Matt Jones is the editor of the Hawgs Sports Network. He is a member of the Football Writers Association of America and National Collegiate Baseball Writers Association, and voter for the Heisman Trophy. He has a bachelor's and master's degree in journalism from the University of Arkansas.
Razorbacks sweep Mississippi State, tie for SEC lead
Arkansas right fielder Kendall Diggs (5) is congratulated by teammates after hitting a grand slam during a game against Mississippi State on Sunday, May 7, 2023, in Starkville, Miss.
Arkansas is tied for first place in the SEC with two weeks to play.
The sixth-ranked Razorbacks defeated Mississippi State 11-6 on Sunday to complete a three-game sweep at Dudy Noble Field.
Arkansas (36-12, 17-7 SEC) tied Vanderbilt atop the SEC standings. The Razorbacks also took a one-half game lead over LSU in the SEC West.
Arkansas is scheduled to finish the season with back-to-back series against South Carolina and Vanderbilt — teams that are ranked fourth and fifth, respectively, in this week’s coaches poll, but likely to fall after losing weekend series.
The Razorbacks’ series against South Carolina is scheduled to begin Friday at Baum-Walker Stadium.
Kendall Diggs and Jace Bohrofen each had 4 RBI while hitting first and second in Arkansas’ batting order. Bohrofen’s three-run double in the fourth inning gave the Razorbacks a 6-3 lead.
Diggs hit a grand slam — his second of the year — against right-hander Nate Dohm in the fifth to push Arkansas’ advantage to 10-4. After a pitching change to right-hander KC Hunt, Bohrofen followed with a solo home run to make the score 11-4.
The Razorbacks scored all of their runs with two outs.
Diggs went 2 for 3 with 2 runs hitting leadoff. The sophomore finished the series 6 for 11 with 10 RBI.
Arkansas put together a big offensive outing for the second consecutive day against the SEC’s worst statistical pitching staff. The Razorbacks out-hit the Bulldogs 9-6 and drew 6 walks.
Four Arkansas batters recorded multiple hits, led by designated hitter Ben McLaughlin’s 3-for-3 day. McLaughlin also walked twice. Bohrofen and Brady Slavens had two hits apiece.
McLaughlin’s two-out single in the top of the third inning scored Bohrofen to plate the game’s first run. Slavens followed with a two-run home run to give the Razorbacks a 3-0 lead.
It was Slavens’ third homer of the series and eighth of the season. He has homered in three consecutive games for the first time at the Division I level.
Mississippi State tied the game 3-3 in the bottom of the third when Arkansas left-hander Hunter Hollan balked to score David Mershon from third base, and Hunter Hines followed with a two-run home run. It was the 22nd home run for Hines, who ranks third nationally.
Hollan allowed 4 runs, 4 hits and 3 walks, and struck out 3 in 3 2/3 innings. His 68-pitch start was his shortest in an SEC game.
The Razorbacks loaded the bases with a hit batsman and two walks in the fourth inning. Bohrofen’s bases-clearing double came on a 0-2 pitch from left-handed reliever Cole Cheatham, who replaced starter Jurrangelo Cijntje with two outs.
Cijntje, a freshman who pitches from both sides, allowed 5 runs, 3 hits and 2 walks, and struck out 4 during his 64-pitch, 3 2/3-inning start.
Right-hander Cody Adcock threw 1 1/3 innings in relief for Arkansas. He stranded two base runners after taking over for Hollan in the fourth inning, and allowed a two-run home run to Amani Larry in the sixth inning.
Arkansas left-hander Zack Morris pitched three scoreless innings in his best outing of the season. Morris retired seven consecutive hitters before running into trouble in the eighth, but stranded the bases loaded to preserve an 11-6 lead.
The Bulldogs (24-23, 6-18) stranded six base runners. Mississippi State has lost six consecutive games.
Freshman left-hander Parker Coil retired Mississippi State in eight pitches in the ninth inning.
Arkansas has swept the Bulldogs in its last two trips to Dudy Noble Field.
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