FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. – After managing just five hits in Tuesday’s 7-6, 10-inning win over Centenary, Arkansas’ bats erupted for 19 hits in a 21-9 win over the Gentlemen in Wednesday’s finale of a two-game series.
The Razorbacks (7-6) unleashed a season-high 19 hits, including home runs by Brian Kirby, Josh Newland, Scott Crossett and Brad Hagedorn. Crossett blasted a grand slam in the Hogs’ five-run sixth inning and Hagedorn’s pinch-hit, three-run blast in the bottom of the eighth invoked the 12-run rule to end the game and hand the Gents (6-15) their ninth loss in 10 games.
Jared Manatt (1-1) earned the victory with 4 2/3 innings of scoreless, two-hit relief. Kevin Cassidy (1-1) gave up six runs (earned) on seven hits in 2 2/3 innings and took the loss in relief.
Arkansas’ 21 runs were the most by the Hogs since a 24-5 win over Missouri Southern in the 1998 season opener. UA’s 19 hits – including nine doubles – were the most by a Razorback team since collecting 23 hits in an 18-2 win over Centenary on March 31, 1999.
Seven Razorback batters had multiple hits, including Scott Crossett. The junior from Batesville, Ark., went 4-for-5 with six RBI and five runs scored – both career highs.
After spotting the Gents a 2-0 lead in the top of the first, the Razorbacks tied the game in the bottom of the inning on Brian Kirby’s two-run homer to right field. Kirby’s second homer of the season raised his career total to 23 – two shy of Norm Roberts for ninth on the UA career round-tripper list.
Arkansas scored four more in the second, two on the first of Jack Welsh’s two doubles in the game. Crossett added a sacrifice fly to give the Hogs a 6-2 lead and put and end to Gents starter John Lockhart’s day. Lockhart gave up six runs (earned) on five hits in two innings of work.
The Gents trimmed the margin to 6-3 on Michael Hicks’ RBI single in the top of the third, but the Hogs answered in the bottom of the inning on a double by Travis McDaniel that scored Greg Blum for a 7-3 UA advantage.
Jason Shick’s one-out double in the top of the fourth brought Matt Riethmaier out of the UA bullpen in relief of starter Wes McCrotty, but Riethmaier walked three in a row to force in two runs before giving up a three-run, pinch-hit double to Ben Taylor. Manatt got the Hogs out of the inning, but not before Mark Duranksi’s single scored Taylor to give the Gents a 9-7 lead. McCrotty gave up five runs (earned) on three hits in 3 1/3 innings; Riethmaier gave up four runs without recording an out.
Arkansas tied the game at 9-9 on Brian King’s two-run single in the fourth and took a 12-9 lead in the fifth on three-straight doubles by Welsh, Crossett and Kirby. Newland led off the sixth with his first home run as a Razorback before Crossett’s grand slam put the Hogs up 17-9. In the bottom of the eighth, Kyle Washburn doubled to score Welsh before Hagedorn’s three-run homer ended the game. Hagedorn’s homer was just the second of his career and first since his freshman season of 1997.
Arkansas continues its homestand Friday when the Hogs open a three-game series with Miami (Ohio) at Baum Stadium. Game time is set for 4 p.m. CT.