The No. 2 Razorback baseball team (15-3, 2-1 Southeastern Conference) hosted the Memphis Tigers (9-9) on Tuesday, March 23 in a non-conference matchup in a game that ended in a blowout win for the Hogs.
The Razorbacks used a nine-run eighth inning to propel themselves to a 14-1 victory. They hit three home runs in the inning and brought 15 batters to the plate.
Senior left fielder Braydon Webb led off the inning with a solo home run. Webb had been struggling this season, hitting .065 entering the game. The homer was only his third hit of the season, but he did reach base on five free passes.
“I think (Webb) had a great day,” Van Horn said. “What I appreciate about his game today was that, hitting leadoff he wasn’t up there trying to get five hits. He was up there playing baseball, taking what they gave him... He can be electric at the plate.”
Freshman third baseman Cayden Wallace launched a two-run home run deep into the Hog Pen and junior second baseman Jacob Nesbit swatted a grand slam in the inning as well.
Junior center fielder Christian Franklin and sophomore outfielder Zack Gregory hit back-to-back doubles to add the eighth and ninth runs of the inning.
Memphis pitcher Brayden Green took a major hit to his ERA in the game. It jumped from 0.00 to 40.50 after he was charged with six earned runs in only ⅔ of an inning.
Junior pitcher Caleb Bolden got the start for the Razorbacks. He had a solid performance, allowing just one run on one hit over 4 ⅔ innings.
He got around a two-out triple in the first inning without allowing a run. In the bottom of the inning, Wallace gave Arkansas the early 1-0 lead with an RBI single.
In the bottom of the second, control issues hurt Memphis starting pitcher Dalton Kendrick. With two outs, he surrendered three free passes and walked in a run.
Junior designated hitter Charlie Welch then singled home two more runs for the Razorbacks to put them up 4-0. The Razorbacks did not get another hit until the seventh inning.
Kendrick allowed four runs over 3 ⅔ innings and allowed seven walks and hit a batter.
Memphis scored a run in the fifth inning on an RBI single off the glove of junior shortstop Jalen Battles to make the game 4-1.
The Razorbacks added a run in the seventh inning on a bases-loaded infield single by Nesbit that was initially called an out before a video review.
Sophomore pitcher Peyton Pallette, who generally starts Friday games, made a relief appearance in the eighth inning after his rough outing against Alabama. He pitched a scoreless frame and struck out one.
“That was part of the plan,” Van Horn said. “We wanted (Pallette) to throw late in the game, maybe an inning or two… Just wanted to get him back out there, get him over the hump, get that last game behind him and move forward.”
The bullpen went 4 ⅓ innings of scoreless baseball, allowing two hits with seven strikeouts.
The Hogs started four backups to give the starters a needed break between conference series. The reserves included junior designated hitter Charlie Welch, junior second baseman Jacob Nesbit, freshman catcher Dylan Leach and freshman right fielder Zac White, who started for the first time.
The four reserves combined for five hits, five walks, seven RBIs and five runs scored.
“It was really good to get some guys in the game who hadn’t played much this year,” head coach Dave Van Horn said after the game. “(They) came out, (helped) us win.”
The Razorbacks will host the Memphis Tigers again at 3 p.m. Wednesday, March 24, at Baum-Walker Stadium. The game will be broadcast on SEC Network+.