KNOXVILLE, Tenn. – The Arkansas offense manufactured six runs and Nick Schmidt threw his second complete game of the season and the fifth of his career in a 6-2 win over Tennessee in front of 3,987 fans at Lindsey Nelson Stadium Friday night.
Schmidt improved 6-0 on the season and 3-0 all time against the Volunteers. He struck out nine on the night to move into second place in career strikeouts at Arkansas with 290. The Hogs are now 9-0 when Schmidt takes the mound.
Schmidt has thrown 23.2-career innings against the Volunteers with a 1.14 ERA and 22 strikeouts over three starts.
Arkansas maintained its lead in the Southeastern Conference’s Western Division, improving to 5-2 in league play and 20-8 on the year. Tennessee falls to 17-10 overall and 4-3 in the conference.
Tennessee’s James Adkins mowed down the Razorbacks early, retiring the first nine Hog batters with five strikeouts. Forsythe collected the first hit of the night off Adkins with two outs in the fourth inning. Adkins (3-4) worked 7.1 innings, allowing six runs – just two earned – on five hits. He fanned seven and walked two.
Arkansas took the lead in the top of the seventh inning with three runs on just one infield hit. The big blow was a two-RBI sacrifice fly to deep right-center field off the bat of Ben Tschepikow.
Off the bat, Tschepikow’s liner appeared to be a sure double, but UT centerfielder Julio Borbon made an amazing play on a dead sprint.
The first runner tagged at third base and scored easily, but Vols’ catcher J.P. Arencibia could not handle the throw and pinch runner Wayne Hrozek scored from second base to give the Hogs’ a 4-2 lead.
The Razorbacks tacked on two more runs in the top of the eighth inning to take a 6-2 lead. Arkansas scored its first run on a fielding error on UT third baseman Cody Brown and the second on a fielder’s choice RBI by Logan Forsythe.
A little small ball led to the Razorbacks first in the fourth inning without the help of a base hit. Jake Dugger was plunked by the first pitch of the inning and then moved to second on a sacrifice bunt by Sean Jones before swiping third base. Casey Coon then grounded out to second base to score Dugger for his 37th RBI of the season and a 1-0 lead.
Sean Jones led the way at the plate with two hits in three at bats, while Coon drove in two runs to give him 38 on the season. Forsythe also singled on the night and has now hit in 21 of his last 23 games. Yan Gomes paced the Volunteers, going 2 for 4 with a RBI.
Schmidt gave up his first hit of the night in the bottom of the fifth inning and the opposite field home run by freshman Jeff Lockwood tied the game at 1-1. It was the second home run allowed by Schmidt this season.
Schmidt battled in the bottom of the sixth inning but a little bad luck and timely hitting put the Volunteers on top 2-1. Gomes delivered a two-out single to left field to score Julio Borbon.
The second game of the series is slated for 3 p.m. from Lindsey Nelson Stadium in Knoxville on Saturday.
Download: AR28 – 3.30.07.pdf