Arkansas walks off EIU to sweep series

By: Matt Jones
Published: Sunday, February 17, 2019
Arkansas outfielder Heston Kjerstad is doused with water by catcher Casey Opitz after Kjerstad hit the game-winning single in the Razorbacks' 3-2 win over Eastern Illinois on Sunday, Feb. 17, 2019, in Fayetteville.
Photo by J.T. Wampler
Arkansas outfielder Heston Kjerstad is doused with water by catcher Casey Opitz after Kjerstad hit the game-winning single in the Razorbacks' 3-2 win over Eastern Illinois on Sunday, Feb. 17, 2019, in Fayetteville.

Arkansas 3, EIU 2 - Final

Heston Kjerstad's walk-off single scored Curtis Washington from second base and the Razorbacks have completed a season-opening sweep.

More coming at WholeHogSports.com.

Arkansas 2, EIU 2 - Bottom 9th Inning

Curtis Washington is aboard with a leadoff single to center field. He got ahold of a 0-2 breaking ball. Washington has good speed and advanced to second on a sac bunt by Jacob Nesbit.

The top of the order is up. Casey Martin was intentionally walked, so Heston Kjerstad is up with two on and one out.

Arkansas 2, EIU 2 - Middle 9th Inning

Matt Cronin retired EIU in order in the top of the inning. Arkansas will send Curtis Washington, Jacob Nesbit and Casey Martin to the plate in the bottom of the inning, looking for a walk-off win.

Arkansas 2, EIU 2 - End 8th Inning

Trevor Ezell walked to lead off the inning and Casey Opitz singled with two outs, but both were stranded when Kenley popped up to the third baseman.

The game is tied going to the ninth.

Arkansas 2, EIU 2 - Middle 8th Inning

It is a new ballgame after EIU scored twice against Arkansas pitchers Patrick Wicklander, Zebulon Vermillion and Matt Cronin in the top of the eighth.

The Panthers had base hits against all three pitchers and the runs were credited to Wicklander and Vermillion. Wicklander gave up a one-out double to leadoff hitter Trey Sweeney, and he scored on a double by Jimmy Govern in the next at-bat after a pitching change to bring in Vermillion.

Vermillion only threw one pitch. Cronin was brought in for a lefty-lefty matchup against Hunter Morris, who singled to tie the game.

After a walk and a fielder's choice, Cronin got a strikeout to end the inning and strand two runners.

The Razorbacks have the heart of the order up in the bottom of the inning.

Arkansas 2, EIU 0 - End 7th Inning

Heston Kjerstad struck out to strand a runner at third base. Kjerstad looked uncomfortable against the left-handed pitcher, Alex Stevenson.

His mouthpiece flew out on the third strike, a swing at an off-speed pitch.

Patrick Wicklander, who has four strikeouts and has allowed a hit in two innings, will pitch again in the top of the eighth.

Arkansas 2, EIU 0 - Bottom 7th Inning

The Razorbacks have put another run on the board by playing a lot of small ball. Jack Kenley and Curtis Washington Jr. reached on walks to start the inning. Washington was pinch hitting for Jordan McFarland was brought in to bunt, but the pitcher couldn't put the ball over the plate.

Jacob Nesbit bunted to move the runners to second and third. Nesbit's successful bunt was risky with two strikes. It looked like he might have been safe at first, but he was out on replay.

Casey Martin put down a good safety squeeze to first base to score Kenley. Washington is at third with Heston Kjerstad at the plate. EIU has made two pitching changes in the inning.

Arkansas 1, EIU 0 - End 6th Inning

Arkansas fans just got their first look at the phenomenal freshman left-hander Patrick Wicklander, who struck out three batters in 10 pitches in the sixth inning. He has a lot of movement on his pitches and I wouldn't be surprised if he works his way into the starting rotation at some point this season.

The bottom of the inning ended when Casey Opitz grounded into a double play. Matt Goodheart reached on a one-out walk.

Arkansas 1, EIU 0 - End 5th Inning

Both teams went down in order in the fifth. Jacob Kostyshock hit his pitch count, plus one (76). Patrick Wicklander will replace him for the top of the sixth.

Kostyshock did not allow a hit after the second inning. His final line: 5 innings, 0 runs, 3 hits, 2 walks, 3 strikeouts. He is in line for the win.

Arkansas 1, EIU 0 - End 4th Inning

The Razorbacks are on the board on a sacrifice RBI by Jordan McFarland. It was a weird play that scored Casey Opitz from third base. It was a popup to shortstop, but the wind pushed the ball into shallow left field.

The shortstop had to fall back to make the catch, which allowed Opitz to score from third. Jack Kenley also advanced to second base, but it was a close call and might have overruled the run had he been thrown out.

Opitz reached with a one-out walk and advanced to third base on a single by Kenley. The inning ended when Jacob Nesbit struck out swinging at a 2-2 slider.

Jacob Kostyshock worked around a couple of walks in the top of the inning. Freshman left-hander Patrick Wicklander is warming up in the bullpen.

Arkansas 0, EIU 0 - End 3rd Inning

Arkansas stranded two more in the third inning when Dominic Fletcher flied to out to the warning track in center field.

Casey Martin reached on a throwing error by the third baseman and advanced to second when Trevor Ezell drew a two-out walk.

The Razorbacks have stranded four base runners.

Arkansas 0, EIU 0 - End 2nd Inning

Jacob Kostyshock worked around some trouble in the top of the second. EIU had a couple of bloop singles and a base runner advanced to third on an interference call against shortstop Casey Martin, which Dave Van Horn argued unsuccessfully.

Kostyshock got out of the runners on the corners jam by getting Tyler Tesmond to pop up to the first baseman, Trevor Ezell, in foul ground.

Jack Kenley reached on a two-out walk in the bottom of the inning. He was stranded when Jordan McFarland grounded out to the left side two pitches later.

Arkansas 0, EIU 0 - End 1st Inning

Jacob Kostyshock gave up a one-out single, but got Hunter Morris to hit into a 6-4-3 double play to end the half inning.

Casey Martin led off the bottom of the inning with a double, but he was thrown out trying to extend it into a triple. It was a bad decision by Martin, who was out by a good bit. Trevor Ezell singled with two outs, which would have scored Martin, but he was stranded when Dominic Fletcher struck out.

Pregame

It is another cold day in Fayetteville, but at least we have some sun for today's game. It is 35 degrees, but the wind chill is in the 20s at first pitch. The high is 42.

Jacob Kostyshock will pitch today for the Razorbacks. This is his first career start after two years of bullpen work.

The lineup is the same as the second game last night, with one exception: Casey Opitz at catcher. Jordan McFarland is the DH and Matt Goodheart is in left field.

Arkansas is wearing its cream-colored jerseys and red hats today. EIU is wearing the Adidas striped tops with different shades of blue, white pants and blue hats.

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