LIVE UPDATES: Hogs End Worst Homer Drought Since Change to Baseballs in Arkansas vs Grambling

Nolan Souza, Wehiwa Aloy, Arkansas baseball, Arkansas vs Grambling
photo credit: Crant Osborne

FAYETTEVILLE — Getting back home and playing a midweek game could be just what the Razorbacks’ offense needs, or at least that’s what Dave Van Horn hopes is the case for the Arkansas vs Grambling matchup.

Aside from a couple of big hits in Friday’s win over Oregon State, the bats were mostly quiet during the three games in Arlington, Texas, and Van Horn didn’t try to hide his feelings after a narrow win over Michigan on Sunday.

The No. 2 Razorbacks (5-2) will have a chance to get back on track offensively against the Tigers (1-6) when they visit Baum-Walker Stadium for a single midweek matchup at 3 p.m. CT Tuesday. It marks the start of a 12-game home stand.

It’s easy to get caught up in Arkansas’ ugly .248 season batting average and abysmal 7 for 37 (.189) with runners in scoring position over the weekend, but there has also been a severe lack of power through seven games. The Razorbacks are slugging just .378, which ranks 206th out of 304 Division I teams.

Perhaps most surprising is the fact that Arkansas has hit only four home runs and all of them came in the first two games of the year, which were played with temperatures in the 30s. The Razorbacks haven’t homered in their last five games, which is their longest such streak in a decade. The 2014 team had 9- and 5-game homerless streaks on its way to hitting only 28 home runs in the final season before the NCAA adopted flatter-seamed baseballs, leading to an significant increase of home runs across the sport.

Making the drought even more improbable is the fact that Arkansas has been one of the top power hitting teams in the country over the last seven seasons. Only two teams – Tennessee Tech (607) and Wake Forest (599) – have hit more home runs over that span than the Razorbacks’ 597. So far this season, though, Arkansas ranks behind 202 Division I teams.

Whether or not that power will show up Tuesday afternoon remains to be seen, but the midweek game does present quite an opportunity for the Razorbacks. Not only is it just 1-6 this season, but Grambling has never beaten Arkansas. In fact, the Razorbacks are 30-0 all-time against teams in the SWAC, with most of those games ending in blowout fashion.

Regardless of how many balls leave the yard, that’s a streak Dave Van Horn would like to continue because a loss to the Tigers – even in a single midweek game – would be a significant blow to Arkansas’ RPI.

Follow along below for inning-by-inning updates and stats from the Arkansas vs Grambling game…

LIVE UPDATES – Arkansas vs Grambling

Pregame Tidbits

Despite throwing 39 pitches in 2 1/3 innings of relief in Saturday’s 14-inning loss to Oklahoma State, left-hander Colin Fisher will get the ball to start the first true midweek game of the year. The freshman has had a tremendous start of his college career, first throwing five scoreless innings in a start against James Madison last Monday and then the aforementioned outing against the Cowboys. Even though he was credited with the loss, Fisher was electric. The run that decided the game was unearned and he had six strikeouts. Those two outings earned him SEC co-Freshman of the Week honors Monday.

Once again, the Razorbacks are using a different lineup than the previous game. Hudson Polk is making his first start of the season, while Hudson White is back at DH. Peyton Holt is starting at second base again, but he’s now in the 9-hole. Ty Wilmsmeyer is getting the day off, with Will Edmunson starting in center.

Martavius Thomas, Grambling’s starting center fielder and 9-hole hitter, was once committed to Arkansas, but eventually signed with Grambling. He went to Camden Fairview High School.

T-1st: Arkansas 0, Grambling 0

  • On the second pitch, Fisher got Walker to hit a high fly ball to shallow right. Holt went back and caught it. 1 out.
  • Borom followed with a fly out to left. 2 outs.
  • Bufford, who is one shy of breaking the school record for home runs, drew a four-pitch walk to give Grambling a two-out base runner.
  • Fisher bounced back by striking out Smiley, who chased a pitch well out of the zone for strike three.

