FAYETTEVILLE – The Arkansas baseball team (27-16) scored early and often as they completed the series sweep with a 15-3 drubbing of Northwestern State (22-19) Wednesday afternoon at Baum Stadium.
The offense provided a four-run second inning and never looked back, as Brian Anderson and Eric Fischer went a combined 4-for-8 on the day, driving in seven runs and scoring five. Jake Wise also contributed offensively, going 2-for-4, with two runs batted in and two runs scored. The team totaled 13 hits on the day, scoring runs in four consecutive innings.
Starting pitcher Alex Phillips went three innings allowing three hits and one earned run. Dominic Taccolini earned the win, pitching two shutout innings and allowing three hits. The bullpen came up big, as Taccolini, Simpson, Teague, and L. Phillips combined for 6.0 innings of relief, allowing five hits, and two earned runs.
After a quiet first, the offense was sparked by a Brian Anderson single to left field in the second inning. Anderson went 2-for-3 on the day, with three RBI, and three runs scored. The offense continued to surge in the third with Eric Fisher’s team-leading seventh home run as he drove in a pair.
Anderson provided his fourth long ball of the year in the fourth inning, extending the Arkansas’ lead to 9-1. The Razorbacks finished the afternoon with a four-run eighth inning to give them all the runs they would need in a 15-3 victory.
Arkansas caps a nine-game homestand this weekend, welcoming Auburn to town for a three-game SEC series at Baum Stadium. First pitch Friday is slated for 6:35 p.m., followed by a 6:05 p.m. start Saturday and a 1:05 p.m. first pitch Sunday.
For more information on Arkansas baseball, follow @RazorbackBSB on Twitter.
Coach Dave Van Horn Quotes:
Arkansas Head Coach Dave Van Horn (Opening Statement) – "I thought we have played pretty well the last couple of days. You can tell the team is having fun, they are confident. I feel like we are getting better. Pitching did a great job pretty much both days. Offensively, we did a tremendous job of driving in runs and creating some innings late with two outs."
Arkansas Head Coach Dave Van Horn (on Eric Fisher’s home run) – "First off, he’s strong. The first home run of the year this year, he hit it into the wind, dead center. On a day I thought no one would leave the year, he hit a line drive out of the park. When he gets extension, the ball jumps off his bat. He’s an older kid, he’s confident. When he puts a good swing on the ball and make solid contact, it’s getting out the park."
Arkansas Head Coach Dave Van Horn (on Jake Wise) – "It’s huge. He’s like having a coach on the field, he can call the game. He looks over for help and suggestions. We will give him some pitches but he’s been doing this for three straight years now. He’s been through the league. He knows these pitchers. It’s very comforting."
The 13 hits by Arkansas is tied for the second-most in a single game this year and gives the Razorbacks 13 hits in back-to-back games for the first time this season. The 15 runs scored by Arkansas is the most in any game this season. With home runs by Brian Anderson and Eric Fisher, Wednesday’s win marked the fourth multi-home run game for the team on the year for Arkansas. Fisher contributed a home run in three of those four games. The Razorbacks have hit 10 home runs in the last 11 games after hitting nine through the first 32 games of the year. With a first inning double play, Arkansas has 41 twin killings on the year to rank second in the SEC. Brian Anderson extended his reached base streak to 19 games and has now hit safely in 37 of Arkansas’ 43 games this season. The sixth-inning run by Northwestern State ended a streak of 22.2 consecutive innings of scoreless work by the bullpen.
How They Scored
Arkansas 0, Northwestern State 1; Top 2: Nathan Lyons homered to left field. Arkansas 1, Northwestern State 1; Bottom 2: Eric Fisher singled through the right side; Brian Anderson scored. Arkansas 3, Northwestern State 1; Bottom 2: Jake Wise doubled to right center; Eric Fisher and Blake Baxendale both scored. Arkansas 4, Northwestern State 1; Bottom 2: Tyler Spoon singled to center field, advanced to second on a fielding error by the centerfielder (E8); Jake Wise scored. Arkansas 6, Northwestern State 1; Bottom 3: Eric Fisher homered to right field; Brian Anderson scored. Arkansas 9, Northwestern State 1; Bottom 4: Brian Anderson homered down the left field line; Joe Serrano and Clark Eagan both scored. Arkansas 10, Northwestern State 1; Bottom 5: Michael Bernal singled to left center field; Bobby Wernes scored. Arkansas 11, Northwestern State 1; Bottom 5: Clark Eagan reached on a fielder’s choice; Jake Wise scored. Arkansas 11, Northwestern State 2; Top 6: Nick Heath flied out to left field; Nathan Lyons scored on the sacrifice. Arkansas 12, Northwestern State 2; Bottom 8: Krisjon Wilkerson singled through the right side; Tyler Spoon scored. Arkansas 13, Northwestern State 2; Bottom 8: Clark Eagan scored from third on a wild pitch. Arkansas 14, Northwestern State 2; Bottom 8: Eric Fisher grounded out to second base; Garrett Rucker scored. Arkansas 15, Northwestern State 2; Bottom 8: Bobby Wernes grounded out to second; Krisjon Wilkerson scored. Arkansas 15, Northwestern State 3; Top 9: Cort Brinson doubled down the left field line; Nick Heath scored.