FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. – Arkansas posted is second-straight come-from-behind victory to open the 2008 baseball season on Saturday with a 5-4 triumph over Wright State in front of 1,742 at Baum Stadium.
Dave Van Horn’s Razorbacks (2-0) fell by behind by three runs on two separate occasions, but rallied in the fifth and sixth innings as the bullpen locked down the win.
The Hogs’ bullpen was outstanding again on Saturday, working 6.2 innings and surrendering just two hits and one unearned run. Junior transfer Cliff Springston (1-0) earned the win with 3.2 innings in relief of starter Shaun Seibert. Springston fanned six while allowing just one hit and one unearned run.
“I think our bullpen did a great job today,” Van Horn said. “Shaun [Seibert] was disappointed with his performance, but he’ll do better next time.”
Seibert, who made his first start since Tommy John surgery ended his 2007 season on March 22, pitched well over the first two innings but ran into trouble in the third. Seibert surrendered three runs on three hits with two walks.
Aaron Murphree put the Razorbacks ahead on the scoreboard for good in the sixth inning with a two-run, opposite-field home run just to the left of Wright State bullpen. Murphree’s four RBI through two games is tied for the team high.
Freshman Andy Wilkins continued his torrid pace at the plate, going 3 for 3 with an RBI and a walk. He is hitting .667 through the first two games of his Arkansas career.
“[Andy] Wilkins had a great day today, as did many of the other freshmen,” Van Horn said. “Don’t be surprised to see those young guys every day later on in the season.”
The Raiders opened up a 3-0 lead in the third inning with an RBI single off the bat of RJ Gundolff and a two-RBI double by Justin Parker.
UA got on the scoreboard in the bottom of the fourth inning when Murphree grounded into a no-out, bases-loaded double play that scored Casey Coon.
Three errors in the top of the fifth inning pushed the Raiders lead back to three runs at 4-1 on Jeff Mercer’s RBI single.
Arkansas cut the lead to one run in the bottom of the fifth inning with a little help from Wright State. With runners on second and third base and two out, Coon lifted a fly ball to left field that was dropped Ross Vagedes. The error allowed one run to score and brought Wilkins to the plate, who promptly delivered a RBI single through the right side of the infield.
Sophomore junior-college transfer Mike Bolsinger came on for Springston in the seventh inning and allowed just one hit in 1.1 innings with a strikeout.
Travis Hill faced the minimum over the final 1.2 innings to earn his first save of the season with three strikeouts.
The Razorbacks’ bullpen has been almost unhittable over the first two games with a 0.00 ERA in 14.1 innings and a .083.
Arkansas will go for the sweep on Sunday at 12:05 from Baum Stadium with true freshman Kendall Korbal starting on the mound.
Download: Wright State – 2.23 – AR02.pdf