FAYETTEVILLE — With the series already in hand, Arkansas baseball now has a chance to finish off a sweep of Eastern Illinois.
The Razorbacks run-ruled the Panthers 13-2 in seven innings Friday and then beat them 10-3 in a close game they blew open late Saturday, setting up the sweep opportunity at 1 p.m. CT Sunday. Much like the first two games in the series, the matchup will be streamed online on SEC Network-Plus.
On the mound, junior left-hander Hunter Hollan will look to build upon his solid first start for Arkansas. He gave up one run in four innings last Sunday against Oklahoma State, but likely could have gone deeper if the situation called for it. If he can get through the fifth inning this time, he’d be the first Arkansas starter to do this weekend because Hagen Smith and Will McEntire were each pulled after 4 2/3 innings.
Eastern Illinois will counter with right-hander Ky Hampton, a super senior who threw six scoreless innings last week against Florida A&M. He did have to work out of trouble quite a bit in that outing, though, as he allowed 10 base runners (seven hits, three walks).
Best of Arkansas Sports is once again at Baum-Walker Stadium and will provide live inning-by-inning updates from the third game of the Arkansas vs Eastern Illinois series…
LIVE UPDATES — Arkansas vs Eastern Illinois
After entering Saturday’s game as an injury replacement for Ben McLaughlin, first as a pinch runner and then staying in at first base, freshman Reese Robinett will make his first start on Sunday. He’s playing third base and batting sixth.
Another freshman, outfielder Mason Neville, is also in the starting lineup. He is the designated hitter and batting eighth. It will be his first career start, as well.
Catcher Hudson Polk is back in the lineup after a spot start by Parker Rowland in Game 2.
The top of the order is pretty much the same, with Peyton Stovall making his second straight start after missing Friday’s game with a hand injury. He went 0 for 4 with three strikeouts on Saturday.
Backup shortstop Harold Coll appears to be available, as he went through pregame warmups. That wasn’t the case the last two days, as he was dealing with some back tightness.
With usual play-by-play man Phil Elson tied up with the women’s basketball game, the Razorbacks will have Nick Badders – the Voice of the Omaha Storm Chasers – fill in on the radio broadcast.
T-1st: Eastern Illinois 1, Arkansas 0
Hollan fell behind 3-0 to the first batter of the game before Riley singled up the middle – with the ball just getting underneath a sliding Stovall. He struck out Worcester, but a passed ball moved Riley to second. Ignoffo flied out to center, but it was deep enough for Riley to tag up to third. Gober drove him in with a double to left, making it 1-0 Panthers.
A four-pitch walk to Zalewski prompted a visit from pitching coach Matt Hobbs. He got ahead of the next batter 0-2, but then threw four straight balls to walk Lashure and load the bases. However, he got Drumke to fly out to shallow right in a full count to get out of the jam. It was a 30-pitch inning for Hollan.
B-1st: Eastern Illinois 1, Arkansas 0
Josenberger opened the home half of the first with a pop up behind the plate and the catcher made a really nice play to catch it in front of the net. Stovall looked at strike three for his fourth strikeout of the weekend and then Wegner grounded out to second for a perfect 1-2-3 inning by Hampton, who needed just 12 pitches.
T-2nd: Eastern Illinois 1, Arkansas 0
The second was a nice bounce-back inning for Hollan. He needed just 12 pitches to retire EIU in order. Taul flied out to right, Akbar struck out and Riley popped up in foul territory, with Robinett making the catch.
B-2nd: Arkansas 1, Eastern Illinois 1
Slavens crushed the second pitch of the inning 105 mph, but the second baseman stabbed it and made a nice play. That was a big play because Bohrofen followed with a towering home run that landed on top of the Hunt Center beyond the right field fence. It was a 379-foot blast with a 106 mph exit velocity and 34-degree launch angle.
Robinett grounded out and Polk should have ended the inning with a grounder to short, but Akbar’s throw was off line. It was his third error of the weekend. Neville struck out to end the inning.
