FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. – No. 32 Arkansas scored 11 runs in the first inning and never looked back as the Razorbacks defeated Missouri Southern 18-5 at Baum Stadium on Saturday afternoon in the season opener for both teams.
A crowd of 1,874 – the biggest opening day crowd in UA history – saw Arkansas (1-0) win its fifth-straight season opener and improve to 26-5 in season openers under head coach Norm DeBriyn. The Hogs own a 41-1-1 all-time record against Missouri Southern (0-1), including an 11-0 mark in season openers and 12-0 record in home openers against the Lions.
In his first plate appearance of the season, Scott Crossett gave the Hogs a 3-0 lead with a three-run home run in the bottom of the first. Crossett finished with four RBI and led the Razorbacks with three hits. Jack Welsh and Kyle Washburn added two hits each.
UA starter Charlie Isaacson (1-0) gave up three hits in two scoreless innings to earn the victory and improve to 10-0 as a Razorback. Cliff Lee, Matt Riethmaier and Wes McCrotty each worked two innings of relief for the Hogs. Lee did not allow a hit while striking out four. Gary Hogan Jr. struck out two in a hitless, scoreless ninth inning to close out the win.
Although the Lions were held to nine hits, three of those came off the bat of Jeremy Hatfield. After scoring MSSC’s first run of the game in the sixth inning, Hatfield tripled off the wall to drive in two more. Matt Meyr’s groundout two batters later scored Hatfield with the Lions’ final run.
Lions starter Jared Mountford (0-1) took the loss after failing to get out of the first inning in his Division-I debut. Mountford walked six and gave up eight runs on just two hits in two-thirds of an inning.
Twelve players made their debut in a Razorback uniform on Saturday. Ryan Johnston, Kyle Washburn, Nick Pitts and Justin Riley each recorded hits in their first UA plate appearances.
Arkansas, ranked 32nd by Collegiate Baseball newspaper, hosts Southeast Missouri State next weekend for a three-game series at Baum Stadium. Friday’s series opener is scheduled for 3 p.m.