The Diamond Hogs opened up the Fayetteville Regional on Friday against the #4 seed Central Connecticut Blue Devils.
Dave Van Horn choosing to start freshman pitcher Connor Noland in game one instead of Arkansas ace Isaiah Campbell. Noland going 5.1 innings, giving up 2 hits, 1 run and striking out 2. Kevin Kopps came in out of the bullpen to relieve Noland, going 1.2 innings and striking out 4. Marshall Denton closed it out for Arkansas on the mound.
Offensively, Arkansas got on the board first in the bottom of the 2nd thanks to a Casey Opitz sac fly scoring Heston Kjerstad from third base. A few batters later, a passed ball on strike four scores Jack Kenley from third to make it a 2-0 ball game.
Central Connecticut scored their first run of the game in the top of the 4th with a sac fly to center field by TT Bowens.
After a home run drought during the SEC Tournament, Kjerstad added his 15th of the season in the bottom of the 4th to give the Hogs a 3-1 lead.
Matt Goodheart, who lead the Razorbacks with a .347 batting average heading into the game, knocked in Trevor Ezell on an RBI double in the 5th. Dominic Fletcher brought in the 5th run of the game for Arkansas on an RBI single to right field. Kjerstad kept the scoring going, plating Fletcher on a ball into right center before being thrown out at third.
In the bottom of the 6th, Christian Franklin drove in Kenley to make it 7-2, then Trevor Ezell drove in Jacob Nesbit to give the Hogs a 8-2 lead. Franklin scored from third on a ball thrown into center field.
The Blue Devils added to the scoreboard in the 8th on a three-run home run by Bowens to make it 9-5.
Trevor Ezell putting the cherry on top for the Razorbacks in game one, blasting a two-run home run over the left field wall.
Arkansas takes game one 11-5 and will play the winner of California-TCU tomorrow at 6pm on ESPN3.