Great defensive plays overshadowed in Hogs' loss

By: Matt Jones
Published: Saturday, March 3, 2018
Arkansas catcher Grant Koch tags Southern Cal base runner Chase Bushor during the sixth inning of a game Saturday, March 3, 2018, in Fayetteville.
Photo by Charlie Kaijo
Arkansas catcher Grant Koch tags Southern Cal base runner Chase Bushor during the sixth inning of a game Saturday, March 3, 2018, in Fayetteville.

Arkansas' 3-1 loss to Southern Cal on Saturday featured two of the Razorbacks' best defensive plays so far this season.

Dominic Fletcher and Heston Kjerstad each had outfield assists to nullify USC scoring threats. It was the second assist this season for both players.

Fletcher turned a double play by throwing out USC base runner Lars Nootbaar at third base in the fourth inning. Nootbaar reached with a leadoff double and didn't hesitate when tagging from second.

But Fletcher, a left-hander, caught the ball running to his right, creating more momentum behind his throw. He was also aided by the wind at his back.

The ball landed in the glove of Arkansas third baseman, who tagged Nootbaar on a foot-first slide.



"He has a big-time arm and we know it because we saw him plenty while he was growing up," USC coach Dan Hubbs said of Fletcher, a native of Cypress, Calif. "It's a cannon. I think it was one of those things where we had to test it. We had a guy who was in scoring position and, I mean, come on, he threw it right on the bag. If he throws it up the line, we're safe. I'll take that chance that he has to make a perfect throw.

"It was a big-time play by a big-time player. We were having trouble scoring and we had to do whatever we could to get in."

Kjerstad threw out Chase Bushor at the plate to prevent a second run from scoring on Matthew Acosta's RBI single in the sixth inning. His throw one-hopped into the glove of catcher Grant Koch, who reached backward to tag Bushor just before he touched the plate.

Discussion

Have a comment on this story? Join the discussion or start a new one on the Forums.