Thu May 02, 2024

By Lance Hawley

Sports Razorbacks

Hogs Sweep Missouri State, Finish Unbeaten in Midweek Games

Arkansas Baseball Razorbacks Baseball
Hogs Sweep Missouri State, Finish Unbeaten in Midweek Games
By Otis Kirk

FAYETTEVILLE -- No. 2 Arkansas completed a two-game sweep over Missouri State with an 8-5 win over Wednesday at Baum-Walker Stadium.

Arkansas (39-7, 16-5) won the series opener Tuesday night 12-7. On Wednesday, Arkansas got a good start from Ben Bybee and then bullpen help from Dylan Carter (1-0), who picked up the win, and Koty Frank. For Carter it was his first win of the season. He worked 2.1 innings allowing three hits, two runs while striking out one with no walks.

Bybee worked four innings allowing three hits and no runs. Frank earned his fourth save of the season working 2.2 innings allowing a pair of hits and three runs. Frank walked one and fanned three. Bybee was going on short rest since he started Sunday's game against Florida.

"I felt great today going out there," Bybee said. "I did a good job in my pre-outing bullpen with Parker. Us two kind of connected, figuring out what pitches were working today. When we went out there, I thought his pitch calling was awesome and I got a lot of confidence in Parker (Rowland). He’s my locker neighbor so we’re always talking pitching and whatnot. He’s telling me to get the curveball in the dirt and I have full faith he’s going to keep it in front, which he did twice tonight. A lot of it was Parker and the connection we have."

The Hogs took control of the game with two runs in each of the fifth and sixth innings before putting three up in the seventh. In the fifth Rowland walked. With one out, Peyton Stovall singled and Rowland scored on a throwing error. Ben McLaughlin and Jared Sprague-Lott walked to load the bases. Stovall scored on a sacrifice fly by Kendall Diggs.

In the sixth, Peyton Holt hit a solo home run. Rowland doubled then scored on a Stovall single. Arkansas got its three runs in the seventh on a walk to McLaughlin, single by Sprague-Lott and walk to Wehiwa Aloy. Nolan Souza singled to plate McLaughlin. Holt walked and a sacrifice fly by Rowland allowed Sprague-Lott to score. Rowland flied out into a double play, but Aloy scored on the play.

Arkansas finished the game with 10 hits and Stovall got half of them going 5 for 5 at the plate.

"First off super proud of our team for being able to come out there last midweek and get that win," Stovall said. "Just trying to keep it simple, not trying to do too much and stay in the middle of the field. I felt like I did a really good job of that today. That’s pretty much all I can ask for, just trying to make hard contact up the middle. Just trying to keep it as simple as possible, not trying to do too much. That’s kind of my approach today."

Rowland got Arkansas on top in the bottom of the third. He singled to lead off the inning. Then with one out, Stovall singled to move him to second. With two outs, Sprague-Lott hit a grounder to third baseman Curry Sutherland who had a throwing error allowing Rowland to score for a 1-0 lead.

Arkansas went undefeated in mid-week games for the first time since 2005. Stovall was asked what contributed to that success?

" I think it just speaks to us coming out every day and playing," Stovall said. "We have a lot of depth on both sides of the ball. I just think guys just want to keep getting in and having the opportunity. A guy like P-Row who hasn't played a ton and he comes in there and looks great. When his name is called he just wants to go out there and do what he can for us to win. They can get draggy and stuff. I felt we’ve done a really good job all year just showing up to the ballpark and playing 100 percent. That’s all we could ask for."

In the top of the fifth, Logan Chambers tied it at 1-1 with a solo shot over the fence in right field.

Missouri State (18-26) got one run in the seventh and three in the ninth including a solo home run by Nick Rodriguez to lead off the final inning. Reed Metz (1-3) worked 1.2 innings in relief and took the loss. Hunter Day went 2.2 innings in the start.

Arkansas will be on the road for a key SEC series this weekend. The Hogs and Kentucky (33-9, 16-5) are tied for the best record in conference play. Friday's game will begin at 5:30, Saturday at 1 and Sunday 12:30. All three games can be streamed on the SEC Network+.

Photos Courtesy of Craven Whitlow CW3 Sports Action