FAYETTEVILLE – The Arkansas baseball team began its annual Cardinal-White series on Sunday afternoon with what started as a pitcher’s duel and ended with a solid 5-2 victory for the White team at Baum Stadium.
Junior Jeremy Heatley, the White squad’s starter, pitched six innings of four hit, two run baseball to pick up the win while his counterpart, junior Christian Kowalchuk was saddled with the loss after allowing four runs and seven hits over six innings.
“I thought things went well,” Arkansas head baseball coach Dave Van Horn said. “Both teams played well and I was pleased with the pitching. Kowalchuk looked tough against the left handers and that is what we were looking for.”
The White team wasted no time getting on the scoreboard in the top of the first inning against Kowalchuk. Freshman Jarrod McKinney opened the contest by roping a double to the left-center field gap. Moving to third on a wild pitch, McKinney would score the game’s first run on a ground out to the first baseman by senior Chase Leavitt.
The White team would add a second run in the top of the second, but the Cardinal team quickly cut the lead in half with a run of its own in the bottom half of the inning. Senior Ben Tschepikow stroked a one-out double to right-center and came around to score on a Brett Eibner bloop between the shortstop and left fielder.
Neither team would be able to push any runs across the plate in the middle innings. The White team threatened in the fifth by loading the bases with three consecutive singles with two outs, but left the runners stranded while Heatley was mowing down Cardinal hitters as he retired nine of 11 batters faced in that span.
Back-to-back leadoff walks in the top of the seventh both came around to score for the White team as a bases loaded single up the middle by sophomore Travis Sample made it a 4-1 game. A leadoff walk in the bottom half of the inning would also score for the Cardinal team as freshman Seth Gardner hit a double down the right field line to score redshirt freshman Greg Noble from second after he stole a base.
Redshirt freshman Collin Kuhn, who went 2-3 at the plate and score two runs, was the final tally for the White team when he scored on a single by freshman Zack Cox. Cox, who played the first eight innings at third base, then took the mound and closed the game for the White team with a perfect bottom of the ninth to pick up the save.
Offensively, McKinney was the biggest threat as he hit four singles in five trips to the plate and put down a nice sacrifice bunt on his only other trip. McKinney, Cox, Kuhn and senior Andrew Darr each had multiple hit games.
The Cardinal-White series continues with game two of the best of seven series on Monday afternoon with a 3:05 p.m. start. For more information regarding Razorback baseball or University of Arkansas athletics please visit ArkansasRazorbacks.com.