CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. – Junior Brian Anderson reached base five times leading the #20 University of Arkansas Razorbacks to a 10-0 win over Bucknell in an elimination game at Davenport Field in the 2014 NCAA Charlottesville Regional Sunday afternoon.
Arkansas moves to 40-24 overall and face host and top-seed Virginia (46-13) in the night game at 7 p.m. Central. Arkansas posted a season-high 16 hits and the Razorback pitching staff combined for a season-best 14 strikeouts in the win.
For the game, Arkansas scored 10 runs on 16 hits, took advantage of four walks and three hit batters and had three extra base hits. It is the 10th shutout of the season, tying for second all-time in single-season shutouts.
Clark Eagan and Anderson both pounded out three hits with Anderson going 3-for-3 and getting hit twice. Eagan was 3-for-6 and Eric Fisher, Tyler Spoon and Alex Gosser had two hits each.
Arkansas ended a 12-inning scoreless drought in the first inning of Sunday’s opening game. Arkansas sent 10 men to the plate scoring four runs on six hits in the first frame.
The inning began with an infield single off the bat of Eagan followed by a four-pitch walk to Joe Serrano. Anderson loaded the bases with a single through the left side with one out for the Razorbacks.
With the bases loaded, Arkansas got four consecutive singles plating a run each time. Fisher blooped a 3-2 pitch into shallow center scoring Eagan. Spoon laced a hard-hit ball into leftfield plating Serrano with the second run. Krisjon Wilkerson, in his first NCAA Regional action of the year, hit the first pitch he saw to almost the same location scoring Anderson. Gosser, also playing in the Regional for the first time this season, followed with the third consecutive single to shallow left to score Fisher with the fourth run.
A strikeout and ground ball ended the inning with the bases loaded but Arkansas had a four-run lead heading into the bottom of the first inning.
Jalen Beeks, who was sidelined for 29 days with shoulder soreness, took the ball to start Sunday and responded with a strikeout of the first man he faced. He worked a 1-2-3 first inning thanks to a great defensive play by Spoon to throw out Joe Ogren at third base. Beeks went five innings allowing just three hits and tying his season-best with nine strikeouts.
Arkansas’ offense produced two more runs in the third inning and chased the Bison starter from the contest. Spoon reached on an infield error followed by the second hit of the game for Gosser. Michael Bernal loaded the bases with a single to left – Arkansas’ favorite area of the field in today’s game.
Eagan got his second hit of the afternoon and the first off of Bucknell’s second pitcher, Xavier Hammond, ripping a shot out to center field plating Spoon. Serrano next lifted a fly ball to left that allowed Gosser to score the sixth run of the game for the Hogs.
The Razorbacks extended the lead to 8-0 with a pair of runs in the fourth inning as they pushed their hit total to 12 for the game. Anderson was hit by a pitch to lead off the inning. He moved to second on a wild pitch and scored on a double to right off the bat of Fisher.
Spoon recorded his second hit of the game on an infield single. He was part of a double play off the bat of Wilkerson but the ground ball let Fisher come home.
Arkansas pushed runs across in the sixth and seventh innings as the Bison changed pitchers trying to slow down the Razorback onslaught. In the sixth inning, Eagan doubled and scored on an RBI base knock to center off the bat of Andrew Benintendi.
Wilkerson was hit by a pitch with one out in the seventh frame. Gosser was walked and both runners moved up on a wild pitch. Eagan hit into a fielder’s choice and Wilkerson was able to score on the play.
Bucknell mounted a rally in the bottom of the sixth inning loading the bases against Arkansas reliever Jackson Lowery. Lowery rallied however, getting a strikeout as the Bison stranded three runners. Bucknell sent four hitters to the plate in the final three innings but couldn’t push a run across.
· The Razorbacks improve to 40-24 overall in 2014.
· Arkansas has won 40 or more games 19 times in 48 seasons and five times in the last six seasons. It is the seventh 40-win season under head coach Dave Van Horn.
· The shutout of Bucknell is the 10th of the season, a mark that ranks tied for second most in a single season in program history. Arkansas also had 10 in 2012…the record is 13.
· Arkansas pitchers combined for a season-high 14 strikeouts in the game.
· Arkansas sent 10 batters to the plate in the first inning to bat around for the 11th time this season.
· The Razorbacks have now scored four runs in the first inning four teams this season, doing so against South Alabama, at LSU, at Ole Miss and against Bucknell. Arkansas is 3-1 in those games.
· Arkansas advances to its sixth straight NCAA Regional final.
· The win gave head coach Dave Van Horn 50 career wins in 16 NCAA Tournament appearances.
· Season high in hits is 16.
· Arkansas reached double digits in run column for the seventh time this season.
· In a 5-game span, Arkansas will face the SEC, ACC and Big South Pitcher of the Year. Hogs have won 10 of last 14 games.
· The Razorbacks are making their 13th consecutive NCAA Tournament appearance and 27th overall.
· Arkansas is 66-57 all-time in the NCAA Tournament.
· Arkansas is 48-38 in NCAA Regional action.
· Arkansas turned its SEC-leading 61st double play of the year in the third inning.
· The Razorbacks faced Bucknell for just the second time in program history on Sunday. The two teams last met during the 2003 NCAA Austin Regional, also in an elimination game, with Arkansas winning 10-7.
· Arkansas is 2-1 in elimination games this season, defeating Ole Miss 8-7 in the SEC Tournament after trailing 6-0, and falling 11-1 to LSU, before the win today over Bucknell.
· Arkansas faces Virginia in the night game. It is the 26th ranked opponent Arkansas has played this season, and the 15th ranked inside the top 10.
· Arkansas has won three of its last five NCAA Regionals, and gone on to the College World Series two of those three years. The Razorbacks have posted a 14-6 record in the last six NCAA Regionals, including a pair of perfect 3-0 marks, which came on the road.
· Bucknell head coach Scott Heather is in his second season at the helm of the Bison and is a former Razorback pitcher, lettering at Arkansas in 1997 and 1998. He then became a student assistant in 1999 when the Razorbacks won their first SEC Championship.
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