Wed April 10, 2024

By Lance Hawley

Hogs Roll Over San Jose State
By Otis Kirk

FAYETTEVILLE -- No. 1 Arkansas rolled past San Jose State 5-1 on Tuesday night at Baum-Walker Stadium in front of 8,931 fans.

Arkansas got a big pitching performance from starter Ben Bybee plus bullpen of Christian Foutch, Gage Wood, Hunter Dietz and Stone Hewlett. The five combined to only allow two hits and struck out 10 while only walking one. Dave Van Horn had praise for the staff particularly Bybee who is now 2-0 on the season.

"I thought Ben Bybee came out and pitched really well for us," Van Horn said. "He had a good change-up, good breaking ball, fastball was good. Just really got us off to a good start. I know they hit a home run but sometimes that just happens. I really liked what I saw from our whole pitching staff. I thought Christian came in and threw great, Wood had a really good inning and then Dietz had a little soreness so we got him out of there. And then Hewlett came in and did a tremendous job. So, super job by our pitchers. And then offensively, you know some timely hitting."

The Razorbacks did indeed have some timely hitting. San Jose got a solo home run from Matt Spear in the top of the second for a brief 1-0 lead. No one thought at that time it was last hit San Jose State would get in the game. However, the Hogs answered with three of their own in the bottom of the inning.

With one out, Jayson Jones walked. Then with two outs Will Edmunson walked allowing Jones to go to second base. Peyton Stovall then singled to get Jones home. Nolan Souza then hit a two-out double to plate both Edmunson and Stovall.

Ben McLaughlin started off the fourth with a solo shot and 4-1 lead. Wehiwa Aloy finished up the scoring in the fifth when he started off the inning hitting a solo home run over the fence in right field.

"Our hitters with some timely hitting," Van Horn said. "Souza obviously with the two-out double, drove in I think a couple of runs. And then a couple of home runs. It was obviously a quick game. Timely hitting and good pitching will win you a lot of games and that’s kind of what you saw tonight."

Bybee worked five innings, allowed the two hits, one run and struck out four. Foutch and Hewlett each struck out two while Wood and Dietz got one.

"Yeah, that’s kind of what we saw in fall practice," Van Horn said of Bybee. "Obviously In the spring he got mono and that slowed him down big time. You know, his strength, he’s probably full-go now. I thought he threw the ball really well."

Bybee said he was feeling great on the mound Tuesday night.

"I felt really good," Bybee said. "I felt like every inning I was out there I just kind of got more comfortable, just kind of more dialed in. It felt really good to get some innings under my belt Honestly, all my pitches were working tonight event through the fifth. I feel like it wasn’t until till probably the third inning where I felt like I was really confident in my changeup. That was what I kind of started throwing a lot of in the fourth and the fifth. Like I said, just felt really good."

Dietz's soreness is it something you are concerned with?

"No. I mean, I don’t know," Van Horn said. "They’re going to look at it. But he got sore last time too. And it’s kind of in a strange area, a different area than where he had the surgery. So just let them look at it and figure it out."

Arkansas (28-3, 11-1) will be on the road this weekend. San Jose State (12-20) and the Hogs first pitch on Wednesday has been moved up to 1 p.m. because of the weather and the press conference that night introducing John Calipari as head basketball coach.

Photos Courtesy of Craven Whitlow CW3 Sports Action