Arkansas’ ninth run of the night.
On the mound, Drew Smyly got the start for the Razorbacks and faced the minimum through the opening two innings thanks to a pick off at first and a double play ground ball. He would go four innings in total and give up four runs on seven hits leaving the Razorbacks in good position. Sophomore Sam Murphy would come in to pitch the fifth and after a leadoff single, he also worked a double play into the equation and retired the next four batters before a pair of hits and another Arkansas double play allowed ORU to score its fifth run of the contest. Murphy would end his night after a home run to lead off the bottom of the ninth made it a 9-6 game. The righty threw four innings for the win and allowed two runs on four hits while striking out five. Stephen Richards closed the door to earn his seventh save.
The Razorbacks are back on the road for a weekend series with SEC opponent, Tennessee, beginning on Friday evening in Knoxville, Tenn. For more information regarding Razorback baseball or University of Arkansas athletics please visit ArkansasRazorbacks.com.