FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. – No. 5 Arkansas (19-2) used a 10-run sixth inning to blow past Southeast Missouri State (10-13) en route to a 12-2 run-rule win on Tuesday at Baum-Walker Stadium.
With Tuesday’s win, the Razorbacks extended their winning streak to 14 games, their longest in-season winning streak since 1996. Tuesday’s game also marked the conclusion of the Hogs’ 18-game homestand at Baum-Walker Stadium, in which Arkansas finished with a 17-1 record.
The win also marked Dave Van Horn’s 1,400 overall career victory as a college head baseball coach. Van Horn, who has 815 career wins at Arkansas (2003-present), won 214 games at Texarkana Community College (1989-93), 51 games at Central Missouri State (1994), 106 games at Northwestern State (1995-97) and 214 games at Nebraska (1998-02).
Ben Bybee set the tone on the mound, once again impressing while making his third start of the season. The freshman right-hander earned his second win of the year, twirling four innings of one-run ball with a career-high five strikeouts.
The Razorback offense had Bybee’s back, jumping out to a one-run lead on Harold Coll’s RBI fielder’s choice in the bottom of the first. SEMO tied the game with a solo homer in the top of the fourth, but freshman Reese Robinett launched an opposite-field solo shot, the first of his career, in the bottom half of the inning to put the Hogs back in front.
Arkansas would maintain its narrow one-run lead until the sixth, but the Hogs’ explosive 10-run inning would change that. The first nine Razorback batters of the inning reached base, using five hits, three walks and an error to score the first seven runs of the inning.
Coll’s second double of the sixth brought home two more runs before the Hogs’ 10th and final run of the inning came on the Redhawks’ third error of the frame. Coll, who finished the game with a team-leading three RBI, became the first Razorback to record two hits in an inning since Casey Opitz did so against Eastern Illinois on Feb. 16, 2019.
In addition to Coll, Robinett, Jayson Jones and Jared Wegner each finished the ballgame with multiple base hits. Wegner had a double to go along with his two-run single in the sixth, raising his season slash line to .390/.510/.805 and increasing his team-leading season RBI total to 35.
Veteran Zack Morris closed out the game in relief of Bybee. The left-hander spun three innings of one-run ball and recorded five strikeouts, picking up his second save of the season while securing the Hogs’ 12-2 run-rule win.
A much-anticipated matchup against top-ranked LSU is up next for fifth-ranked Arkansas. First pitch in the three-game series between the Tigers and Hogs is set for 7 p.m. Friday, March 24, from inside Alex Box Stadium in Baton Rouge, La.