Matt Jones is the online sports director for the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette. A double graduate of the University of Arkansas, he is a member of the Football Writers Association of America and National Collegiate Baseball Writers Association, and voter for the Heisman Trophy.
Hogs start quick, take out SEMO early
Arkansas' Robert Moore runs toward home plate during a game against Southeast Missouri State on Saturday, Feb. 27, 2021, in Fayetteville.
FAYETTEVILLE — Arkansas scored all nine of its runs over the first four innings and cruised to a 9-3 victory over Southeast Missouri State on Saturday at Baum-Walker Stadium.
The No. 8 Razorbacks improved to 6-0 this season and won their 10th consecutive game dating to last year. It is Arkansas' longest win streak since it won 10 straight in 2012.
The Razorbacks will attempt for a four-game series sweep Sunday at 1 p.m.
Arkansas made quick work of SEMO starting pitcher Ryan Vogt during a four-run first inning to take control. Robert Moore walked in four pitches to lead off the inning, and Christian Franklin and Matt Goodheart followed with consecutive singles.
All three players stole a base against Vogt, and the sophomore right hander also threw a wild pitch before he was taken out of the game after recording just one out.
Franklin, Goodheart and Brady Slavens all batted in runs during the first. Cullen Smith scored on a wild pitch by reliever Bryce Grossius to give the Razorbacks a 4-0 lead.
Arkansas added two more runs in both the second and third innings, and one run in the fourth to go ahead 9-0.
Franklin's two-run home run in the second was his third homer in three games.
Franklin finished the game 4-for-5 with 3 RBI and 2 runs scored. He also had two stolen bases.
The Razorbacks were 4-for-4 on steal attempts.
Moore hit an RBI single to score Jalen Battles after Battles led off the third inning with a double. Moore scored later in the inning on a wild pitch — one of six wild pitches thrown by the Redhawks (2-4).
Arkansas capped its scoring in the fourth when Battles' two-out double scored Smith, who doubled with one out.
The nine runs created a stress-free day for Arkansas starting pitcher Peyton Pallette. The second-year freshman right hander didn't allow a run, struck out 8, and allowed 3 hits and 1 walk in 5 innings.
SEMO scored its first run in the sixth inning when Arkansas reliever Nate Wohlgemuth issued a leadoff walk to Tyler Wilber. Wohlgemuth left the bases loaded for Zack Morris, but Morris struck out Jevon Mason and pinch hitter Braxton Zivich to preserve a 9-1 lead.
Arkansas out-hit SEMO 15-6, but the Razorbacks missed on an even bigger day offensively by stranding 12 base runners.
Arkansas 9, SEMO 3 - FINAL
The Redhawks scored a run in the ninth after Braxton Zivich to lead off against Gabe Starks.
Arkansas improved to 6-0 with the win and extended its win streak to 10 games. SEMO fell to 2-4 overall.
The teams are scheduled to play again tomorrow at 1 p.m. We'll have much more on the game soon.
Arkansas 9, SEMO 2 - End 8th Inning
Brady Slavens singled to lead off the eighth inning and Casey Opitz singled with one out, but the Razorbacks stranded two more in scoring position in the eighth when Zac White struck out on a 3-2 pitch.
The Razorbacks have made some defensive substitutions and Gabe Starks has come out of the bullpen for his Arkansas debut in the ninth.
Arkansas 9, SEMO 2 - Middle 8th Inning
Matthew Magre walked Lincoln Andrews after coming in from the bullpen, but he struck out Danny Wright and got Jevon Mason to ground out to second base to end the inning.
Barring a miraculous comeback by SEMO, the Hogs are down to their final at-bat of the game.
Arkansas 9, SEMO 2 - Top 8th Inning
Andrew Keck homered to right-center field off of Kole Ramage with one out in the eighth inning, and Ramage's day is over.
Freshman left hander Matthew Magre, a Fayetteville native, is coming into the game to make his Razorback debut.
