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.
Adcock goes 6 innings, Hogs shut out Auburn to sweep series
Arkansas starting pitcher Cody Adcock (49) points to catcher Parker Rowland, Sunday, March 19, 2023, after retiring the final Auburn batter of the top of the second inning of the Razorbacks’ 5-0 win over the Tigers at Baum-Walker Stadium in Fayetteville.
FAYETTEVILLE — Arkansas right-hander Cody Adcock was dominant in his first start as a Razorback on Sunday.
Adcock, a junior from Texarkana, allowed 1 hit and struck out 6 in 6 scoreless innings, and the sixth-ranked Razorbacks defeated Auburn 5-0 at Baum-Walker Stadium.
Arkansas (18-2, 3-0 SEC) swept the three-game series in first SEC series for both teams. The Razorbacks have won 13 consecutive games — their longest in-season streak since the 2010 season.
Arkansas had a 12-game win streak to begin the 2021 season. That win streak was part of an overall win streak of 16 games that dated to the year before.
Adcock (2-1) retired the final 10 batters he faced during his 82-pitch outing. He threw 51 pitches for strikes.
Auburn had two base runners against Adcock. Justin Kirby drew a one-out walk in the second inning, but was stranded at third base when Adcock struck out Gavin Miller to end a nine-pitch at-bat. Mike Bello’s one-out single in the third was erased when Kason Howell hit into an inning-ending double play.
Adcock gave the Razorbacks their third six-inning start of the series.
“We were hoping to get at least four [innings] out of Cody,” Arkansas coach Dave Van Horn said. “We got six, and his fifth and sixth might have been his better innings, but his pitch count was getting up.
“He got it together and he pitched like he was in command. They’ve got good hitters and they’re going to square up some balls, but I liked his confidence out there and just the way he kept attacking the zone.”
It was Adcock’s first Division I start since May 29, 2021, when he started against the Razorbacks at the SEC Tournament while pitching his freshman season at Ole Miss.
“I knew that was my only other start that was big,” said Adcock, who pitched last season at Crowder (Mo.) College. “I was thinking about that. I actually watched the highlights of that game the other night and I was like, ‘Man, I’ve gotten so much better since then, so I should be able to handle these guys.’”
The Tigers (13-6-1, 0-3), who entered as one of the SEC’s best hitting teams, finished the series with five runs and 15 hits.
“I thought he did good,” Auburn coach Butch Thompson said of Adcock. “You come to Fayetteville and score five runs, he caught us, our ball club at a good time, but I thought he did great. He had a couple of pitches going. He’s got a good arm and really got in a rhythm, I thought, in that fourth, fifth, sixth inning.”
Arkansas left fielder Jared Wegner hit a 470-foot home run to left-center field in the third inning to give the Razorbacks a 3-0 lead. It was believed to be the longest home run measured at Baum-Walker Stadium since March 2020 when Matt Goodheart hit a 471-foot home run to right field.
“I don’t think so,” Wegner said when asked if he had ever hit a ball so far. “I think I definitely got every piece of that baseball right there. It was fun.”
Wegner had the Razorbacks’ third go-ahead three-run hit of the series. Brady Slavens hit a three-run home run during the fourth inning Friday and Kendall Diggs had a three-run double in the first inning Saturday.
Diggs’ and Wegner’s hits were both with two outs. Arkansas has scored 61 two-out runs this season — an average of 3.1 per game.
“I told Kendall that he had the swing of the game yesterday and it feels good to get that swing,” said Wegner, who leads the team with 9 home runs and 33 RBI, and extended his team-best hit streak to 13 games. “Someone has got to step up and get it done sometimes.”
Thompson noted one of the differences in the series was that Arkansas’ big swings came with runners on base, while Auburn hit three solo home runs during the first two games.
Mistakes led up to the big hits by Diggs on Saturday and Wegner on Sunday. Diggs’ hit scored all unearned runs following an error to start the inning, and Wegner’s homer came after Peyton Stovall was hit by a 2-2 pitch with two outs.
“It creates three-run homers when you have a hit by pitch or walk or an error, and those came together, but [the Razorbacks] the got the big swing,” Thompson said. “I thought Diggs got the big swing yesterday in the first and Wegner definitely got the big swing in the third inning today.
“We just never were able in this series to create a big inning. The Hogs [swept] the series, but if we can just get a barrel in position a time or two, we could have been more competitive in one of the games.”
Arkansas third baseman Harold Coll added a two-run single in the fourth inning to increase Arkansas’ advantage to 5-0. It was the third consecutive hit to start the inning for the Razorbacks and followed a single by Jace Bohrofen and a double by Diggs.
Catcher Parker Rowland followed Coll’s hit with a single to end an eight-pitch at-bat against right-handed reliever Chase Allsup. Following a pitching change to right-hander Will Cannon, Arkansas shortstop John Bolton hit into a double play and Rowland was thrown out trying to steal second base.
“We really should have scored some more runs there,” Van Horn said. “That was probably the only disappointing part of the day for me, personally, but I’m really proud of the team.”
Sophomore right-hander Austin Ledbetter stranded three base runners across the seventh and eighth innings. Freshman right-hander Gage Wood recorded an out between a lead-off walk and a hit batsman in the ninth.
Sophomore left-hander Hagen Smith recorded the final two outs to strand two base runners. Smith, who was moved to the bullpen before the series, threw seven pitches in a non-save situation. He threw 44 pitches to earn a three-inning save Friday.
Auburn left-handed starter Konner Copeland (1-1) allowed 3 runs, 3 hits and 1 walk, and struck out 2 in 2 2/3 innings. Copeland also hit 2 batters during his 48-pitch outing that included 26 strikes.
Cannon threw 4 2/3 innings of scoreless relief for the Tigers. Arkansas had four base runners against him.
Auburn’s starting pitchers combined for nine of 24 innings pitched during the series, but Thompson said the Tigers’ pitching staff is constructed for shorter starts and more innings out of the bullpen.
The Razorbacks are scheduled to conclude an 18-game homestand Tuesday with a 3 p.m. game against Southeast Missouri State. Arkansas is 16-1 during the homestand that began Feb. 21.
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