FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. – No. 10 Arkansas completed the three-game sweep of Cal State Northridge with an 8-6 win on Sunday afternoon in front of 6,215 fans at Baum Stadium.
The win improves the Razorbacks to 16-1 headed into the opening weekend of conference action at Florida on March 17-19. The sweep marks the first time this season Northridge has been swept and drops its record to 9-13 on the season.
Arkansas is now 40-2 in non-conference games over the past two seasons, including a 19-0 record at Baum Stadium. The Razorbacks have also won 21-straight non-conference home games dating back to April 13, 2004.
Clint Arnold produced the Hogs’ first four-hit game of the season in his first start of the weekend series. The Hogs’ last four-hit game was by Craig Gentry on May 13, 2005 at Alabama.
Gentry went 2 for 4 at the top of the Razorbacks’ lineup on Sunday and jump started the offense with two stolen bases.
Brian McLelland (2-0) earned the win out of the bullpen with 3.2 innings of work. He relieved an ineffective Lee Land, who replaced starter Chris Rhoads, and allowed a two-run home run in one inning of work. McLelland surrendered two runs on two hits and struck out two before leaving in the eighth inning.
Devin Collis retired the final CSUN batter of the eighth inning and got the first two outs in the ninth before Daryl Maday came on to face right-handed pinch-hitter Alex Bardeguez for his fourth save of the season.
Northridge starting pitcher Bobby Paschal (0-1) took the loss, allowing eight runs – six earned – on seven hits in 4.1 innings of work. He walked five and struck out three.
Arkansas took advantage of three Northridge errors in the first inning to jump out to a 4-0 lead. The inning was highlighted by a RBI single by Arnold and a sacrifice fly off the bat of Jake Dugger.
Matt Willard extended the lead to 5-0 in the second inning with a solo home run to left field. It was the first home run of the redshirt freshman’s career.
Northridge plated its first run with a RBI single by Brett Blumenthal in the top of the third inning. The Matadors chased UA starter Chris Rhoads from the game and scored their second run on a safety-squeeze bunt by catcher Steve Lemmon in the fourth inning.
Reliever Lee Land recorded two outs before surrendering a three-run home run to Johnny Coit to narrow the Hogs’ lead to 5-4.
Blake Parker gave the Razorbacks a three-run cushion in the bottom of the fifth inning with a base-clearing three-RBI double into the left-center field gap.
CSUN reliever Jimmy Brettl relived Paschal after Paschal had given up singles to James Ewing and Clint Arnold and walked Dugger to load the bases. Parker then laced a 1-2 off-speed pitch from Brettl into the gap to give the Hogs an 8-4 lead through five innings.
Jorge Andrade, Jr. pulled the Matadors within two runs at 8-6 with an eighth-inning, two-run home run to left field.