Matt Jones is the online sports director for the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette. A double graduate of the University of Arkansas, he is a member of the Football Writers Association of America and National Collegiate Baseball Writers Association, and voter for the Biletnikoff Award.
Hogs make quick work of Leathernecks
Arkansas' Joe Serrano (10) is congratulated at the plate by Brett McAfee after scoring a run and recording and RBI Saturday, Feb. 16, 2013, during the sixth inning of the Hogs' win over Western Illinois at Baum Stadium in Fayetteville.
FAYETTEVILLE Despite freezing temperatures, Arkansas' bats heated up enough Saturday at Baum Stadium.
The Razorbacks put together rallies in the second and sixth innings, and beat Western Illinois 7-2. Arkansas improved to 2-0 this season.
Matt Vinson's two-out, two-run single in the second gave the Razorbacks all the runs they would need. Barrett Astin pitched five innings in a start, allowing one run on three hits.
Jalen Beeks pitched three innings in relief, striking out four batters and allowing just two hits. Thomas Altimont gave up a run in the bottom of the ninth of a game that lasted only 1 hour, 58 minutes.
Western Illinois (0-2) pulled within 2-1 on a Brent Turner RBI single, but the Razorbacks responded in the fourth with a Joe Serrano fielder's choice RBI to score Brian Anderson, who led-off the inning with a single.
Arkansas added to its lead with a four-run sixth. Serrano (single) and Jake Wise (double) had RBI hits in the inning. The Razorbacks finished with eight hits.
The two teams will play the series finale Sunday with a scheduled 12:05 p.m. first pitch. Senior left-hander Trent Daniel will start on the mound for Arkansas.