Ark. vs Semo 2/27

Senior designated hitter Matt Goodheart checks in at second base during Saturday’s win over Southeast Missouri State. Goodheart went 1-3 with two walks, a run batted in and a run scored in his 2021 debut.

The No. 2 Arkansas baseball team coasted to a 9-3 win Saturday, when they squared off against the Southeast Missouri State Redhawks for game three of their weekend series.

The Razorbacks jumped on the Redhawks in the first inning, sending all nine hitters to the plate.The Hogs played some small ball early as they scored four runs off trios of walks, singles and stolen bases. The Hogs were aided by a couple wild pitches and a throwing error by the catcher as well.

“(I) just felt like the pitcher was a little slow to the plate,” head coach Dave Van Horn said about the early aggression on the basepaths. “We’ve got some pretty good runners up top… we were just going to keep running until somebody got thrown out.”

Sophomore second baseman Robert Moore kicked off the inning with a walk, then stole second base. Junior center fielder Christian Franklin brought him home with an RBI single. Franklin stole second base and advanced to third as the catcher’s throw sailed into center field.

Senior designated hitter Matt Goodheart scored Franklin with a single in his first at-bat of the season, before stealing second base.

Arkansas chased SEMO starting pitcher Ryan Vogt out of the game after just four batters.

Junior first baseman Brady Slavens knocked in Goodheart later in the inning, and senior third baseman Cullen Smith walked and later scored on a wild pitch.

Franklin added to the punishment with a two-run longball in the second inning after Moore’s leadoff single, his third home run in three games.

“We’ve seen it all year,” Van Horn said about Franklin’s power. “As far as back in the fall and last year. He’s even stronger, more powerful this year. He’s extremely strong, his swing is outstanding right now.”

In the third inning, junior shortstop Jalen Battles doubled and scored on a single by Moore. A single and a walk loaded the bases before Moore came in to score on a wild pitch that put Arkansas up 8-0 in the third inning.

Arkansas added another run in the fourth inning after Smith and Battles each doubled, bringing the lead to 9-0. The Hogs did not score the rest of the game.

Arkansas sophomore starting pitcher Peyton Pallette was outstanding on the bump. He threw five shutout innings, allowing just three hits and striking out eight Redhawks.

Arkansas turned to freshman pitcher Nate Wohlgemuth in the sixth inning. He was pulled after two walks, a single and an error left the bases loaded with a run scored. Sophomore pitcher Zack Morris came in on relief and escaped the jam, striking out the next two batters.

“(Morris) came in bases loaded, one out,” Van Horn said. “Got two quick outs. Got the strikeout with a really good breaking-ball to end that inning. At the time it was 9-1, they had bases loaded one out, they didn’t score. He did a tremendous job.”

SEMO added a couple of runs late in the game. Catcher Andrew Keck hit a solo home run in the eighth inning, and the Redhawks added a run in the ninth.

Franklin finished the game 4-5 with a home run, three RBIs and two runs scored. Moore scored three times and knocked in a run. Battles added a couple of doubles and a RBI.

Arkansas and the Redhawks will play game four of the series at 1 p.m. Sunday, Feb. 28 at Baum-Walker Stadium. The game will be broadcast on the SEC Network+.

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