Andrew Hutchinson is a multimedia reporter for the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette. He is a graduate of the University of Arkansas.
Diamond Hogs Split Doubleheader
Arkansas second baseman Brian Anderson throws to first base during a game Friday, March 7, 2014 at Evans Diamond in Berkeley, Calif.
FAYETTEVILLE Arkansas and No. 13 Mississippi State split a pair of four-run games to open up the three-game series at Dudy Noble Field in Starkville, Miss.
The teams played a doubleheader Saturday after Friday night's game was postponed because of inclement weather. The Razorbacks won the first game 4-0, while the Bulldogs took the second game 5-1.
Left-handers Jalen Beeks and Michael Gunn continued Arkansas' dominance on the mound in game one. Beeks scattered nine hits and struck out one batter in eight innings of work to earn the win before Gunn came in and got the save.
The shutout was Arkansas' fourth in five games.
Eric Fisher's run on a wild pitch in the second inning gave the Razorbacks all the scoring they needed, but a pair of RBI-singles gave them some insurance runs. The hits by Bobby Wernes and Brian Anderson came in the fourth and fifth innings, respectively.
Arkansas had 10 hits in the game.
The scoring was capped in the fifth inning when Andrew Benintendi scored on a fielder's choice by Fisher.
The Razorbacks could not manage the same type of offense in game two.
Anderson's hit that bounced over the second baseman's head in the first inning gave Arkansas a 1-0 lead it would hold until the sixth inning.
That inning, the Bulldogs finally got to Arkansas' starter, right-hander Trey Killian. Mississippi State tied the game and had a pair of base runners when Arkansas coach Dave Van Horn pulled his starter.
The Bulldogs ended up scoring four runs in the sixth inning and added one in the seventh. Before that inning, Arkansas pitchers had given up two runs in the previous 57 innings, dating back to the 2-1 win over Alabama March 22.
Coming off back-to-back complete games, Killian went only 5 2/3 innings and gave up three earned runs on six hits.
Instead, it was Mississippi State's starter, left-hander Ross Mitchell, that went the distance. Mitchell allowed only one earned run on four hits while tossing the complete game.
Arkansas will attempt to avoid losing a series to the Bulldogs for the first time since 2008 in Sunday's rubber match. First pitch is scheduled for 1:30 p.m.