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 Master's degree in documentary film.
Hogs manufacture series sweep
Arkansas left fielder Joe Serrano (10) is congratulated at the plate by right fielder Tyler Spoon as he scores a run after hitting an RBI double to break a 3-3 tie during the seventh inning Sunday, Feb. 16, 2014, against Appalachian State at Baum Stadium in Fayetteville.
FAYETTEVILLE Arkansas had only three hits Sunday, but that didn't slow the team's offense.
The No. 25 Razorbacks drew seven walks and were hit by six pitches, and the bats came through when it mattered most in an 8-3 win over Appalachian State at Baum Stadium. The win swept the series for Arkansas and was the 2,000th in program history.
Joe Serrano's RBI double scored Clark Eagan to give the Razorbacks a 4-3 lead with one out in the seventh inning and Brian Anderson followed with a RBI single to score Serrano. Arkansas scored three more runs without a base hit in the eighth inning to break the game open.
The Razorbacks (3-0) ran their number of walks to 16 and hit batters to 12 in the weekend series. The nine-hole hitter in Arkansas' lineup was hit in all four plate appearances Sunday.
RECORDS: Arkansas 3-0, Appalachian State 0-3
WP: Jacob Stone (1-0)
LP: Payton Smith (0-1)
TURNING POINT: Joe Serrano and Brian Anderson had back-to-back RBI hits to give Arkansas the lead in the seventh inning.
NOTABLE: Sunday's win was the Razorbacks' 2,000th in program history.
Tyler Spoon gave the Razorbacks a 1-0 lead with a RBI double to score Andrew Benintendi in the first inning, but Arkansas didn't record another base hit until Serrano's double in the seventh. Appalachian State took a 2-1 lead in the top of the third inning on a solo home run by Michael Pierson and a fielder's choice bunt by William Head.
Arkansas regained the lead when Benintendi walked with the bases loaded and Serrano had a sacrifice fly in the bottom of the second. Benintendi reached base seven times during the series without a hit, recording four walks and getting hit by three pitches.
The Mountaineers tied the game on another solo home run by Dillon Dobson in the top of the third inning. Both home runs came off Arkansas freshman Alex Phillips, who gave up two earned runs in three innings on the mound. The right-hander struck out three batters and walked one.
Freshman Zach Jackson struck out three batters in three scoreless innings for the Razorbacks. Winning pitcher Jacob Stone, Colin Poche and Jackson Lowery each threw one inning of scoreless relief. Arkansas struck out nine Appalachian State batters and allowed five hits.
Jeffrey Springs pitched five innings for the Mountaineers (0-3). The left-hander allowed only one hit, but walked five batters and hit three with a pitch.
The Razorbacks won't play in the midweek and will host Eastern Illinois next weekend.