The Arkansas Razorbacks baseball team went into the second game of the season against Western Illinois Leathernecks looking to keep its No. 1 ranking and get experience for some of the younger Hog players. Back for the Hogs was Joe Serrano although not in a full capacity at designated hitter. Both the Hogs and Serrano made the most of the afternoon as the Razorbacks won 7-2 at Baum Stadium this afternoon during a game that saw temperatures drop into the 30s.
Unlike yesterday the Hogs went three and out in the first inning before Jacob Mahan doubled to right to lead off the 2nd inning. After Serrano was hit by a pitch and a fly out by Jake Wise, Brett McAfee ground out to first but advanced both Mahan and Serrano into scoring position. Vinson singled to right but was caught in a rundown trying to go to go second base, but his efforts scored both Mahan and Serrano for the first two Razorback runs of the game.
Western Illinois came back in the third and got on the board with a run after Astin walked the first batter, followed by a ground out that advanced the runner and then Leathernecks got a single to left that scored the runner. However, that would be it for Western Illinois until the ninth inning.
Barrett Astin started as pitcher for the Hogs and got the win. Astin went five innings, allowing 1 earned run on 3 hits with 3 strike outs over 63 pitches. Sophomore Jalen Beeks, a transfer from Crowder Community College, took over for Astin as Killian did for Stanek yesterday and pitched 3 inning, allowing no runs on 2 hits with 4 strike outs and taking only 35 pitches. Junior transfer Thomas Altimont finished out the pitching game for the Hogs throwing 21 pitches while allowing 3 hits and 1 run.
In the fourth for the Diamond Hogs, Anderson took the lead pitch and turned it into a single and then stole second base. After a Mahan sac fly to advance to Anderson to third, Serrano came up and grounded to short, scoring Anderson for the Razorbacks third run of the game.
In wasn’t until the sixth inning that the Razorbacks opened the game up. Yesterday’s big bat Eric Fisher lead off with a walk and sophomore Brian Anderson singled, advancing Fisher to second. Jacob Mahan followed with a sac bunt to the third base line advancing Fisher and Anderson to third and second. Serrano came to the plate again and singled left scoring Fisher and then Anderson scored and Serrano advanced on a throwing error pushing the Razorbacks’ lead to 5-1. But the Diamond Hogs weren’t done. Jacob Wise came up and didn’t leave Serrano stranded by doubling down the left field line. Serrano scored from second. The Hogs kept up the pressure in the sixth as Wise stole third. Brett McAfee then grounded out to third scoring Wise.
The onslaught shot the Omahogs to a 7-1 lead and those were all the runs the Razorbacks would score for the day. Western Illinois added only a run in the top of the ninth leaving the Hogs took their victory without batting in the ninth.
The attendance was about 3,030 on the 7,270 tickets sold.
The Razorbacks (2-0) and Leathernecks (0-2) play again tomorrow at Baum Stadium beginning at 1:05 p.m.