Hogs Down Gonzaga to Take Series Opener 7-5

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Photo courtesy of University of Arkansas Media Relations.

FAYETTEVILLE — Arkansas scored two runs in the bottom of the seventh to break a tie and take a 7-5 lead that held up for the final score before 1,650 fans in Baum-Walker Stadium.

Hjeston Kjerstad walked with one out to get the rally story. Matt Goodheart then singled sending Kjerstad to third. Casey Martin walked to load the bases. Then Christian Franklin plated Kjerstad on a fielder’s choice as Gonzaga narrowly missed turning the double play. Goodheart scored on a wild pitch.

Arkansas jumped out to a 2-0 lead in the bottom of the second. Robert Moore hit two-out, bases loaded shot down the line in left field to score Jacob Nesbit and Casey Opitz.

However, the lead didn’t hold up long. Gonzaga’s Brett Harris hit a two-run shot over the fence in right field to tie the game.

The Hogs answered with three more in the bottom of the third to go back up 5-2. Kjerstad reached on a single to center field, Martin walked as did Franklin. Kjerstad scored on a ground out by Nesbitt. Martin and Franklin scored on a double by Opitz that was misplayed by Gonzaga center fielder Josh Bristyan.

Gonzaga scored one in the top of the fourth and then tied the game with two more in the top of the fifth.

The winning pitcher wase Caden Monke with Zebulon Vermillion getting the save.

Arkansas (4-0) and Gonzaga (2-3) will play the second of a four-game series on Friday at 3 p.m. Connor Noland will be on the mound for Arkansas.

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