Leading with ease
Razorbacks respond to Friday’s close call, cruise in 13-7 victory over Bryant.
ARKANSAS 13, BRYANT 7
FAYETTEVILLE — Arkansas Razorbacks Coach Dave Van Horn wasn’t happy with how his team reacted to a big inning in Friday’s victory over Bryant.
On Saturday, the University of Arkansas got a second chance to show its coach it can play with a big lead.
The Razorbacks scored eight runs in the third inning and cruised to a 13-7 victory over Bryant in front of 3,814 at Baum Stadium. The Razorbacks will attempt the series sweep today at 1 p.m.
The Razorbacks (5-0) led by seven runs after a 10-run sixth in Friday’s victory, but they had to work out of a bases-loaded jam in the ninth to win 11-8.
It wasn’t nearly as difficult Saturday as the Razorbacks led by as many as 11 runs and never had their lead threatened.
“I think we responded really well,” Razorbacks left fielder Jake Arledge said. “We had a big inning … and then we just kind of chipped a little bit away. That was the
difference. If we don’t do that, it’s a pretty close ballgame.”
Seven consecutive batters reached base during the third for the Razorbacks, who sent 12 to the plate in the inning and led 10-0 when it was over.
Bryant starter Steve Theetge walked two and allowed doubles by Grant Koch and Dominic Fletcher before being pulled with one out.
Jax Biggers added a threerun double off Bryant reliever Jack Ipsen to give the Razorbacks a 7-0 lead. Jaxon Williams and Arledge also had RBI singles in the inning, and Arledge scored on an error by Bryant first baseman Chris Wright.
The Bulldogs (2-4) committed six errors. Three of the Razorbacks’ runs were unearned.
“You’ve got to take advantage of errors, and you’ve got to take advantage of getting more than three outs in an inning,” Van Horn said. “If you do that and you’re scoring, you’re going to win a lot of games.”
Sophomore Trevor Stephan had a strong start for the Razorbacks in 52/ scoreless innings. 3 The right-hander allowed 2 hits, walked 4 and struck out 6 in a 103-pitch outing.
“I thought he threw real well,” Van Horn said. “His fastball was good, and he was around the zone the whole game. There were a couple of at-bats where he was down 3-0 but came back and struck out a hitter.”
Sophomore Isaiah Campbell, who initially was ruled out for the series, was able to pitch for the first time Saturday. Campbell, a projected starter in the preseason, struggled with his velocity during a 26-pitch outing in the seventh inning. He allowed three
runs on three hits and walked a batter.
“He threw a light bullpen Wednesday or Thursday, and the plan was to get him in an inning some time,” Van Horn said. “He was a little rusty because he hasn’t pitched much for a few weeks. His stuff was actually pretty good. The velocity was down a little bit,
but he got behind in the count and any time you get behind in the count, Division I hitters are going to hit you a little bit. He’ll be a lot better next time.”
The Razorbacks’ bullpen allowed seven runs to bring its weekend total to 10. After scoring three times against Campbell, Bryant scored four runs against left-hander Weston
Rogers in the eighth inning.
Carson Shaddy hit a tworun opposite-field home run in the second inning to give the Razorbacks a 2-0 lead before the big third pushed the lead to 10-0.
Theetge threw 21/ innings 3 and suffered his first loss in 13 career starts. The sophomore left-hander allowed 6 runs on 3 hits and walked 6 batters for Bryant.
The Razorbacks extended their lead to 11-0 in the fifth when Arledge scored after reaching on a double.
Arledge added a solo home run over the fence in left field in the eighth and finished 3 of 4 with 2 RBI, and he was a triple shy of the cycle. He also walked and scored three runs.
“We need his production,” Van Horn said. “He’s a good outfielder, and we need him in the outfield a little more. We definitely need him to hit the lefties.
Arkansas Razorbacks third baseman Carson Shaddy (left) celebrates with Dominic Fletcher (center) and Jordan McFarland after hitting a two-run home run Saturday