FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. – Casey Coon and Chase Leavitt each had two hits to lead the Arkansas Razorback baseball team to a 7-1 victory over Northern Colorado on Wednesday afternoon at Baum Stadium.
The win secured Arkansas’ first sweep of an opponent since early March and gave the Razorbacks (24-17) five wins over its last six games. Northern Colorado moves to 14-26.
A pitcher’s duel through the opening two innings, Arkansas would score the first runs of the game in the bottom of the third inning and never looked back as they poured on seven in the span of three innings to secure the victory. Freshman Brett Eibner was awarded the win as Arkansas used a committee approach to pitching on Wednesday afternoon with five pitchers toeing the rubber throughout the nine-inning contest.
Coon made his first start in the field since suffering and ankle injury on April 1 and didn’t disappoint his coaches as he had two hits in four at-bats. Coming up with timely at-bats, Coon scored once and drove in two Arkansas runs including the game winner in the third inning on a single up the middle with the bases loaded.
For Leavitt, he followed up on a three-hit game on Tuesday night to tack on two more on Wednesday and increase his batting average to a team-high .342. Leavitt’s Wednesday afternoon saw him set the table for the Hogs as he scored the Razorbacks first run of the game in the third inning.
The Razorbacks kept Northern Colorado off balance for two consecutive games and prevented it from doing much at the plate. Arkansas’ pitchers tallied 16 strikeouts over the two games while walking just six and allowing 11 base hits. The Bears totaled three runs over the two games after scoring 52 in the previous weekend.
Arkansas jumped on Northern Colorado in the third inning with two outs when Leavitt got the rally started with a single through the right side. Ben Tschepikow, Logan Forsythe and Jeff Nutt would each follow with walks scoring Leavitt. Coon would jump on the first pitch he saw to drive it up the middle and plate two more to give the Hogs a 3-0 lead after the inning.
The Razorbacks would score four times in the fifth inning to wrap up their final score. Nutt would extend his hitting streak to 10 games with a double down the right-field line and moved to third on Coon’s second hit. Eibner singled to score Nutt and Tim Smalling followed with a single through the right side on a hit-and-run play which plated Coon. Sean Jones would load the bases with a walk then Scott Lyons hit what could have been a double-play ball to shortstop, but good hustle down the line prevented the inning-ending play. As Northern Colorado argued the call, heads up base running by Smalling allowed him to score from third.
The Razorbacks go on the road this weekend to face SEC Western Division leader Mississippi in Oxford, Miss, for a three-game series beginning on Friday night. For more information regarding Razorback baseball or University of Arkansas athletics please visit www.hogwired.com.