B-1st: Arkansas 7, Grambling 0

  • Edmunson walked on five pitches to start the home half of the inning.
    • A wild pitch moved Edmunson to second.
  • Diggs hit a line drive the other way that got all the way to the fence in left for an RBI double.
  • Despite falling behind 1-2, McLaughlin eventually walked.
  • Sprague-Lott fell behind 0-2, but also walked. That loaded the bases and prompted a mound visit.
  • It looked like White grounded into a tailor-made double play, but the second baseman dropped the toss from the shortstop. It hit him in the glove. Everyone is safe and a run scored.
  • In a 2-0 count, Hudson Polk crushed a pitch to dead center for a grand slam. It left the bat at 113 mph and went 421 feet.
  • The first out of the inning came when Aloy hit a fly out to right. 1 out.
  • Jones gave it a ride, but his fly out was caught just in front of the wall in right. 2 outs.
  • Holt kept the inning going with a single up the middle. It had a 106 mph exit velocity.
  • Edmunson crushed a pitch, too, and it hit the wall in left. Holt scored from first to make it an RBI double. It had a 103 mph exit velocity.
  • In a full count, Diggs grounded out to second to end the inning.

T-2nd: Arkansas 7, Grambling 0

  • Now pitching for Arkansas is left-hander Parker Coil, who didn’t pitch over the weekend because he was sick.
  • Murphy grounded out to second to start the inning. 1 out.
  • Inman notches Grambling’s first hit with a single to center.
  • Coil got out of it thanks to Hatton grounding into a 5-4-3 double play.

B-2nd: Arkansas 7, Grambling 0

  • Now pitching for Grambling is right-hander Brett Washington.
  • McLaughlin hit a high pop up to shallow left and the shortstop was able to track it down. 1 out.
  • Sprague-Lott walked on five pitches.
  • White also hit a high pop up to shallow ceneter and the shortstop again caught it. 2 outs.
    • A wild pitch moved Sprague-Lott to second.
  • Polk flied out to right to end the inning.

T-3rd: Arkansas 7, Grambling 0

  • Vargas grounded out back to the pitcher and Coil made the play smoothly. 1 out.
  • Thomas looked at strike three. 2 outs.
  • Walker popped out in foul territory with McLaughlin making the catch at the last second. That was a quick inning for Coil, who has thrown 23 pitches through two innings.

B-3rd: Arkansas 12, Grambling 0

  • Aloy swung at the first pitch he saw – a 58 mph curveball – and ripped it down the left field line for a leadoff double.
  • Jones got a 68 mph fastball and absolutely demolished it. It left the bat at 110 mph and traveled 400 feet into the Hog Pen for a two-run homer. He admired it, too.
  • Holt singled through the left side. It had an exit velocity over 100 mph, as well, and that’s it for Washington.
    • The new pitcher for Grambling is right-hander Miguel Baez.
  • Edmunson ripped a 107 mph line drive over the shortstop for another single.
  • Diggs hit one off the end of the bat that had just a 65 mph exit velocity and it got through the left side. Holt scored from second and Edmunson went first to third on it.
  • McLaughlin hit a grounder to short and this time the shortstop turned the double play himself. However, a run scored on the 6-3 double play. 2 outs.
  • Sprague-Lott ripped a 102 mph line drive just over the shortstop and into the left-center gap for another double.
  • White drove him in with a single through the left side.
  • Polk went down swinging to end the inning.

T-4th: Arkansas 12, Grambling 0

  • Right-hander Cooper Dossett is making his season debut for Arkansas.
  • Borom went down swinging. 1 out.
  • In a full count, Bufford – the preseason SWAC Player of the Year – swung and missed at a 96 mph fastball. 2 outs.
  • Smiley also went down swinging. Nice debut for Dossett.

B-4th: Arkansas 14, Grambling 0

  • Now pitching for Grambling is right-hander Rafael Capistran.
  • Aloy popped out to shallow center and the shortstop went out to catch it. 1 out.
  • In a full count, Jones grounded out to third. 2 outs.
  • In an 0-2 count, Holt was plunked to give Arkansas a two-out base runner.
  • Edmunson followed with a four-pitch walk.
  • Ross Lovich pinch hit for Diggs and ripped the first pitch he saw into center for an RBI single. Edmunson went first to third.
    • A wild pitch brought in Edmunson and moved Lovich to second.
  • Jack Wagner pinch hit for McLaughlin and drew a five-pitch walk.
  • For the first time today, Sprague-Lott is retired. He gave it a ride, but it was caught just shy of the track in center.

T-5th: Arkansas 14, Grambling 0

  • Right-hander Christian Foutch is now pitching for Arkansas.
  • Murphy went down swinging to start the inning. 1 out.
  • Inman reached on a walk.
  • However, the base runner was erased when Hatton grounded into another 5-4-3 double play.

