The Razorback baseball team played host to the Little Rock Trojans for an in-state matchup Tuesday night. The Hogs disposed of the Trojans 7-2 behind some early offense.
The Hogs scored early, unlike the three previous games against Auburn. Freshman right fielder Cayden Wallace launched a ball into the Hogs’ bullpen in the first inning to give them an early 1-0 lead.
“I was a little bit amazed that it fought through that wind,” head coach Dave Van Horn said after the game. “I didn’t know if it was going to get out when he hit it because of the wind. He just put a really good swing on that pitch.”
The home run tied Wallace with junior center fielder Christian Franklin for the team lead with seven longballs.
“Cayden’s a bigger kid, he can hit for some power,” Van Horn said. “A good player. He knows the strike zone. He can hit the fastball, but he can also hit the offspeed and that’s the difference.”
The Razorbacks followed up in the second inning with a leadoff double by Franklin and an RBI single from junior shortstop Jalen Battles. Sophomore second baseman Robert Moore brought home another run in the inning with a bases-loaded sacrifice fly.
Franklin scored junior first baseman Brady Slavens with another double in the third inning, giving Arkansas a 4-0 lead.
Senior starting pitcher Kole Ramage held the Trojans scoreless through four innings but got into trouble in the fifth. With two outs, he beaned the two-hole hitter for Little Rock which led to a two-run double by the clean-up hitter, catcher John Michael Russ.
“(Ramage) was spotting his fastball well, which he hasn’t done that a lot this year,” Van Horn said. “Overall, I thought he did a good job. We were hoping he could give us five innings. If he would’ve got a quick out there.. He probably was going to get to go back out there for the sixth.”
Arkansas did not score again until the bottom of the seventh. Moore hit a double off the glove of a leaping right fielder. He then advanced to third on a pick-off attempt that got past the shortstop and scored soon after on a wild pitch.
The Razorbacks added a couple of insurance runs in the eighth inning. A walk and a hit batter put the Hogs in business, before junior third baseman Jacob Nesbit brought home a run with an RBI single. Moore knocked in the second run on a fielder’s choice.
The bullpen kept the Hogs in front with 4 1/3 innings of shutout baseball, allowing just two hits. Junior pitcher Caden Monke struck out three over two innings of work.
“Monke had really good stuff,” Van Horn said. “He held them down for a couple of innings. He had one walk but held them hitless. He did a really nice job.”
Sophomore pitcher Zack Morris came in to close out the game for Arkansas. He faced some trouble but induced a double play that ended the game.
The Razorbacks and Trojans continue the in-state series at 4 p.m. Wednesday, April 7, at Baum-Walker Stadium. The game will be broadcast on SEC Network+.
“I didn’t feel there was any extra incentive to go out and win tonight,” Van Horn said. “It was just let’s play good and try to win the ballgame.”