ARKANSAS 10, EVANSVILLE 2
Jake Wise went 2 for 4 with 3 RBIs, including a chopper that went off the bag at third to drive in two runs.
IN A NUTSHELL
True freshman Trey Killian retired the first 12 batters he faced – extending his streak of perfection to 21 batters – before giving up a hit to start the fifth inning, and Arkansas cranked out 15 hits to sweep the three-game series at Baum Stadium.
Killian (1-0), a right-hander, ended up going 4 2/3 innings, allowing two hits and two runs – both unearned – striking out five and walking none to get the win. In the season-opening win over Western Illinois on Feb. 15, Killian pitched three perfect innings of relief.
Arkansas (7-1) got three RBI on Sunday from catcher Jake Wise, including an unusual play where the batted ball hit the top of his foot, chopped down the third-base line, hit the bag and caromed into left field to knock in two runs. He ended up 2 for 4, one of six Hogs with multiple hits.
Matt Vinson went 3 for 4 with three runs scored, Joe Serrano was 2 for 3 with an RBI and two runs scored, Brian Anderson was 2 for 4 with two RBI and two runs scored, Eric Fisher was 2 for 5 with an RBI and a run scored, and Brett McAfee went 2 for 4 with a run. Jacob Mahan hit a solo home run in the sixth to give the Hogs a 4-2 lead.
Arkansas blew it open in a five-run seventh. Serrano had an RBI bunt single, Anderson had a two-run single, and then Wise had his weird hit to knock in two runs.
Evansville starter Kyle Lloyd (0-1) gave up eight hits and four runs – all earned – in six innings. He struck out three and walked two. A week earlier in a 6-5 loss at UALR, Lloyd struck out 10 and gave up three hits in five scoreless innings for the Purple Aces (1-5).
4,313 Sunday’s actual attendance.
33 Combined number of hits for the Hogs in the three-game series.
8 Consecutive games with at least one hit for UA redshirt freshman Tyler Spoon. In other words, he’s had at least one hit in every game this season.
3 Combined hits allowed by five Arkansas pitchers Sunday.
1 Career home runs for Mahan, who got his first Sunday.
Killian. Arkansas Coach Dave Van Horn didn’t know until after Sunday’s game that Killian began his career by retiring the first 21 batters he faced. But when asked about it, Van Horn said he couldn’t remember having another pitcher start out so well. The former Mountain Home Bomber commanded his fastball very well and threw 48 of his 65 pitches for strikes.
Evansville’s bullpen. The Purple Aces, who have 16 pitchers on their roster, saw their relievers give up 16 runs in a combined 8 1/3 innings during the Arkansas series. Phillip Diehl, who relieved Lloyd on Sunday, allowed five runs – all earned – in one-third of an inning.
** Van Horn said he wasn’t sure if Killian would start Saturday against Arizona State or Sunday against Pacific when the Razorbacks play in the Coca-Cola Classic in Surprise, Ariz. He’s looking at starting senior Randall Fant in one of those games. Fant hasn’t pitched this season while battling a pulled hamstring.
Van Horn on whether he’s seen improvement: “I think we got better. We talked about that. Last Sunday, it was disappointing, that loss. And the guys came out Tuesday and did a tremendous job of getting after New Orleans. It was tough playing that second game. It was so cold. We feel like we should’ve scored runs. But we got a great pitching performance, had two shutouts, and swept this series. Sometimes you can win and not feel like you’re getting better. But I feel like we are getting better.”
Van Horn on Killian: “I guess the first hit he gave up was on a breaking ball. The second hit he gave up was on a breaking bal. And that’s what he’s got to work on. He’s got to get on top of that breaking ball a little bit and get a little more depth. It’s more side to side right now. When he conquers that, he’s going to be awfully tough.”
Vinson on Mahan’s solo home run: “He crushed it. That was into the wind. It was a laser. And he hits them out in batting practice every now and then, but he’s not the guy I’d pick for a home run derby. But it was good.”
Vinson on Spoon’s sudden increase in popularity on Twitter, aka Spoonsanity: “We looked at it. Before this series, he was at 900 followers. I think he’s got over 700 followers in the past three days. It’s crazy.”
Killian on his strong start to the season: “It’s awesome. I couldn’t ask for a better start. It’s easy to throw strikes just throw fastballs in there and pitch to contact when you know you have a good defense behind you.”
Killian on going to Arizona: “We’re just going to take this momentum in from this weekend series and both of those midweek games, just kind of keep it rolling. The bats are going pretty well and we have an experienced staff. We know our pitchers are going to throw well and we’re going to see some good guys. So it should be fun.”