Arkansas 9, SEMO 1 - End 7th Inning
The Razorbacks stranded two more — their ninth and 10th of the game — in the seventh inning. Zac White reached on a leadoff single, and Christian Franklin singled two batters later. Both advanced on SEMO's fifth wild pitch of the day.
But Matt Goodheart hit an infield fly and Cayden Wallace grounded out to end the inning. Tyler Wilber made a great whirling throw from his position at shortstop to retire Wallace.
Arkansas 9, SEMO 1 - Middle 7th Inning
Kole Ramage gave up a leadoff walk to Connor Basler to lead off the inning, but Peyton Leeper grounded into a 4-6-3 double play to erase the base runner. Ramage struck out Tyler Wilber at the end of a lengthy at-bat to end the inning.
That was a good inning for Ramage, who had not pitched since the season opener against Texas Tech when he struggled.
Arkansas 9, SEMO 1 - End 6th Inning
SEMO left hander Joey Kossina has brought the Razorbacks' offense to a grinding stop the past couple of innings. The Razorbacks had nine runs on 10 hits before Kossina came into the game, but he has only allowed a walk.
He retired the bottom of the order 1-2-3 to end the sixth inning.
Arkansas 9, SEMO 1 - Middle 6th Inning
Zack Morris struck out Jevon Mason and pinch hitter Braxton Zivich to strand the bases loaded in the sixth inning. Morris only needed nine pitches to retire the two batters.
Arkansas 9, SEMO 1 - Top 6th Inning
Freshman right hander Nate Wohlgemuth replaced Peyton Pallette for the sixth inning and struggled some command. He walked two batters and threw a wild pitch, and there was an error by Robert Moore that allowed a run to score.
The Razorbacks are going back to the bullpen to bring in left hander Zack Morris for his season debut. He will inherit the bases loaded with one out.
The Razorbacks didn't score in the bottom of the fifth inning. It was their first scoreless inning today.
Arkansas 9, SEMO 0 - Middle 5th Inning
The leadoff batter singles against Pallette, but nothing else is doing for the Redhawks. Pallette gets the next batter to strike out, gets a pop up and then another strikeout to end the inning. That makes 8 Ks on the day for Pallette.
Arkansas 9, SEMO 0 - End 4th Inning
Cullen Smith doubled down the right field line with one out. He advanced to third on a groundout by Casey Opitz then scored on an error by SEMO's center fielder. Battles hit a ball hard, but the center fielder had it in his glove before it popped out. Battles ended up on second after the error.
Zach Gregory works a 2-out walk, and a passed ball advances both runners 90 feet. Moore dribbles a ball back to the pitcher to end the inning.
Arkansas 8, SEMO 0 - Middle 4th Inning
Peyton Pallette continues to deal for the Razorbacks. He gets the first batter of the inning Keck to fly out to Franklin in center before striking out the next two SEMO hitters.
Pallette has thrown 50 pitches, 39 strikes and has struck out 6 batters. Two games in and he's highlighting a very impressive pitching staff.
Arkansas 8, SEMO 0 - End 3rd Inning
Matt Goodheart walked with two outs and he and Christian Franklin advanced on another wild pitch. They were stranded in scoring position when Cayden Wallace flied out to end the inning.
Arkansas 8, SEMO 0 - Bottom 3rd Inning
After another SEMO pitching change, Robert Moore singled to right field to score Jalen Battles, who doubled with one out.
Moore went first to third on a well-executed hit and run single by Christian Franklin, then Moore scored on a wild pitch by Matt Perego.
Arkansas 6, SEMO 0 - Middle 3rd Inning
SEMO put two on base with two outs in the third on a Peyton Leeper walk and a single by Tyler Wilber. The inning ended when Austin Blazevic grounded into a fielder's choice at second base.
Peyton Pallette struggled a little with command in that inning, but he is still pitching well. He has struck out four.
Arkansas 6, SEMO 0 - End 2nd Inning
Cayden Wallace doubled with one out but was stranded at second to end the inning. Brady Slavens struck out looking at a 3-2 pitch. Slavens got ahead 3-1 and was not happy with the strike two or strike three call.
