Razorbacks Smack Dallas Baptist, 13-3
BY ANDRES FOCIL
DALLAS – The 25th-ranked Arkansas Razorbacks opened the 2005 season on Friday afternoon by flexing their offensive muscle with 13 runs on 14 hits in a 13-3 win over Dallas Baptist.
The 650 fans at Patriots Field saw the Razorbacks hand Dallas Baptist (2-1) its first loss of the season, while UA improved to 1-0. It marked the first time Arkansas has opened on the road since opening the 1994 season on Feb. 11 at Texas Christian.
“This might have been the best that I’ve ever had a team go on the road and play (to open the season),” Arkansas Head Coach Dave Van Horn said. “We set the tone from batting practice on.
“The first ball hit to us all year and we make an error. Then after that, we played outstanding defense. We played mid-season defense right there and then timely hitting with a two-out and two-strike hitting approach really paid off.”
Arkansas put the game on ice in the fifth inning with six runs, highlighted by sophomore Blake Parker’s first career home run. Parker crushed a 3-0 pitch deep over the left-field wall for a grand slam.
The Razorbacks had stretched the lead to 6-3 earlier in the inning on a two-run home run to left field by Jake Dugger. Danny Hamblin followed with his second hit of the day, a single to left, to chase DBU starter Rodney Brantley from the game after four-plus innings of work.
A pitch then hit catcher Brian Walker and Casey Goodwin followed with a perfect sacrifice bunt down the third-base line to put runners on second and third. The Patriots intentionally walked Scott Hode to load the bases for Parker.
Charley Boyce (1-0) threw a solid 5.2 innings to tally his first win of the season. He allowed just three runs (two earned) while striking out two and not walking a single Patriots’ batter.
Senior left-hander Trey Holloway came on in relief and pitched 3.1-scoreless innings. He allowed only three hits and struck out two. DBU’s Brantley allowed seven runs (all earned) on 10 hits in four innings.
“I told our guys to learn from it, enjoy it, but we’ve still got three games left (on this road trip),” Van Horn said. “This was a tremendous effort for our first day out on the road.”
Casey Rowlett paced the Razorbacks’ offense with a 3-for-5 outing and three RBI, while Parker added two hits and four RBI. Scott Hode and Hamblin also collected two hits for the Razorbacks.
Rowlett also shined defensively in center field with two outstanding running catches and an assist as the Patriots’ Drew Holder tried to stretch a single into a double in the third inning.
Dallas Baptist jumped out to a 1-0 lead in the bottom of the first inning on a sacrifice fly to right field off the bat of Ryan Olivo. DBU’s lead off hitter Austin Krum reached base on a throwing error by Boyce.
It wouldn’t take the Razorbacks long to answer in the top of the second with an RBI ground out to first base by Goodwin that scored Hamblin to tie the score. Arkansas took the lead on a bases loaded walk by freshman Clint Arnold and then opened up a 4-1 lead on a two-RBI single off the bat of Rowlett.
Jeremy Goldschmeding led off the bottom half of the second inning with a line-drive home run to left field that cut the Arkansas lead to 4-2.
DBU’s Cody Montgomery got to Boyce with the Patriots second solo home run of the game in the third inning. The one-out shot cleared the scoreboard in right field.
The Razorbacks return to action with a double-header on Saturday against Dallas Baptist at Noon and Texas-Arlington at 3:30 p.m. Both games will be played at UTA’s Clay Gould Ballpark.
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