OXFORD, Miss. – Logan Forsythe hit two home runs and drove in five runs while Cliff Springston threw a complete game and struck out a career high nine to lead the Arkansas baseball team to a doubleheader sweep and 12-4 victory in the second game over the Mississippi Rebels at Oxford-University Stadium.
Arkansas (26-18, 8-11 SEC) picks up its first series win against Mississippi (28-17, 11-10 SEC) since the 2003 season and its first series victory against the Rebels in Oxford since 2002.
“We had a tough loss on Friday night,” Arkansas head coach Dave Van Horn said. “To come out and get a couple of wins today is huge. After we won that first game in the 10th, we really thought we could get the second win.”
Thriving on the dramatics of its game one victory, Arkansas’ Chase Leavitt started things off with a bang by hitting a home run to right-center field in the opening at-bat of the game. The leadoff home run was Leavitt’s second this year as he opened the Ohio State game on March 3 with another home run. The shot also extended Leavitt’s hitting streak to a career high nine games.
The Hogs would tack on a second run in the first as Ben Tschepikow and Logan Forsythe hit a pair of singles and the second Arkansas run would score on back-to-back walks drawn by Casey Coon and Brett Eibner.
As Springston continued to put up zeros on the scoreboard, Arkansas’ hitters went back to work in the fifth and sixth innings. The fifth saw Forsythe hit his second home run of the day, a solo shot to right-center field to give Arkansas a 4-0 lead.
Arkansas’ sixth inning was much more fruitful as the Hogs hit two Rebel relief pitchers for four runs on home runs by Forsythe and Tim Smalling. Leavitt singled with one out and was followed by a 3-2 walk by Tschepikow. Forsythe then crushed a pitch over the left-center field wall for three runs and was followed two batters later by Smalling’s fourth home run of the day matching his 2007 total and giving him eight for the season. Forsythe’s home run gave Arkansas’ third baseman four RBI for the game.
In an effort to stay in the game, Mississippi came back with three runs in the bottom of the sixth. A two-run home run broke up Springston’s shutout bid, and then a walk followed by two singles scored the third run of the inning. Springston’s final line saw him record Arkansas’ first complete game win of the season with nine innings pitched, 11 hits, four runs, three walks and the career high nine strikeouts.
The Razorbacks came right back in the top of the seventh to score another run and make it a five-run contest. Sean Jones reached on a throwing error by the pitcher and would come around to score on a Tschepikow double off the wall in right-center field.
The Hogs would tack on four more runs in the top of the ninth to ice the game. The big hit in the inning was a bases clearing triple by Tschepikow which scored two.
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