The inning ended when Cullen Smith grounded out to shortstop.
Arkansas 6, SEMO 0 - Bottom 2nd Inning
Christian Franklin's third home run of the series was over the wall in center field. It scored Robert Moore, who singled to right field to lead off the inning.
The Razorbacks have hit seven homers in this series.
Arkansas 4, SEMO 0 - Middle 2nd Inning
The downtime didn't hurt Peyton Pallette. He retired the Redhawks' side in nine pitches, the last of which was a strikeout by Jevon Mason.
SEMO put a couple of balls in play. Pallette fielded the first for an out, and Robert Moore made a nice play to his left to catch a line drive for the second out.
Pallette has thrown 21 pitches, 19 of which have been for strikes.
Arkansas 4, SEMO 0 - End 1st Inning
The first inning ended when nine-hole hitter Zack Gregory struck out looking. The Razorbacks stranded two.
It will be interesting to see how Peyton Pallette pitches in the second. That was a long half inning on a cool day.
Arkansas 4, SEMO 0 - Bottom 1st Inning
Cullen Smith drew a two-out walk and went first to third on a single through the right side by Casey Opitz, and scored on SEMO's second wild pitch of the inning.
Opitz advanced to second on the wild pitch and Jalen Battles followed with a walk when a 3-2 fastball was low.
Arkansas 3, SEMO 0 - Bottom 1st Inning
The Razorbacks have already chased SEMO starting pitcher Ryan Vogt from the game. He recorded one out, a strikeout of Cayden Wallace.
Matt Goodheart stole second base and advanced to third base on a wild pitch. The Razorbacks are 3-for-3 stealing this inning.
Goodheart scored on an RBI groundout by Brady Slavens. The new SEMO pitcher is right hander Bryce Grossius.
Arkansas 2, SEMO 0 - Bottom 1st Inning
Dave Van Horn said he wanted a quicker start from his bats, and so far he has gotten it.
Robert Moore led off with a four-pitch walk, stole second and scored on a single by Christian Franklin.
Franklin stole second and advanced to third on an error. He scored on an RBI single past first base by Matt Goodheart in his first at-bat of the year.
Arkansas 0, SEMO 0 - Middle 1st Inning
Peyton Pallette worked around a two-out single by Austin Blazevic in the first inning.
Pallette struck out leadoff hitter Peyton Leeper and clean-up hitter Andrew Keck, both swinging at strike three. Tyler Wilber lined out to second baseman Robert Moore for the second out of the inning.
The Razorbacks are hopeful they can stretch Pallette out to at least five innings. He only needed 12 pitches in that inning.
Good morning from Baum-Walker Stadium. The Razorbacks and Redhawks are scheduled to get underway at 11 a.m., which is four hours earlier than originally planned because of a rainy forecast this afternoon.
The big news today is that Matt Goodheart is in the starting lineup as the designated hitter. This will be Goodheart's season debut after he missed the first five games.
Goodheart did not make the trip to Texas last week for what was described as "stomach issues" and he did not play in the first two games of this series. Goodheart is a preseason All-SEC pick and had the Razorbacks' best batting average in 2019.
Brady Slavens will start at first base today, Cullen Smith will start at third and Zack Gregory will start in left field. Braydon Webb is out of today's lineup.
Peyton Pallette, a second-year right hander, will start on the mound for Arkansas. He struck out eight in 4 1/3 scoreless innings last weekend against Texas.
SEMO will counter with sophomore right hander Ryan Vogt, who enters with a 6.00 ERA after his first start against South Alabama last week.
It is foggy this morning in Fayetteville, but that should burn off by game time. The high today is 61 degrees and the rain should hold off until mid-afternoon. The game will probably be played increasingly under cloud cover as the afternoon wears on.
Arkansas has won the first two games of the series by scores of 6-5 in 10 innings Thursday, and 7-3 yesterday. The Razorbacks have won nine straight dating to last season, which is the longest win streak since Arkansas won 10 straight in 2012.
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