Ark - Pine Bluff RE

Shortstop Casey Martin follows through on a swing March 31 during the Razorbacks game against the Ole Miss Rebels.

 

 

The Razorbacks’ offense got hot early Tuesday in their first ever meeting against UA Pine Bluff, scoring five runs in the first inning before running away with a 16-4 mercy-rule win.

After winning only the final game of a three-game series on the road against No. 6 Vanderbilt, the No. 10 Hogs got the bats going early, scoring 12 runs in the first three innings. They tallied 16 runs on 16 hits and batted for an average of .471 on the night.

The heart of Arkansas’ lineup proved to be tough outs as the 1-4 hitters went a combined 11-for-14 with 10 RBIs, two home runs and four walks.   

Junior outfielder Dominic Fletcher drove in a career-high five RBIs on a perfect 3-for-3 night, including a three-run homer in the third which increased the Hogs lead to 12-1. He turned in an impressive outing despite his night ending early as freshman outfielder Christian Franklin pinch-hit for Fletcher in the fourth. Sophomore designated hitter Matt Goodheart also turned in a perfect night at the plate, going 2-for-2 with three walks. Goodheart is batting .519 with eight RBIs over his last six games, and has 14 hits in that span, seven going for extra bases.

Sophomore shortstop Casey Martin hit a three-run homer and tallied four RBIs on the day. He had three hits and now has eight over his last four games. Martin leads the team in extra-base hits with 24 — 15 doubles, two triples and seven homers.

Junior infielder Jack Kenley went 2-for-4 with three RBIs on a triple and a solo home run. Kenley and Martin are now tied for second-most home runs on the team, behind sophomore outfielder Heston Kjerstad. Kjerstad recorded two RBIs and one double on the night in his three at-bats and was also pinch-hit for in the fourth by freshman outfielder Trey Harris.

Freshman Connor Noland took the mound for the Hogs, pitching two scoreless innings before handing the ball off to freshman Elijah Trest who threw two innings and gave up two runs. Noland started in a loss against Vanderbilt on Saturday and lasted through only five batters before being pulled without recording an out.

The Hogs begin a series against SEC opponent Mississippi State at 8 p.m. Thursday at Baum-Walker Stadium. They play Friday night at 6:30 and finish with a game on Saturday at 2 p.m.

 

Parker Tillson is in his second year as a sports reporter for The Arkansas Traveler.

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