FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. – The No. 25 Arkansas baseball team (2-0) defeated Appalachian State (0-2) 7-6 in game two of its three-game series on Saturday at Baum Stadium with an announced attendance of 8,074.
Junior Chris Oliver (1-0) picked up the victory on the mound. The Farmington, Ark., native struck out five, allowed one hit and one earned run in five innings of work. Fellow junior Michael Gunn threw the final 2.1 innings and allowed just one hit while striking out two to earn the save.
Arkansas’ offense was led by junior second baseman Brian Anderson, who was 3-for-5 at the plate, scored two runs and added his first stolen base of the season. Junior first baseman Eric Fisher opened the scoring with a solo home run to center field in the 2nd inning and drove in the Razorbacks’ final run of the game with a single in the 6th. Sophomore outfielder Tyler Spoon led Arkansas with three RBI courtesy of a three-run homer in the bottom of the 4th inning.
The season-opening series concludes Sunday at 1:05 p.m. in Baum Stadium.
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Coach Van Horn Quotes
Arkansas Head Coach Dave Van Horn (on the middle of Arkansas’ batting order) – “So far they have done a great job. We are talking about 3, 4, and 5 (Brian Anderson, Tyler Spoon and Eric Fisher) for the most part. Amongst those three there are probably 10 extra-base hits with a few homers mixed in. So far so good. (Joe) Serrano also had a super day yesterday.”
Arkansas Head Coach Dave Van Horn (on LHP-Michael Gunn) - “Gunn did a good job. He didn’t panic and kept filling the zone up, kept throwing strikes and was able to get guys out. Mike did a great job finishing up for us.”
· Chris Oliver tied his single-game career high with five strikeouts, recorded in his last start vs. Alabama A&M on March 13, 2013, and had a career-low number of runs allowed (2), earned runs allowed (1) and hits allowed (1).
· Chris Oliver registered his longest outing as a Razorback. His five innings pitched eclipsed his previous high of 3.2 innings on the mound vs. Gonzaga on March 13, 2012.
· Michael Gunn earned his first save since April 20, 2013, vs. Texas A&M, which was also the last game he pitched more than 2.0 innings.
· Joe Serrano scored his 50th collegiate run when he was plated on Tyler Spoon’s three-run homer in the 4th inning.
· Eric Fisher hit the third home run of his career with a solo shot to lead off the 2nd inning. The blast was Fisher’s first since April 12, 2013, at LSU and marked his second straight season-opening series with a home run.
· Tyler Spoon hit the fifth home run of his career and first since May 4, 2013, at Kentucky with a three-run homer in the 4th inning.
· Leadoff hitter Andrew Benintendi has an on-base percentage of .556 through the first two games of the season. The true freshman center fielder has three hit by pitches and two walks in nine plate appearances.
· Michael Bernal started at third base and made his Arkansas debut in Saturday’s game. He is the 11th Razorback to debut this weekend. Arkansas entered the season with 27 student-athletes who had not appeared in a game for Arkansas, the highest number in the SEC.
· Arkansas has scored 19 runs in the first two games of a season for the fourth time since 2002.
How They Scored
· Arkansas 1, Appalachian State 0; Bottom 2nd: Eric Fisher hit a solo home run to center field.
· Arkansas 2, Appalachian State 0; Bottom 2nd: Michael Bernal grounded out to first base to score Krisjon Wilkerson from third base.
· Arkansas 2, Appalachian State 1; Top 3rd: William Head scored from second base on an error.
· Arkansas 2, Appalachian State 2; Top 3rd: Dillon Dobson hit a double to left field to score Jaylin Davis from second base.
· Arkansas 3, Appalachian State 2; Bottom 4th: Joe Serrano singled to left field to score Andrew Benintendi from second base.
· Arkansas 6, Appalachian State 2; Bottom 4th: Tyler Spoon hit a three-run home run to left field to score Joe Serrano from second base and Brian Anderson from first base.
· Arkansas 6, Appalachian State 3; Top 6th: Bradley Morton singled to center field to score Ozzy Gonzalez from second base.
· Arkansas 7, Appalachian State 3; Bottom 6th: Eric Fisher hit a single up the middle to score Brian Anderson from second base.
· Arkansas 7, Appalachian State 4; Top 7th: William Head singled to left field to score Tyler Zupcic from third base.
· Arkansas 7, Appalachian State 6; Top 7th: Dillon Dobson tripled to right field to score William Head from second base and Dobson scored on a throwing error.