BY DUDLEY E. DAWSON
It took a little bit longer to get the bats going on Sunday, but the Arkansas lumber woke up just in time to finish off a sweep of Wright State at Baum-Park.
John Bolton’s game-tying single in the fifth finally got the home team on the board and Jace Bohrofen and Parker Rowland followed with solo homers in the next two innings as the Razorbacks went on to down the Raiders 6-2.
Sunday’s victory combined with Friday’s 12-2 win and Saturday’s 12-6 one over the Horizon League preseason favorite gave Arkansas (9-2) a three game sweep of the Wright State (2-8).
“I think so,” Arkansas head coach Dave Horn said of the sweep looking better as the season goes along. “ I told our players that. They’ve gone on the road for all their games I think, and they went 1-5 against the SEC (Kentucky and Arkansas), and they’ll probably get into league play and win the league, come in first or second in the league, win the tournament.
“They can hit, they’ve got enough arms, if they stay healthy, they’re going to be fine. But they gave us a good challenge. All three of those games were actually better games and maybe the score ended up being.”
Arkansas starting and winning pitcher Hunter Hollan (2-0) got the win on his birthday as both he and Wright State starter Luke Stofel both gave up just one run each in the first five innings.
Hollan got through six innings, allowing the one run on five hits with five strikeouts, two walks and throwing 90 pitches, 62 for strikes.
He scuffled in the first inning, allowing a run and a couple of other batters to reach before settling in.
“I think I’ve done that in the first inning since I was 12,” Hollan said. “If I get out of the first, we’re going to have a good outing. I don’t know what it is really. I think I just maybe try to do too much in the first.
“I try to throw strikeout pitches and end up getting behind. But yeah, I’ve got to be better in the first inning. Just attack, let them get themselves out.”
Stofel also went six innings and allowed five hits, two runs (one unearned), whiffed six batters, walked two and fired 54 strikes in his 94 pitches thrown.
“I think it took us a while to figure out their starter,” Van Horn said. “I felt like he threw the ball extremely well. He was throwing the ball hard, spotting up his breaking ball away from the right-handers.
“I don’t know if they expected him to go that long. He got us to hit into a couple of double plays. Just kept getting off the hook with two outs. We’ve been getting those kind of hits but we really didn’t get them today. Our runs today came more earlier in the innings it seemed for the most part.”
Bohrofen had three hits and Peyton Stovall and Brady Slavens two each as the Razorbacks outhit the Raiders 11-8.
Stovall was impressed with Stofel.
“I thought for the most part, he threw strikes,” Stovall said. “Give credit to him. We knew that he was kind of more of a velo guy thanwe’ve faced all week, but he was mixing it. I remember one at-bat he did to me, he went away, away, away and then 3-2, he busted me in. It was just a great pitch. Sometimes, you’ve just got to tip the cap to the pitcher.”
The Razorbacks added four runs in the seventh on Rowland’s homer, Jared Wegner’s RBI single and Bohrfofen’s two-run single.
Bohrofen, now hitting a team-leading .424, was 3 of 4 on the day with three RBIs with his homer giving his team the 2-1 lead in the sixth.
“He didn’t have a great game on Friday,” Van Horn said. “ I think he was frustrated and he’s put together two really solid games back-to-back. He’s just doing what he does. He doesn’t try to hook balls.
“He just hits it where it’s pitched and he got a fastball away and hit it into that wind, kind of got it to the side where it could get through it and take off a little bit. That was a big swing for us right there. It gave us the lead.”
Luke Aglin’s sacrifice fly in the eighth plated a run and and the Raiders loaded the bases and brought the tying run to the plate in the form of Andrew Patrick.
Arkansas reliever Cody Adcock got Patrick to hit into a double play, one started by third baseman Caleb Cali, whose fielding error had allowed the bases to be loaded.
“Well, the first play was tougher than the second one,” Van Horn said. “It was an in-between hop. He could have done what I call one step up, two steps back on the first one and just got an out, but in his mind and our mind, we’re looking for a double play there.
“If that ball stays in his glove, he steps on third and throws to first. But it was a longer in-between hop.
“The second one, like you said, was kind of the same ball, but the ball stayed down better and it was a good play. I appreciate him not shying away from that second one. It wasn’t like, ‘Oh, I kicked one, please don’t hit it to me.’ He was probably thinking, ‘Hey, hit it to me, give me another shot at this.’ That’s what I saw.”
Adcock pitched 2 2/3 innings to get his irst save of the season after entering the game when Koty Frank was injured after throwing just one pitch in the seventh.
“Cody’s super talented, and if he gets the ball out front and he’s ripping his four-seam out in front of them, he’s really hard to hit,” Hollan said. “He’s going to be great for us, and he’s going to keep doing it.”
Frank was the third Arkansas pitcher this week to have to leave the mound to due to an injury this week along with Brady Tygart and Jake Faherty.
That goes with the season-enduing injury to Jackson Wiggins suffered before the season started.
“I just think we have an unbelievably talented freshman class,” Hollan said. “Those guys have just got to get comfortable and we’re going to be alright. They’re really good. I mean Gage Wood, Cooper Dossett, Ben Bybee, Christian Foutch.
“They all have unbelievable stuff and when they get on the mound they’ve got to be confident in it and don’t try to do too much. Once they taste a little bit of success, they’re going to be alright.”
Arkansas will return to action Tuesday at 3 p.m. when it hosts Army and will have Louisiana Tech visiting for the three-game series beginning Friday.
Photo by John D. James