FAYETTEVILLE – Iced by Brady Slavens’ grand slam during a 5-run seventh, the Arkansas Razorbacks thumped the Arkansas State Red Wolves, 10-1 before 9,286 attending Tuesday night at Baum-Walker Stadium.
The 2-game nonconference series between Coach Dave Van Horn’s Razorbacks, 29-7 of the SEC, and Coach Tommy Raffo’s Red Wolves, 7-25 of the Sun Belt Conference, concludes at 4 p.m. Wednesday at Baum-Walker.
Right fielder Slavens went 4 for 5 and with 4 RBI off the grand slam plus scored two other other runs.
After Robert Moore’s 2-run home run staked Arkansas to a 2-0 lead in the first inning off losing ASU starter Carter Holt, Slavens singled leading off the third and eventually scored on Jace Bohrofen’s sacrifice fly.
Slavens also singled leading off Arkansas’ fifth scoring one of two Razorbacks’ fifth-inning runs via bases-loaded walks to Zack Gregory and Peyton Stovall.
One of Arkansas’ best hitters on last year’s SEC championship team, Slavens slumped horribly at this season’s outset but has been on a roll of late.
““It’s just not thinking about it too much lately,” Slavens said of overcoming his slow start. “Just stringing together good at bats since then. I’m getting back to playing like myself, like I always have been, having fun and cheering on your teammates, a lot more, more than yourself. And it’s just playing with more of an edge I think.”
What did he think gave him the edge on the grand slam?
“I wasn’t really looking for anything,” Slavens said. “Just hit a fastball up and out with two strikes and put a good swing on it.”
Van Horn approved of Slavens diversely offensive night.
“What I like about it is he’s using the whole field,” Van Horn said. “He’s not just pulling the ball. He’s getting some two-strike hits, he’s going the other way. He started a couple innings today for us and he also finished that one off with that grand slam. Yeah, just happy for him.”
Jalen Battles doubled home Bohrofen (leadoff walk) in the seventh, before Slavens’ slam.
On Cooper Tremmel’s second-inning RBI single following shortstop Battles’2-out error, ASU scored a unearned run off winning starter Kole Ramage in the second inning.
Ramage pitched three 1-hit innings with both coaches planning to piecemeal their pitching Tuesday and Wednesday as the Razorbacks, leading the SEC West at 11-4, visit Texas A&M in a 3-game SEC West series Friday through Sunday in College Station, while the Red Wolves, 2-12 in the Sun Belt but winning their most recent two Sun Belt games against Arkansas-Little Rock, host Troy University in a 3-game Sun Belt series Friday through Sunday in Jonesboro.
Razorbacks relievers Elijah Trest, for 1 2-3 innings, Mark Adamiak, 2 1-3 inning, and Nick Griffin, two innings, each allowed no runs and one hit.
Adamiak with two outs inherited the bases loaded on three Trest walks in the fifth and got ASU 3-hole hitter Ben Klutts to foul out to first baseman Stovall.
“Just don’t let anybody score,” Adamiak said of the situation he inherited with the Hogs then only up 3-0. “ I mean, however you have to do it. It was a cutter that he popped up to our dugout area.”
Sophomore right-hander Will McEntire of Bryant, 1-0, will start for Arkansas Wednesday vs. ASU, Van Horn said.