Arkansas beats ORU for 3rd straight win

By: Matt Jones
Published: Tuesday, April 9, 2019
Arkansas shortstop Casey Martin fields a ball during a game against Oral Roberts on Tuesday, April 9, 2019, in Fayetteville.
Photo by J.T. Wampler
Arkansas shortstop Casey Martin fields a ball during a game against Oral Roberts on Tuesday, April 9, 2019, in Fayetteville.

Arkansas scored four runs in the fourth, fifth and eighth innings, and pulled away from Oral Roberts in a 15-8 victory Tuesday at Baum-Walker Stadium.

Heston Kjerstad hit two home runs, including a fourth-inning grand slam to lead a Razorbacks' offense that recorded 14 hits. Casey Martin went 4-for-5 hitting behind Kjerstad in the lineup.

Arkansas (25-8) overcame an early 3-0 deficit after the Golden Eagles (14-16) scored three runs against starter Marshall Denton.

The Razorbacks went ahead 5-3 on Kjerstad's first career grand slam, but ORU rallied to take a 6-5 lead against Arkansas reliever Kole Ramage in the top of the fifth inning.

Arkansas' first four batters reached base in the bottom of the fifth. The Razorbacks tied the game on Curtis Washington Jr.'s RBI double and took the lead for good on Trevor Ezell's RBI double three pitches later.

ORU cut Arkansas' lead to 11-8 in the top of the eighth inning on a two-run home run by Hunter Wilson, a former Arkansas player who transferred after last season. Wilson went 2-for-5 and receive a standing ovation from the home crowd.

Kjerstad hit a solo home run with one out in the bottom of the eighth and Matt Goodheart added his first career home run - a three-run blast off the video board - later in the inning to put the Razorbacks ahead by the final margin.

Arkansas defeated ORU for the 10th consecutive time. The teams have met in three of the past four NCAA postseasons.

Arkansas 15, ORU 8 - Final

Caden Monke worked around a two-out single in the ninth and the Razorbacks closed out the win. Arkansas outhit ORU 14-10.

The Razorbacks improved to 25-8 overall. ORU fell to 14-16. Arkansas will play again Friday at No. 7 Vanderbilt.

We'll have more from the game later at WholeHogSports.com.

Arkansas 15, ORU 8 - End 8th Inning

ORU is throwing position players to preserve arms, and Arkansas is taking batting practice. Matt Goodheart just hit a three-run homer off the video board, similar to Heston Kjerstad's grand slam earlier in the game. It was Goodheart's first home run this season.

Casey Martin and Dominic Fletcher also scored. Martin reached with a single, which was his fourth hit of the game.

Arkansas 12, ORU 8 - Bottom 8th Inning

Hunter Wilson hit a two-run home run in the top of the eighth inning to pull ORU within three runs. That was Wilson's first career home run in this stadium, where he spent two years as a reserve position player.

Heston Kjerstad hit a one-out homer to left-center field in the bottom of the inning. Kjerstad has hit two homers tonight and nine this season.

Arkansas 11, ORU 6 - End 7th Inning

Casey Opitz and Curtis Washington Jr. struck out to end the inning, stranding two base runners. The Razorbacks have stranded 13 tonight.

Arkansas 11, ORU 6 - Bottom 7th Inning

The Razorbacks put the first four batters of the inning on base, beginning with Casey Martin's double. Dominic Fletcher also doubled, but Martin was unable to score because he had to hold up to see if the ball would be caught.

Martin scored on an RBI single by Jack Kenley, and Fletcher scored on an RBI groundout by Jacob Nesbit.

Arkansas 9, ORU 6 - Middle 7th Inning

Kevin Kopps worked through a little bit of trouble in the seventh. He gave up a single and Casey Martin was charged with his second error of the game, but Kopps got out of the inning with a groundout.

Arkansas 9, ORU 6 - End 6th Inning

Arkansas stranded runners in scoring position in the sixth when Heston Kjerstad struck out. The Razorbacks have left 11 runners on base through six innings.

ORU stranded a two-out base runner in the top of the inning. The inning ended when Hunter Wilson grounded into a fielder's choice. He is 1-for-4 tonight.

Arkansas 9, ORU 6 - End 5th Inning

The Razorbacks stranded two in the inning when Jack Kenley flied out to center field.

Arkansas has scored four runs in consecutive innings. Kevin Kopps will pitch the sixth inning for the Razorbacks, and Arkansas has switched to its normal infield by bringing in Casey Opitz and Jacob Nesbit.