T-3rd: Arkansas 1, Eastern Illinois 1
Worcester led off the third inning with a grounder to the hole between the 3B and SS. Bolton got to it, but had no chance of throwing him out, so it goes down as an infield single. Ignoffo hit a deep fly ball to the corner in right and Bohrofen nearly overran it, but he was able to stretch back and catch it. It looked like Worcester tagged up to second on the play, but Arkansas appealed and he was called out for leaving too early. The play stood after a review, even though it appeared like he did tag up. Gober followed with a line drive that Stovall managed to leap up and catch for the final out.
B-3rd: Arkansas 1, Eastern Illinois 1
Bolton grounded out to third to start the inning and then Josenberger hit a solid line drive to right-center, but the right fielder was able to track it down for a relatively easy catch. Stovall also gave it a right do right-center, but the center fielder caught it just in front of the track for the final out. Hampton has thrown 35 pitches through three innings.
T-4th: Arkansas 1, Eastern Illinois 1
Rain has begun to fall at Baum-Walker Stadium. Meanwhile, Hollan seems to have settled in nicely after the shaky first inning. He got a couple of groundouts to third – one of which was a nice play by Robinett – and a fly out to center for another perfect frame. He needed only six pitches and has thrown just 27 over the last three after needing 30 in the first inning.
B-4th: Arkansas 1, Eastern Illinois 1
Wegner starts the fourth with a line drive to straight away center, but the center fielder was able to run back and catch it. Slavens and Bohrofen followed with ground outs, with the second baseman slipping as he threw for the second of those. It was a five-pitch inning, so the fourth inning lasted all of 11 pitches for six outs. Hampton is at 40 pitches through four innings.
T-5th: Arkansas 1, Eastern Illinois 1
Hollan continues to cruise, throwing another 1-2-3 inning in the fifth. He got a fly out to center by Taul, a line out to first by Akbar and a strikeout of Riley. He is up to 72 pitches through five innings.
B-5th: Arkansas 3, Eastern Illinois 1
Robinett put a good swing on the first pitch of the inning and looked like he had extra bases, but the center fielder made a tremendous catch while crashing into the wall. Polk followed with a walk, snapping Hampton’s stretch of eight consecutive batters retired.
Neville looked like he grounded into an inning-ending 4-6-3 double play, but the shortstop – Akbar – was inaccurate on the throw to first. That extended the inning, allowing Bolton to hit a double that just got over the left fielder’s head for a go-ahead RBI. Josenberger lined a single to right in the next at bat, driving in another run. Stovall grounded into a fielder’s choice to end the inning.
T-6th: Arkansas 3, Eastern Illinois 2
Hollan is back out to pitch in the sixth inning. He struck out Worcester and got Ignoffo to ground out, but Gober hit a two-out bomb into the Hog Pen. Hollan had retired 10 straight before that hit. Zalewski followed with a hard hit line drive to left for a single and Lashure hit a grounder back up the middle that deflected off of him. Instead of just hanging on to the ball, Hollan threw to first – despite having no chance of an out – and it bounced into the stands. The E1 allowed the runners to move to second and third.
That’s it for Hollan. The new pitcher is right-hander Cody Adcock. He thought he got Jared Evans – pinch hitting for Drumke – looking on a 1-2 pitch, but it was called a ball. Instead, he got him to swing and miss at the next pitch.
B-6th: Arkansas 3, Eastern Illinois 2
With Hampton still on the mound, he retired the Razorbacks in order again. Wegner and Bohrofen went down swinging sandwiched around a fly out to left by Slavens. He’s still at just 65 pitches through six innings.
T-7th: Eastern Illinois 6, Arkansas 3
Adcock is still pitching for the Razorbacks. He got Taul to line out to right and DiLuca to look at strike three to bring up the top of the lineup. Riley, the leadoff man, reached on a two-out single to center and Worcester drove him in with a double to the right-center gap. That ties it up at 3-3. Ignoffo then gave EIU the lead with a two-run blast that cleared the bullpen in left. It came in an 0-2 count. Gober then crushed a 1-2 pitch right over the middle of the plate for a solo home run. Zalewski ended the rally by fouling out.
