FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. – Nick Schmidt made big pitch after big pitch on Saturday afternoon as No. 10 Arkansas shutout Kansas 4-0 in front of 6,911 fans at Baum Stadium.
Schmidt hurled eight-scoreless innings to improve to 4-0 on the season. He left the game with a 1-0 lead after surrendering just three hits and striking out eight on 109 pitches. Schmidt lowered his ERA to an impressive 1.18 on the season.
Schmidt has not allowed a run in 16.2 innings dating back to a solo home run by the second batter of the Minnesota game on March 4. That solo home run against the Gophers is the only run he has allowed in his last 25.2 innings.
The shutout was the first for the Razorbacks since a 3-0 win over Oklahoma State on Feb. 10, 2006, at the Jaguar Invitational in Mobile, Ala. Schmidt started that game as well, combining with Brian McLelland and Devin Collis for the 12th no-hitter in school history.
The Hogs improved to 12-5 on the season while Kansas fell to 11-7. Jayhawks’ starting pitcher Nick Czyz kept Arkansas off balance through seven innings, allowing just one run on two hits heading into the bottom of the eighth inning. He was charged with three runs on three hits in his final line, issuing three walks and striking out seven.
Arkansas plated the first run of the game in the second inning with the help of a hit batter and two walks by Czyz. Logan Forsythe led off the inning with a single to left field and Danny Hamblin drew the bases-loaded walk for his 10th RBI of the season and the only run the Hogs would need.
The Razorbacks added three runs in the bottom of the eighth inning to provide right-handed reliever Travis Hill a little breathing room in the ninth. Hamblin led off the eighth with a single and after Czyz went to a 2-0 count the Jayhawks went to the bullpen for closer Paul Smyth, who walked Willard on two more pitches.
Jake Dugger then sacrificed the runners over, but reached first base on a throwing error by the pitcher that allowed Hamblin to score. Ben Tschpikow followed by reaching on a RBI fielder’s choice when he hit a ground ball to KU first baseman Preston Land, who was unable to get Willard at the plate for the Hogs’ third run.
After a Casey Coon flied out to center field, Forsythe delivered his second hit of the game with a RBI single up the middle. It was the first run allowed this season by KU’s Smyth.
Forsythe finished 2 for 4 at the plate with a RBI and a run scored. Hamblin was 1 for 1 with a RBI and run scored as well. Wayne Hrozek had the Razorbacks’ other hit with a single through the left side in the fourth inning.
The Jayhawks and Hogs will wrap up the series at 1:05 p.m. Sunday at Baum Stadium with Arkansas looking for the sweep.
Download: Schmidt’s Game-by-Game.pdf