FAYETTEVILLE – Vanderbilt junior Mike Minor was dominating on the mound as he pitched the Vanderbilt Commodores to a 9-0 victory over the No. 1 Arkansas Razorback baseball team at Baum Stadium on Friday night.
The Razorbacks (24-7, 10-3 SEC) mustered just four hits off the southpaw through eight innings while Vanderbilt (20-13, 6-7 SEC) jumped on Arkansas starter Dallas Keuchel for seven runs over three-plus innings giving Arkansas’ junior his first loss of the season.
“Minor was real tough tonight,” Arkansas head coach Dave Van Horn said. “He had four pitches going. There was a time we thought we were still in the game, but when we kept getting pop flies, we knew we were in trouble. Minor was on fire. He was throwing his fastball in the low 90’s, spotting it in and out of the zone, and throwing the breaking ball when he needed to. We didn’t play very good defense. We were behind and getting frustrated, but it really all started with [Vanderbilt] on the mound.”
The Razorbacks picked up hits from Ben Tschepikow, Brett Eibner, Tim Carver and Ryan Cisterna but only put two hits together in one inning, the seventh, and both singles could not push a runner across the plate. The Razorback shutout is the first time since the 2007 season that the Razorbacks failed to score a run, a stretch that spanned 116 games.
Vanderbilt picked up single digits in both the second and third innings to take the early lead but clutch pitches by Keuchel prevented the damage from getting any worse as he induced a double play in the second with two runners on base and another twin killing in the third. The fourth inning is when Vanderbilt broke through with five runs on four hits and an Arkansas error.
“[Keuchel] just wasn’t locating very well,” Van Horn said. “His fastball was up and they did a good job. We turned a couple of double plays and we were still in there. Stuff like this happens. [Vanderbilt] did a good job offensively and Dallas didn’t have good stuff. Mike Minor was the story tonight.”
The Razorbacks and Commodores continue their series on Saturday afternoon at 3:05 p.m. at Baum Stadium. For more information regarding Razorback baseball or University of Arkansas athletics please visit ArkansasRazorbacks.com.