Matt Jones has been the online sports editor for the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette since 2010. He is also a feature writer for Hawgs Illustrated magazine and is currently pursuing a Masters degree in journalism.
Arkansas tops Evansville in opener
Arkansas junior Jake Wise connects for a two-run home run Friday, Feb. 22, 2013, during the second inning of play against Evansville at Baum Stadium in Fayetteville.
FAYETTEVILLE Arkansas' freshmen continued to come through big Friday.
Tyler Spoon had a three-run single in the sixth and Jordan Farris added a three-run home run in the seventh, helping the No. 1 Razorbacks to a 10-4 win over Evansville at Baum Stadium.
Both hits came with two outs in the inning and helped pick up Arkansas after Ryne Stanek struggled in a three-inning start on the mound. Stanek threw 76 pitches and allowed two runs on four hits in a no-decision.
The Purple Aces took a 2-0 lead on a Kevin Kaczmarski single in the top of the second, but the Razorbacks tied the game when Jake Wise hit a two-run home run in the bottom half of the inning.
Wise, who finished with three hits, gave Arkansas the lead on a RBI single in the fourth and scored on a passed ball to extend the advantage to 4-2.
Two runners scored on Spoon's single and Joe Serrano added another run when Spoon was caught in an inning-ending rundown between first and second base. Evansville added two runs in the top of seventh to pull within 7-4 before Farris' first career home run.
Brandon Moore earned the win by pitching 3 2/3 innings of relief. The right-hander allowed one earned run on four hits and struck out two.
Jalen Beeks added 1 1/3 innings of scoreless relief and Chris Oliver recorded the final three outs. Arkansas (5-1) combined to record 11 strikeouts.
Evansville (1-3) dropped its third consecutive game after a season-opening win at Arkansas-Little Rock last Friday. Purple Aces starter Kyle Freeland was handed the loss after allowing four runs on seven hits in five innings. The left-hander struck out five.
The teams will play in the second of the three-game series on Saturday at 1:05 p.m. Right-hander Barrett Astin will start the game on the mound for Arkansas.