Mastery intact: UA drops Oral Roberts for 10th time in row

By: Bob Holt
Published: Wednesday, April 10, 2019
Arkansas outfielder Heston Kjerstad (right) is congratulated by hitting coach Nate Thompson after Kjerstad hit a grand slam home run during the fourth inning of a game against Oral Roberts on Tuesday, April 9, 2019, in Fayetteville.
Photo by J.T. Wampler
Arkansas outfielder Heston Kjerstad (right) is congratulated by hitting coach Nate Thompson after Kjerstad hit a grand slam home run during the fourth inning of a game against Oral Roberts on Tuesday, April 9, 2019, in Fayetteville.

FAYETTEVILLE -- Oral Roberts University's futility against the University of Arkansas baseball team now sits at 11 years.

Arkansas pounded the Golden Eagles 15-8 on Tuesday night in Baum-Walker Stadium before an announced crowd of 4,360 to extend the No. 10 Razorbacks' winning streak in the series to 10 games. ORU last beat Arkansas 12-2 on April 15, 2008, in Tulsa.

Arkansas sophomore right fielder Heston Kjerstad hit two home runs, including his first career grand slam.

Casey Martin, the Razorbacks' sophomore shortstop, was 4 for 5 -- including two doubles -- with a walk. He scored two runs.

"I thought Casey's approach was really good," Arkansas Coach Dave Van Horn said. "He took more pitches than I had seen him take in awhile.

"Instead of just swinging, he took it. Might have been a strike, might have been a ball. But he still had another pitch or two to work with. He just did a good job of fighting up there. It was good to see."

The Razorbacks had 14 hits and 13 walks, and matched their season-high for runs. The other two times were in victories over Eastern Illinois 15-7 and Stony Brook 15-7.

"It was a lot of guys coming back into the dugout getting high-fives after getting the job done at the plate," Kjerstad said.

ORU took a 3-0 lead in the first inning when Arkansas starter Marshall Denton hit leadoff man Blake Hall, Trevor McCutchin hit a two-out triple, and Isaac Coffey followed with a two-run home run.

"It didn't look good," Van Horn said.

It got a lot better for Arkansas (25-8), which batted around in both the fourth and fifth innings to score a combined eight runs.

"I didn't feel like there was any panic," Van Horn said. "We felt like we were going to score tonight."

Kjerstad's ninth home run of the season was an opposite-field shot over the left-field fence in the eighth inning that extended the Razorbacks' lead to 12-8.

Matt Goodheart, a sophomore transfer from San Jacinto (Texas) Community College, hit his first home run as a Razorback -- a three-run shot in the eighth inning -- to push Arkansas' lead to 15-8.

The Razorbacks scored at least one run in five of their last six innings.

"It was good that our offense just kept going," Van Horn said. "Really what created the innings was that we fouled off a lot of pitches and we forced some walks."

Elijah Trest and Kevin Kopps each pitched two shutout innings of relief for Arkansas, though Kole Ramage (6-1) picked up the victory while giving up 3 hits and 2 earned runs in the only inning he pitched.

Ramage went the final 4⅔ innings in Arkansas' 9-6 victory in 15 innings at Auburn on Friday.

"You know, he actually threw pretty good the last outing," Van Horn said. "Maybe he shouldn't have thrown [Tuesday night], but he needs to let us know. He wasn't real sharp, and he missed some spots and they hammered him."

ORU senior second baseman Hunter Wilson, a graduate transfer who played the previous two seasons at Arkansas, hit a two-run home run in the eighth inning off Collin Taylor to pull the Golden Eagles within 11-8.

"Nothing surprises me with Hunter," Van Horn said. "He's a good player, an older player. He's been around now. I'm happy for him that he's having success there."

Wilson got a nice ovation from the crowd when he came to bat in the first inning. Some fans even cheered when his home run cut Arkansas' lead to three runs.

The Golden Eagles (14-16) were the third team Wilson has started for in Baum-Walker Stadium, along with Arkansas and Stephen F. Austin, where he was a freshman when he played against the Razorbacks in 2015.

After helping Arkansas reach the College World Series as a utility infielder last year, Wilson transferred so he could be assured of starting.

"He's getting to do what he wanted to do," Van Horn said. "He's getting to play every day. That was the issue here. I couldn't promise him he could play every day. Just happy for him."

Up next



WHEN 6:30 p.m. Central on Friday

WHERE Hawkins Field, Nashville, Tenn.

RECORDS Arkansas 25-8, 8-4 SEC; Vanderbilt 25-8, 7-5

RADIO Razorback Sports Network


SHORT HOPS Vanderbilt hit a season-high four home runs, including two from JJ Bleday, and scored seven times in the third inning Tuesday in a 15-3 victory over Middle Tennessee in Murfreesboro, Tenn. Bleday hit a three-run home run in the first inning and added a solo shot in the seventh. Julian Infante also had a three-run home run — his fourth in nine games — for the Commodores.




FRIDAY at Vanderbilt*, 6:30 p.m. (SECN)

SATURDAY at Vanderbilt*, 8 p.m. (ESPNU)

SUNDAY at Vanderbilt*, 1 p.m.


TUESDAY vs. Ark.-Pine Bluff, 6:30 p.m.

*SEC game

Sports on 04/10/2019


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