B-7th: Eastern Illinois 6, Arkansas 3
Robinett started the seventh by swinging at the first pitch and hitting a line drive – but it was right to the left fielder. Polk followed with a ground out to short and Neville grounded out to second. It was an eight-pitch inning for Hampton, who is at 73 pitches through seven innings.
T-8th: Eastern Illinois 12, Arkansas 3
Left-hander Zack Morris is the new pitcher for Arkansas. Ben Gallaher led off the inning with a single and then Dominic Dilello laid down a perfect sac bunt to move Gallaher to second, but he was able to take third because no one covered third when Robinett charged in to field the bunt. Taul followed with a rocket that got through Robinett’s legs for an RBI single.
DiLuca also laid down a bunt and Morris fielded it, but his throw took Slavens off the bag. It goes down as a sacrifice bunt, E1. That’s it for Morris. Right-hander Gage Wood coming in to pitch now. His first pitch was wild, moving the runners to second and third. He ended up walking Riley on four pitches to load the bases.
Wood’s fifth pitch was wild, bringing in a run. It wasn’t until his eighth pitch that he finally found the strike zone, but he ended up walking him to load the bases again. That’s it for Wood. The new pitcher is left-hander Parker Coil. Facing Ignoffo with the bases loaded, he gave up a soft-hit single in an 0-2 count for an RBI to make it 9-3. Gober also singled through the right side on an 0-2 pitch to make it 10-3.
After issuing a bases-loaded walk, another run scored on a passed ball. It could have been worse, but Coil made a couple of nice defensive plays to limit the damage. He snagged a ball back up the middle and got the out at first after looking the runner back at third. After that, he fielded a grounder going to his left and beat the runner to first because Slavens had charged toward the ball himself. That stranded runners on second and third.
B-8th: Eastern Illinois 12, Arkansas 3
EIU turned to its designated hitter, Ryan Ignoffo, to close it out. He struck out Bolton before Josenberger lined a singled into center. Stovall moved him to second on a ground out to second, but Wegner lined out to center. It was a 9-pitch inning for Ignoffo. Arkansas has seen 10 or fewer pitches in five innings today.
T-9th: Eastern Illinois 12, Arkansas 3
Freshman Cooper Dossett pitched the ninth inning and the right-hander put up a zero. He struck out Taul before issuing a one-out walk. But that was it for EIU. Riley lined out to the track in left and Worcester popped out in foul territory.
B-9th: Eastern Illinois 12, Arkansas 3
Slavens flied out to center and Bohrofen flied out to left to start the inning. Robinett struck out to end the game.
FINAL: Eastern Illinois 12, Arkansas 3
BOX SCORE – Arkansas vs Eastern Illinois
Starting Lineups — Arkansas vs Eastern Illinois
|Eastern Illinois Baseball||Arkansas Baseball|
|1. Lincoln Riley – CF||1. Tavian Josenberger – CF|
|2. Chris Worcester – 2B||2. Peyton Stovall – 2B|
|3. Ryan Ignoffo – DH||3. Jared Wegner – LF|
|4. Cole Gober – LF||4. Brady Slavens – 1B|
|5. Cade Zalewski – 1B||5. Jace Bohrofen – RF|
|6. Grant Lashure – C||6. Reese Robinett – 3B|
|7. Dylan Drumke – RF||7. Hudson Polk – C|
|8. Robby Taul – 3B||8. Mason Neville – DH|
|9. Ja’Lil Akbar – SS||9. John Bolton – SS|
|Pitching: S-Sr. RHP Ky Hampton||Pitching: Jr. LHP Hunter Hollan|
Arkansas Baseball Schedule This Week
Tuesday — Arkansas 9, Grambling 7
Friday — Arkansas 13, Eastern Illinois 2 (7 innings)
Saturday — Arkansas 10, Eastern Illinois 3
Sunday — vs Eastern Illinois — 1 p.m. CT (SECN+)
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