Baseball vs. Murray State

Arkansas head coach Dave Van Horn congratulates junior third baseman Jacob Nesbit on his three-run homer during Sunday’s win over Murray State. The blast, which was Nesbit’s first hit of the 2021 season, propelled the Hogs to their 10th win in as many games.

The No. 1 Arkansas baseball team (10-0) shut out the Murray State Racers (5-6), 6-0, to finish off the series sweep Sunday, March 7, at Baum-Walker Stadium. Left-handed graduate senior Lael Lockhart picked up his first win of the season in his start on hill for the Hogs.

The Razorbacks started the afternoon in the bottom of the first with sophomore second by junior right fielder Brady Slavens driving in sophomore second baseman Robert Moore on a sacrifice fly into right to give Arkansas an early 1-0 lead.

In the bottom of the fourth inning, after back-to-back walks, junior third baseman Jacob Nesbit sent a three-run rocket into deep left field with one out for his first base hit of the season. Nesbit came into the game 0-for-7 on the year.

“It felt great,” Nesbit said in a postgame press conference through Zoom. “Just doing whatever I can to get on base and getting in a position to help score some runs, help the team win. I was really excited to get good wood on that and luckily it left the yard.”

The Hogs started the bottom of the fifth with three straight walks to load the bases. Senior first baseman Cullen Smith and junior shortstop Jalen Battles went back-to-back with sacrifice flies to extend the lead.

After right-handed freshman Nate Wohlgemuth walked the first two batters in the top of the eighth inning, right-handed senior Kevin Kopps came in and threw nothing but heat to escape the jam and keep the Racers scoreless. Kopps struck out all three batters he faced on 11 pitches.

Lockhart pitched five innings in his start for the Hogs. He is the second pitcher this season for the Razorbacks to pitch at least five innings. Lockhart allowed five hits, a walk, struck out six and threw 76 pitches.

“I think, for me personally, it's just kind of realizing the situation that you're in and taking it pitch-to-pitch and walking with the hitter through the at-bat,” Lockhart said on the key to escaping jams, “And just executing the pitches you want to execute.”

The Razorbacks had 16 players reach base on five hits, nine walks and two hit batters.

Arkansas used five relievers in the final contest. The Hog bullpen combined for four innings while allowing a hit, four walks and struck out five batters.

Murray State only had one runner reach third and it came in the top of the seventh inning when freshman righty Evan Gray threw two wild pitches. Gray came back and struck out junior Brennan McCullough, who pinch hit for designated hitter Wes Schad, and shortstop Jordan Holly to end the inning.

“Really good to get a sweep over a good club,” Arkansas head coach Dave Van Horn said. “We didn’t put together a whole lot offensively. But, what we did do is hit three sacrifice flies and we got runners on third base with less than two outs. We got the ball to the outfield. That’s what we coach them to do.”

The No. 1 OmaHogs will travel to Ruston, Louisiana, to take on the Louisiana Tech Bulldogs in a three-game series from March 12-14. First pitch for game one is scheduled for 6 p.m. and all three games will be broadcast on Cox Sports TV.

(0) comments

Welcome to the discussion.

Keep it Clean. Please avoid obscene, vulgar, lewd, racist or sexually-oriented language.
Don't Threaten. Threats of harming another person will not be tolerated.
Be Truthful. Don't knowingly lie about anyone or anything.
Be Nice. No racism, sexism or any sort of -ism that is degrading to another person.
Be Proactive. Use the 'Report' link on each comment to let us know of abusive posts.
Share with Us. We'd love to hear eyewitness accounts, the history behind an article.