FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. – The fifth-ranked Arkansas baseball team completed the sweep of Wisconsin-Milwaukee on Monday afternoon with an 8-1 win in front of 3,245 fans at Baum Stadium.
The series, which saw Friday and Saturday’s games postponed due to below freezing temperatures, improved the Razorbacks’ record to 7-2 on the season with the doubleheader sweep on Sunday. The Hogs have reeled off four straight wins, while the Panthers dropped the first three games of their 2007 season. Arkansas hit .394 over the three-game series with 11 doubles, two triples, three home runs and a .517 on-base percentage. The Hogs’ team batting averaged jumped 44 points to .308. The pitching staff allowed just five earned runs (1.67 ERA) over 27 innings and held UWM to a .172 batting average.
Left-handed freshman Dallas Keuchel (1-0), out of Bishop Kelley High School in Tulsa, Okla., earned the win in his first collegiate start on Monday. He pitched five-scoreless innings and gave up just two hits. Keuchel fanned three and issued just one walk. Chris Rhoads threw two innings of relief before giving way to Jess Todd for the final two innings.
Todd fanned five of the seven UWM batters he faced. He has struck out 16 of the 26 hitters he has faced this season in 7.1 innings of work without issuing a walk.
Arkansas pounded out 12 hits on Monday with Ben Tschepikow, Brad Secrist and Jacob Julius all collecting two hits each. Secrist finished the weekend hitting .583 (7 for 12) with a double, triple and home run. Casey Coon singled on Monday to improve his batting average to .406 on the season. He drove in eight runs in the series to extend his team-leading RBI total to 19.
The Hogs jumped out to a 2-0 lead in the third inning with a little help from the Panthers. Tschepikow’s one-out single came around to score after an error on the UWM second baseman and a dropped fly ball to right field.
Freshman shortstop Tim Smalling extended the UA lead to 4-0 with his first career home run in the fourth inning. The Raleigh, N.C., native launched a 1-0 pitch into the Hog Pen in left field. He hit .455 on the weekend to up his team-leading batting average to .423 on the season.
Secrist continued his hot hitting in the fifth inning with his first career home run, a solo shot into the Razorback bullpen in left field to push the lead to 5-0.
Panthers’ starting pitcher Mike Rauwerdink pitched five innings, surrendering 10 hits and five runs – three earned – on 83 pitches.
Jordan Herbert came on in relief in the sixth inning and allowed two runs on one hit, walking three. He pitched two innings of relief and gave up three total runs – two earned. Tim Hoy worked the final inning for the Panthers, striking out one and surrendering just one hit.
Wisconsin-Milwaukee scored its only run in the seventh inning with the help of a throwing error by freshly converted catcher Logan Forsythe.