Hogs Sweep Auburn
By Otis Kirk
FAYETTEVILLE — No. 7 Arkansas opened SEC play with a sweep of Auburn taking the final game on Sunday 5-0 at Baum-Walker Stadium.
Arkansas (18-2, 3-0) was led by the outstanding starting pitching of Cody Adcock and the timely hitting of Jared Wegner and Harold Coll. Adcock (2-1) replaced Hagen Smith in the starting rotation and responded pitching six innings, allowing just one hit, walking a hitter and striking out a half dozen. Smith was moved to the bullpen and responded with outstanding outings on both Friday and Sunday. Dave Van Horn had hoped for four innings from Adcock and got six.
“I felt really good today,” Adcock said. “I had my slider going really well. My fastball was good and I was slipping in some curveballs every now and again just to show them that pitch and keep them off balance.”
Adcock talked about the mindset difference between starting and coming in as a reliever.
“I don’t think it should be that way but it does a little different as a starter,” Adcock said. “You’re expected to go three or four innings at the minimum. So for the first three innings I was just telling myself, ‘Hey, ain’t nobody coming in to save me. I’m out here by myself so let’s do it.’ That was just kind of my mentality.”
In addition to the pitching on Sunday, Wegner delivered a three-run blast in the bottom of the third. In the bottom of the fourth, Jace Bohrofen led off the inning with a single to right field. Kendall Diggs followed with a double to right. Coll then singled to center field to plate both Bohrofen and Diggs and finish off the scoring for the day.
Former Bryant standout quarterback and pitcher Austin Ledbetter worked two innings after replacing Adcock. He allowed two hits. Former Batesville pitcher Gage Wood replaced Ledbetter to start the ninth, but struggled some. He walked one and hit a batter before giving way to Smith with one out. Adcock talked about the Arkansas staff holding a powerful Auburn offense to five runs in three games.
“Yeah, this team was really good offensively,” Adcock said. “I think they had a few guys batting over .400. But you can get into those numbers and try to game-plan for those guys, but I think at the end of the day it is about executing pitches and I think that’s what we did all weekend.”
Friday, March 17, Arkansas 7 – Auburn 2
Arkansas trailed 2-0 entering the bottom of the fourth, but erupted for five runs and never trailed again in the three-game series. Brady Slavens hit a three-run home run in the fourth while Parker Rowland and Tavian Josenberger also knocked in runs. Peyton Stovall and Jared Wegner knocked in a run each in the bottom of the sixth.
Josenberger and Wegner each had two hits on the day. Slaven had just the one hit, but it was a big one. Hunter Hollan moved to Friday night’s starter worked six innings. He allowed six hits, two runs, walked three and fanned a trio. Hagen Smith worked the final three innings not allowing a hit, striking out five and walking two. He earned the save while Hollan (4-0) got the win.
Saturday, March 18, Arkansas 9 – Auburn 3
Former Bryant standout Will Ledbetter worked six innings to move to 4-0 on the season. He allowed five hits, three runs, struck out three without walking anyone.
Kendall Diggs was big on offense getting two doubles and knocking in four runs. Tavian Josenberger had a two-run home run.
The Hogs scored three runs in the bottom of the first on a double by Diggs that allowed Josenberger, Peyton Stovall and Brady Slavens to score. Josenberger hit his home run in the bottom of the second that also knocked in John Bolton. The Hogs added four more runs in the fifth.
Zach Crotchfelt (0-1) took the loss. Dylan Carter was once again outstanding for the Hogs out of the bullpen. He worked three innings in relief of McEntire. He allowed one hit and struck out three.
Arkansas will finish up an 18-game homestand on Tuesday when they host Southeast Missouri State (9-12) at 3 p.m. in Baum-Walker Stadium. Arkansas has won 13 games in a row. They will continue SEC play this weekend with a three-game series at LSU. LSU (18-2, 2-1) and the Hogs will play on ESPN2 Friday night at 7 p.m. Saturday’s game starts at 1 p.m. and will be televised on the SEC Network. Then, on Sunday, the first pitch is set for noon and once again televised on ESPN2.
Photos Courtesy of John James