The Razorback baseball team defeated the Rhode Island Rams in game two of the doubleheader 3-2 on Friday afternoon. The win improved Arkansas’ record to 12-3 and dropped Rhode Island to 5-8.
The story of the game was junior college transfer Trevor Stephan. Stephan regularly touched about 94 on the gun and retired the first 19 hitters he faced. He lost his perfect game with an error by Carson Shaddy, and his no hitter right after with a groundball single by Rams second baseman Chris Hess.
Stephan pitched eight and one third innings, giving up two unearned runs and striking out 13.
The 13 strikeouts were the most by an Arkansas pitcher since Nic Schmidt in 2006.
Stephan continued to gain confidence and said he felt on track for the rest of the season.
“This felt like my best outing. Just how I felt with location, and (velocity) wise all that came together,” Stephan said.
The Razorbacks made a breakthrough in the bottom of the third when Hunter Wilson hit a leadoff single and went to third on a Jake Arledge single. Chad Spanberger then hit a sacrifice fly putting the Hogs up 1-0.
The Razorbacks led off the bottom the fifth with an Arledge home run pushing the lead to 2-0.
Stephan continued to rack up the strikeouts as the game progressed. With his tenth strikeout in seventh, he became the third starter for the past seven games to have 10-plus strikeouts. His thirteenth strikeout tied him with Nic Schmidt for the fifth most in Razorback history.
After the strikeout, Stephan gave up a single to pinch hitter Laurence Hill and back-to-back errors by Carson Shaddy and Jax Biggers loaded the bases.
Cannon Chadwick came in and struck out Matt O’Neil but gave up a two-run single to Mike Corin, tying the game and taking the win from Stephan.
In the bottom of the ninth, Hunter Wilson started the inning with a single and advanced to third on groundouts by Arledge and Spanberger. That set the stage for Luke Bonfield to single over the shortstop and win the game.
The Razorbacks will next hit the field when they face Rhode Island is at 1 p.m. Sunday at Baum Stadium.