B-5th: Arkansas 20, Grambling 0

  • Now pitching for Grambling is right-hander Charles Jackson.
  • Ryder Helfrick pinch hit for White and drew a five-pitch walk. Ball four was close to his head and he had to duck away.
    • A wild pitch moved Helfrick to second.
  • In a full count, Polk also drew a walk.
    • Another wild pitch moved the runners to second and third.
  • Nolan Souza, who entered as a defensive replacement last inning, also walked. That loads the bases.
  • That brought up Jones and he crushed another homer into the Hog Pen. It was a 425-foot grand slam that left the bat with a 108 mph exit velocity.
  • Holt smoked a single back up the middle that nearly took out the pitcher. It had a 105 mph exit velocity.
    • That’s it for Jackson. Grambling turns to a lefty now, Courtland Posey.
  • Edmunson, who had reached four times in four innings, grounded into a 4-6-3 double play to erase the base runner. 2 outs.
  • Lovich followed with a single to right. The right fielder nearly made a diving catch, but it came out of his glove. It had a 100 mph exit velocity.
  • Wagner got a double to fall in right and Lovich scored from first.
  • Sprague-Lott singled up the middle to drive in Wagner.
  • Helfrick ripped a single through the left side that had a 101 mph exit velocity.
  • The runners were stranded on first and second when Polk flied out to right.

T-6th: Arkansas 20, Grambling 0

  • Right-hander Gage Wood is now pitching for Arkansas.
  • Vargas went down swinging. 1 out.
  • Thomas couldn’t check his swing. It’s another strikeout. 2 outs.
  • Kevin Hall Jr. pinch hit for Walker and grounded out to first. Nice job by Wood to cover first. That ends the inning.

B-6th: Arkansas 21, Grambling 0

  • Souza ripped a grounder back up the middle and it deflected off the second base bag, turning it into a double. It had a 106 mph exit velocity.
  • Jones flied out to right. 1 out.
  • Holt walks to put runners on first and second. He’s reached in all five plate appearances.
  • Edmunson hit a grounder to third and the third baseman made a nice play to snag it. He took it to third himself for a force. 2 outs.
  • Lovich poked a single the other way for another RBI.
  • Wagner hit it 100 mph, but the second baseman fielded it and stepped on the bag for a force to end the inning.

T-7th: Arkansas 21, Grambling 1

  • Freshman right-hander Tate McGuire is on to try to close this one out.
  • Jaylyn Bennett pinch hit for Borom and struck out swinging. 1 out.
  • Aries Gardner pinch hit for Bufford and smacked a low line drive just out of the reach of a diving Sprague-Lott. It went to the left field corner for a double.
  • James Woody pinch hit for Smiley and went down swinging. 2 outs.
  • Lamarcus Jones pinch hit for Murphy and broke up the shutout with a RBI single through the left side.
  • Inman followed with another single to left.
  • Hatton went down swinging to end the game.

FINAL – Arkansas 21, Grambling 1

Starting Lineups

Grambling BaseballArkansas Baseball
1. Kyle Walker – 2B1. Will Edmunson – CF
2. Tiger Borom – LF2. Kendall Diggs – RF
3. Cameron Bufford – 3B3. Ben McLaughlin – 1B
4. Demarckus Smiley – C4. Jared Sprague-Lott – 3B
5. Julian Murphy – DH5. Hudson White – DH
6. Ashton Inman – 1B6. Hudson Polk – C
7. Trevor Hatton – RF7. Wehiwa Aloy – SS
8. Jose Vargas – SS8. Jayson Jones – LF
9. Martavius Thomas – CF9. Peyton Holt – 2B
Pitching: RHP Carlos PegueroPitching: LHP Colin Fisher

How to Watch Arkansas vs Grambling

Date: Tuesday, Feb. 27

First Pitch: 3 p.m. CT

Location: Baum-Walker Stadium (Fayetteville, Ark.)

TV/Stream: SEC Network-Plus

Arkansas Baseball in the Polls

*The USA Today Coaches Poll didn’t come out last week, so this movement is from the preseason poll to now.

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SEC Baseball Records Thru 2 Weeks

SEC West

Team2024 Record
Alabama8-0
Texas A&M7-0
LSU7-1
Auburn6-1
Arkansas5-2
Ole Miss4-4
Mississippi State4-4

SEC East

Team2024 Record
Georgia7-0
South Carolina7-1
Tennessee7-1
Kentucky6-1
Florida5-1
Vanderbilt5-3
Missouri4-3

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More coverage of Arkansas baseball from BoAS…

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