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 get midweek win
Arkansas' Alex Phillips delivers a pitch Tuesday, April 15, 2014, during the game against Stephen F. Austin at Baum Stadium in Fayetteville
FAYETTEVILLE Arkansas built a lead with its offense and used sloppy defense to extend it in a 7-2 win over Stephen F. Austin on Tuesday at Baum Stadium.
Blake Baxendale had a first inning RBI single and Michael Bernal added a two-run double in the second inning to give the Razorbacks a 3-0 lead. That was enough for four Arkansas pitchers, who scattered eight hits and struck out 11 batters.
The Lumberjacks (15-21) pulled within 3-2 in the second inning with a pair of runs off Arkansas starter Alex Phillips. Matthew Dickey doubled and Ricardo Sanchez singled with no outs in the inning to chase Phillips, who walked three batters in two innings.
Mackenzie Handel doubled off reliever Jacob Stone to score Dickey and Sanchez scored on a fielder's choice.
Arkansas (23-15) used three passed balls and an error to add three runs in the fifth inning. Bernal, who finished with three of the team's 12 hits, scored on a RBI single by Andrew Benintendi to extend the lead to 4-2. Joe Serrano's sacrifice fly scored Tyler Spoon and Benintendi scored on a throwing error to give the Razorbacks a 6-2 lead.
Baxendale added an insurance run in the eighth inning, singling to leadoff the inning and scoring on Bernal's third RBI. Jake Wise attempted to score from second base on the play but was thrown out at the plate to end the inning.
Colin Poche struck out four pitchers in three innings to pick up the win for Arkansas. Michael Gunn added four more strikeouts in two innings to close the game.
The Razorbacks are scheduled to host No. 18 Vanderbilt on Friday for the second of nine straight games at home.