Arkansas 9, ORU 6 - Bottom 5th Inning

Casey Martin's one-out RBI single has plated the Razorbacks' fourth run of the inning. Trevor Ezell scored from third base after advancing on a fly out by Heston Kjerstad.

Martin is 2-for-3 tonight.

Arkansas 8, ORU 6 - Bottom 5th Inning

Curtis Washington Jr. ripped a 3-2 pitch into left field to tie the game, and Casey Opitz raced home on a wild pitch to give the Razorbacks the lead. Trevor Ezell followed with an RBI double to score Washington.

Arkansas has put all four runners on base in the inning. Jordan McFarland and Zack Plunkett both walked to lead off the inning. Opitz pinch ran for Plunkett and will take over behind the plate in the sixth inning.

Washington's at-bat might have been his best yet in his freshman season. He waited for his pitch and crushed it to the wall in left field.

ORU 6, Arkansas 5 - Middle 5th Inning

Isaac Coffey scored from third base with two outs in the fifth inning on a fluke play. Kole Ramage kind of nonchalantly reached for a poor throw from catcher Zack Plunkett and it went by him, allowing Coffey to race home.

Plunkett has had an issue throwing back to the mound this season. It cost Arkansas a run during its loss at Texas last month. That throw was not to Ramage's glove side, but it was still catchable.

That was not a good inning for Ramage, who was one of the heroes of that 15-inning marathon at Auburn last Friday. He allowed three runs (two earned) on three hits.

Arkansas 5, ORU 5 - Top 5th Inning

ORU has tied the game by putting together some good swings against Kole Ramage. Hunter Wilson led off with a single and Spencer Henson followed with a single. Both scored on an RBI double by Isaac Coffey, who ended up on third base because of a throwing error by Casey Martin trying to throw out Henson at the plate.

Arkansas 5, ORU 3 - End 4th Inning

The Razorbacks put two more runners aboard in the fourth on a walk and an error, but the inning ended when Jack Kenley flied out to center field.

Kole Ramage will pitch the fifth inning for Arkansas.

Arkansas 5, ORU 3 - Bottom 4th Inning

Heston Kjerstad just hit a mammoth grand slam that has given Arkansas the lead. Kjerstad's homer went over the video board in right-center field. The ball went over the second "U" in the "Baum Stadium" sign that is on top of the board.

The homer came after Sam Rainwater walked three consecutive batters with one out. That was Kjerstad's eighth homer of the season and first career grand slam.

ORU 3, Arkansas 1 - Middle 4th Inning

Elijah Trest issued a pair of two-out walks to the bottom of the ORU order, but struck out Blake Hall swinging at a 2-2 pitch to end the inning. Trest has thrown two scoreless innings of relief. Kole Ramage is warming up in the Arkansas bullpen now.

ORU 3, Arkansas 1 - End 3rd Inning

Casey Martin doubled with one out and scored on Matt Goodheart's two-out RBI single to put the Razorbacks on the board. Goodheart hammered the first pitch he saw from Caleb Lee into center field.

Martin's double went to the wall in right-center field. It took a hard bounce off the wall, otherwise he might have been able to leg out a triple.

ORU 3, Arkansas 0 - End 2nd Inning

Arkansas loaded the bases against Caleb Lee with two outs in the second inning, but Trevor Ezell grounded out to strand three. Spencer Henson made a great pick at first base on a throw in the dirt by third baseman Isaac Coffey.

Jack Kenley singled with one out before back-to-back two-out walks by Zack Plunkett and Curtis Washington Jr. Lee's pitch count is 47 through two innings.

ORU 3, Arkansas 0 - Middle 2nd Inning

Marshall Denton worked around a leadoff single to Riley Keizor in the top of the inning. Keizor advanced to second on a balk and to third on a wild pitch, but was stranded when Blake Hall struck out swinging.

ORU 3, Arkansas 0 - End 1st Inning

Once again, Arkansas is off to a poor start in the midweek. Marshall Denton gave up two runs and hit a batter, and the Golden Eagles scored three runs on an RBI triple by Trevor McCuthin and a two-run home run on the next pitch to Isaac Coffey.

Heston Kjerstad reached with a one-out walk in the bottom of the inning, but he was stranded at second base.

Hunter Wilson, the former Arkansas infielder, is batting second for ORU tonight. They played his old walk-up song and the crowd gave him a standing ovation before he grounded out to the pitcher.

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