Hogs Win Doubleheader

FAYETTEVILLE – Upended 7-3 Friday by the Southeastern Louisiana University Lions’ 7-run sixth inning, the Arkansas Razorbacks bounced back to sweep Saturday’s doubleheader, 4-2 and 11-1 and take the series 2 out of 3 at Baum-Walker Stadium.

The 3-game series originally was to be played Friday through Sunday but changed to a Saturday doubleheader because of Sunday’s stormy weather forecast.

Coach Dave Van Horn’s Razorbacks of the SEC take a 7-3 record into their Thursday through Sunday 4-game series at Baum-Walker against the University Illinois-Chicago.

Coach Matt Riser’s Lions of the Southland Conference stand 5-6. They leave Fayetteville knowing they beat the Hogs, ranked third nationally by D-1 Baseball, once and had the Hogs tied 2-2 into the seventh inning of Saturday’s first game until Arkansas catcher Michael Turner followed Cayden Wallace’s walk with a 2-run homer on behalf of winning freshman starter Hagen Smith.

No suspense to Saturday’s second game. Jace Bohrfren’s bases-loaded triple then scoring on a wild pitch endednthe 11-1 game in the Arkansas eighth upon a mutually coach agreed upon 10-run rule.

“Just a really good bounce-back day after a tough loss yesterday to a scrappy team,” Van Horn said. “They fought us hard. We didn’t play great yesterday. We played solid baseball today, but our pitching was outstanding from the first inning of Game 1 with Hagen going and then (Zebulon) Vermillion coming off him for an inning and then Brady Tygart finished it up.”

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Vermillion and Tygart threw a scoreless inning each after Smith, 2-1, threw a 2-hitter through seven complete innings while striking out nine against three walks.

In Saturday’s second game, Arkansas winning starter Jaxon Wiggins, 2-0, threw 6 1-3 innings allowing two hits and a run while striking out seven against four walks.

Evan Taylor, getting the last two outs in the seventh after SELU scored in the sixth, and Kole Ramage, ineffective as the first reliever in Friday’s 7-run sixth for hard-luck losing starting pitcher Connor Noland, each pitched scoreless relief in Saturday’s nightcap.

Noland threw a scoreless five innings Friday before charged with three runs during SELU’s 7-run sixth with Ramage allowing a hit, two walks and three runs. Reliever Isaac Bracken also yielded a run during Friday’s sixth.

Ramage on Saturday pitched a scoreless eighth with a strikeout against a hit.

Smith threw brilliantly in his debut winning start two weekends ago vs. Illinois State but in Round Rock, Texas was rocked by Stanford exiting early in a loss.

“I was asked that I think the other day about how I thought he would do,” Van Horn said. “And I felt like he would have a really good outing. It was hit first time on the road against a team that was amped up and he was amped up a little bit and he lost his command a little bit and they hit him. Short outing and I think he learned a lot from it. I feel like all week he prepared mentally and physically to get out there and pitch and he had a great outing.”

Freshman Smith shrugged off the Round Rock to Stanford loss like a veteran.

“I think the biggest thing was throwing good today because we had a loss yesterday (Friday) and this was a big win,” Smith said. “I knew we were going to score today.

After an 0 for 4 Friday, Turner, a senior transfer via Kent State, went 2 for with his key 2-run home run catching Saturday’s first game then 1 for 3 with an RBI playing first base in Saturday’s second game.

“ He (losing SELU reliever Trey Harrington started me off 1-0 and I know he wasn’t wanting to get behind,” Turner said of his 2-run home run. “I was looking fastball and he gave me one I could handle and put a good swing on.”

Outfielder Jace Bohrofen, a senior transfer via the University of Oklahoma, went 2 for 3 with doubles in Friday’s losing cause, 1 for 4 in Saturday’s first game and in Saturday’s second game exploded 3 for 5 with five RBI capped by the eighth-inning 3-run triple capped by scoring on the run-rule invoking wild pitch.

“Yeah it feels a lot better now,” Bohrofen said of celebrating a personally good offensive day in victory rather than defeat. “It was just good to see our team come out and compete and get the job done.”

Since there was no public address announcement about the 10-run rule, did he know he represented the game-winner in the second game’s eighth inning?

“I got on third,” Bohrofen said. “And Coach (Nate) Thompson said, “He (reliever Dalton Aspholm) has been kind of bouncing balls. Just look for a dirt ball right here and if it kicks away just go ahead and score because that will be a run-rule.’ So that’s what I was doing.”

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