EDINBURG, Texas. – Chris Rhoads continues to stake his claim to the third spot in the Arkansas’ rotation after seven-strong innings of work on Sunday in the Razorbacks’ 13-2 win over Texas-Pan American at the Al Ogletree Classic.
Arkansas improves to 6-0 on the season with the three-game sweep of the Al Ogletree Classic. The host Broncs fall to 4-7.
Rhoads produced his second consecutive solid outing to improve to 2-0 on the season. He allowed just two unearned runs on five hits and struck out seven in seven innings of work. The seven innings is the longest outing by any Arkansas pitcher this season.
Rhoads has now thrown 13 innings on the season, allowing just three runs – on earned – on nine hits. He has struck out 12 batters while walking just one with opponents hitting just .170.
The Hogs took the lead 2-1 on a two-out RBI single by Jake Dugger in the top of the fifth inning. Clint Arnold then came off the bench to pinch hit and scored Dugger on an infield hit to second base. Dugger, who had moved up to second base on the thrown home on his RBI single, kept moving on Arnold infield hit, raced home to make it a 3-1 Hogs’ lead.
Arkansas strung three straight hits together in the second inning to take an early lead. John Henry Marquardt plated Brian Walker who singled with one out and moved to second on a single to left by Blake Parker.
The Broncs tied the game at 1-1 in the bottom of the second inning on a controversial double to right-center field. With a runner on first base and two outs, Arkansas right fielder Parker made what appeared to be a diving catch to end the inning.
He jumped up and headed to the dugout, but he first base umpire who never left his position behind first base to follow the play, ruled that Parker trapped the ball. That ruling by the umpire allowed the runner on first to race home and tie the score.
The Razorbacks extended the lead to 6-1 in the sixth inning with three runs. The inning was highlighted by a two-RBI single from Danny Hamblin. UTPA added an unearned run in the bottom of the inning to make it 6-2. Arkansas countered with another run in the top of the seven to push the cushion back to five runs at 7-2. The Hogs added three runs in both the eighth and ninth innings.
Eight Texas-Pan American pitchers couldn’t slow the Razorbacks’ bats. Arkansas pounded out 13 runs on 14 hits. Walker led the way with three hits, two runs scored and two RBI.
Daryl Maday pitched the eighth inning and James Gilbert pitched the ninth.
Arkansas returns home for the season opener on Friday, Feb. 24, with a double header against Louisiana Tech beginning at 1 p.m. The Hogs will then face the Bulldogs on Saturday at 1 p.m. with the game being broadcast by Cox Sports.