FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. – No. 9 Arkansas played its quickest game of the season behind an outstanding effort on the mound from Chris Rhoads, Dallas Keuchel, Brian McLelland and Travis Hill in a 2-0 win over Missouri State on Wednesday night in front of 1,273 at Baum Stadium.
The Bears managed just four hits on the night with two coming on bunt base hits. The Razorbacks’ pitching staff issued just one walk all night while striking out 11. The game lasted just 2 hours and 9 minutes.
Rhoads (3-0) earned the win for the Hogs in his first start of the season. He allowed just two hits over three innings of work with three strikeouts and no walk. Dallas Keuchel then came on to throw two innings, allowing just one hit with two strikeouts.
It was the second shutout of the season for Arkansas and tied for the fewest hits allowed with both marks coming in a 4-0 win over Kansas on March 10 at Baum Stadium.
The Razorbacks improve to 26-10 on the season while the Bears fall to 19-14. Arkansas entertains 17th-ranked Florida for a three-game set at Baum Stadium this weekend beginning at 7:05 p.m. Friday.
The Hogs retired 14 straight Missouri State hitters before a two-out, two-strike single in the top of the ninth inning. The stretch began in the top of the fifth inning with Keuchel in the game and continued through two perfect innings by McLelland and the first five outs from Hill.
McLelland fanned four of the six batters he faced while Hill notched two strikeouts in seven batters. Hill earned his second save of the year.
Tim Smalling led the way at the plate for the Razorbacks with two of their four hits. Casey Coon supplied the only RBI hit of the with a two-out single to left scoring Jeff Nutt in the sixth inning. Jake Dugger drove in his 17th run of the season to get the scoring started in the third inning with a ground ball to second base.
Tim Clubb (4-1) suffered the loss in a quality outing, allowing just the two runs on the four hits with a walk and three strikeouts.