FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. – Cliff Lee pitched a complete-game shutout and Brian Kirby’s leadoff home run in the bottom of the sixth inning provided the game’s only run as Arkansas defeated Washington State 1-0 in game one of the Arlington Morning News Invitational.
Arkansas (4-1) and Washington State (3-5) combined for just seven hits in the game.
Lee (2-0) struck out four and held the Cougars to just four hits. WSU’s Todd Meldahl (1-2) suffered the loss despite holding the Hogs to three hits while striking out nine and walking none in a complete game.
Kirby’s homer was his first of the season and 22nd of his career, moving him into a tie with Andy Skeels for 10th place on the Hogs’ career list.
“Both pitchers threw very well today despite the strong wind blowing out,” UA head coach Norm DeBriyn said. “We faced a good pitcher today, but we are struggling at the plate and that’s something we’ve got to figure out quickly.”
Since an 18-5 win over Missouri Southern to open the season, Arkansas has scored just 15 runs in four games.
The shutout victory was Arkansas’ first since a 9-0 win over Tulane at the Winn-Dixie Showdown in New Orleans on Feb. 27, 1998. WSU’s four hits were the fewest by a UA opponent since the Hogs held Delaware to four hits in a 10-6 Razorback victory in last year’s NCAA Regional at Baum Stadium.
Arkansas will face tournament host Texas-Arlington on Saturday at 3:30 p.m. CT. UTA took a 7-3 record into its game against Nebraska on Friday afternoon. Matt Riethmaier (0-0, 6.43 ERA) is scheduled to start on the mound for the Razorbacks. Whoa Dill (2-1, 3.52 ERA) is expected to start for the Mavericks.