The No. 6 Razorback baseball team (2-0) found itself trailing Bucknell (0-2) heading into the bottom of the first inning in game two of the teams’ three-game series, but the scoreboard overwhelmingly favored the Hogs from that point on, as they never looked back in a 32-4 victory Saturday.
“You have no idea how many runs you’re gonna score, and you’re not trying to run it up on anybody,” Razorback coach Dave Van Horn said. “They were throwing guys out there that probably didn’t pitch a whole lot at the end trying to save some guys for Sunday’s game.”
Arkansas’ record for runs in a single game is 33. As the innings went by, the score continued to soar. Second baseman Carson Shaddy, who had two hits and a home run on the day, said the fans sitting behind the dugout made the team aware of the record.
“We heard one of the superfans, Mike McCormick, up there saying we just needed one more,” Shaddy said. “It was a lot of fun, and we’re really happy with what we did today, and just because we didn’t break a record doesn’t mean we had a bad day.”
The Razorbacks cranked out 22 hits and six home runs on the day. Designated hitter Luke Bonfield got the action started with a three-run blast in the bottom of the first inning.
It was the second inning, however, that blew the game open for Arkansas. Shaddy’s home run was followed by an RBI single from shortstop Jax Biggers. Shortly after, center fielder Dominic Fletcher hit a three-run homer of his own to increase Arkansas’ lead. Catcher Grant Koch capped off the inning with a solo shot over the left-field wall to push the score to 9-1.
The Hogs followed the six-run inning with a seven-run inning in the third. After putting up six more runs in the fourth inning, the Razorbacks found themselves up by a big enough margin that Van Horn decided to make mass substitutions.
“I was already substituting guys and obviously felt like the game was in hand,” Van Horn said. “It doesn’t mean I wouldn’t play these guys otherwise. (Jared) Gates didn’t come in until the second half and hit a two-run homer and a double.”
Biggers finished with two hits, three runs, two walks and an RBI. Freshman third baseman Casey Martin hit his first home run as a Razorback and finished with four hits and three runs. The high volume of hits from the entire team made it easier for Martin, he said.
“It helps you carry over to the next at-bat,” Martin said. “It gives you a little push to do what you want and do what’s best for the team.”
Right-handed starter Isaiah Campbell earned the win after pitching four full innings. He recovered from a long first inning to settle down and strike out seven batters.
“I’m not gonna lie, I was really nervous,” Campbell said. “I haven’t thrown in a whole year getting back in front of the crowd. I have my nerves, and after that first batter, I just got back to my normal self, settled in, and after that I was really good.”
Bucknell’s starting pitcher, lefty Jack Grabek, got the loss after giving up nine hits and nine runs in 1.2 innings. He also picked up nine errors along the way. Despite the inability of Bucknell pitchers to get outs, Arkansas’ offense was simply too hot to stop, Shaddy said.
“I think it just really showed the work that we put in,” Shaddy said. “There’s nothing against any of their pitchers at all. Those guys, they did a great job. You feel bad for them because they had to come out and have those long innings. I think we were just really locked in today and were prepared to get a win today.”
The Razorbacks are set to finish their three-game series against Bucknell tomorrow at noon. After that, the Hogs will take on Arizona in the Tony Gwynn Classic on Feb. 21.