LIVE UPDATES: Hogs Open 2024 Season with Game 1 of Arkansas vs James Madison

Hagen Smith, Arkansas baseball, Arkansas vs James Madison
photo credit: Twitter/RazorbackBSB

FAYETTEVILLE — Arkansas baseball is back.

The Razorbacks began their path to Omaha on Friday by winning the first of a four-game series against James Madison.

It was the fans’ first chance to get a glimpse of left-hander Hagen Smith and his revamped fastball, which is touching triple digits. That didn’t go too well, as you can see in the post-game piece here:

~Hogs’ Touted Depth Sure Delivered Sooner Than Expected + More from James Madison Win~

Best of Arkansas Sports was in the building provided inning-by-inning updates, stats and highlights below.

LIVE UPDATES – Arkansas vs James Madison (Game 1)

Preseason Tidbits

As expected, Hudson White is starting behind the plate and batting leadoff.

The biggest mystery surrounding the Arkansas baseball lineup was who’d play first base and who’d be the DH. Ben McLaughlin got the nod at first, with Jack Wagner at DH. They’ll likely rotate throughout the weekend.

T-1st: James Madison 3, Arkansas 0

  • Dunaway worked the count full before drawing a leadoff walk.
  • Mancini got behind 0-2 and, after a few pickoff attempts, Smith plunked him when trying to go inside with a 96 mph fastball.
  • Trimble also worked the count full and, after fouling off a couple of pitches, appeared to chase a pitch out of the zone for a strikeout. However, it was called a foul ball. On the next pitch, Trimble hit a 392-foot home run to right-center.
  • The first out comes on a ground out to second by Dooley.
  • In yet another full count, Calabrese went down swinging for the second out.
  • O’Donnell worked the count full, as well, and drew a walk.
  • During Steinberg’s at bat, he hit a fly ball down the right field line and Diggs looked like he had a shot at catching it, but he didn’t get a great read on it and he missed it. It’s worth noting that the wind is blowing out to right and probably impacted that play, but it’s probably a catch that should have been made. Instead, Steinberg eventually looked at strike three after a few more pitches. That ends the inning after 42 pitches by Smith.

B-1st: James Madison 3, Arkansas 2

  • White led off the home half of the inning with a three-pitch strikeout. He went down looking.
  • The wind is definitely having an impact on this game early. Diggs hit a high fly ball to left that probably should have been caught, but the left fielder misplayed it and it fell to the ground for what has to be scored as a double.
  • Mozoki just missed on back-to-back pitches and walked Aloy in a full count.
  • McLaughlin came up swinging and poked a first-pitch single the other way to drive in Diggs.
  • JMU had a shot at an inning-ending double play as the third baseman snagged Wagner’s grounder and got the out at second, but the throw to first was late.
  • With runners on the corners, Holt hit the first pitch he saw up the middle for an RBI.
  • The inning ends with Jones hitting a grounder to third, who got the force at third to end the inning.

T-2nd: James Madison 3, Arkansas 2

  • Hagen Smith’s day is done. Right-hander Will McEntire comes out of the bullpen to start the second inning.
    • Smith’s final line: 1 IP, 1 H, 3 R (3 ER), 2 BB, 2 K, 1 HBP, 42 pitches (25 strikes)
  • McEntire got Schiavone to look at strike three to begin his outing.
  • Peifer hit a grounder to the right side and McLaughlin fielded it. He tossed to McEntire covering the bag for the out. They made it look easy for the second out.
  • It was a nice battle between Dunaway and McEntire, with the pitcher winning it by getting him to swing at a high fastball for a strikeout. Nice 1-2-3 frame by the veteran.

B-2nd: Arkansas 4, James Madison 3

  • The second pitch of the inning was skied to left by Sprague-Lott and it just kept carrying. It landed in the bullpen for a 364-foot homer that left the bat at 100 mph. It had whopping 42.9-degree launch angle, so it’s not an exaggeration to say it was skied.
  • Mozoki bounced back by striking out Wilmsmeyer for the first out.
  • After striking out on three pitches in his first at bat, White crushed the first pitch he saw his second time up into the Hog Pen. It was a 396-foot blast that left the bat with a 101 mph exit velocity and 25.0 degrees launch angle.
  • Diggs grounded out to second for the second out.
  • Aloy went down swinging to end the inning.

T-3rd: Arkansas 4, James Madison 3

  • Back out for his second inning of work, McEntire got Mancini to fly out to left to for the first out.
  • Trimble, who homered in the first, poked a single through the right side to give JMU a one-out base runner.
  • Dooley hit a grounder to first that McLaughlin fielded and fired to Aloy to get the lead runner. Aloy then threw to McEntire covering first and Dooley is called out. McEntire was fired up, but the play was reviewed and overturned on replay, so it’s a fielder’s choice and keeps the inning alive.
  • With new life for JMU, Calabrese hit a slow roller up the middle and Holt fielded it in front of Aloy. He threw across his body and the throw got by McLaughlin. Calabrese tried to take second, but McLaughlin recovered in time to throw him out at second. It’s ruled an infield single, 3-6 putout to end the inning.

B-3rd: Arkansas 6, James Madison 3

  • McLaughlin lined out to second to start the inning.
  • Wagner followed with a four-pitch walk, prompting a mound visit for JMU.
  • Holt also drew a four-pitch walk, putting runners on first and second. The Dukes have someone getting loose in the bullpen.
    • In a 1-2 count to Jones, Wagner and Holt pulled off a double steal. The throw to second got by the JMU defender covering the bag, but didn’t get far enough away for Wagner to score from third.
  • After eight straight balls, Mozoki got ahead 0-2 against Jones and eventually struck out. 2 outs.
  • With two outs and runners on first and second, Sprague-Lott singled to right. It easily drove in Wagner, but Holt had to hold up at third because it was hit so hard. However, Sprague-Lott got caught in a rundown between first and second. He was eventually tagged out, 9-3-6-4, but he stayed alive long enough for Holt to score before the tag. Only one of those runs goes down as an RBI.

T-4th: Arkansas 6, James Madison 3

  • McEntire struck out O’Donnell on three pitches to start the fourth.
  • Steinberg popped out behind the plate. Nice play by White to catch it near the dugout.
  • Schiavone went down swinging to end the inning. It’s another efficient 1-2-3 inning for McEntire, who’s thrown 44 through three innings.

B-4th: Arkansas 6, James Madison 3

  • JMU goes to its bullpen to start the fourth. The new pitcher is left-hander Donovan Burke.
  • Wilmsmeyer singled to left to start the inning.
    • During White’s at bat, Burke picked off Wilmsmeyer. He caught him leaning and he was put out 1-3-6-1.
  • It looked like White might have a second home run, but his deep fly to left was caught against the wall. 2 outs.
  • Diggs grounded out to first to end the inning.

T-5th: Arkansas 6, James Madison 3

  • McEntire got Peifer to go down swinging to start the inning. 1 out.
  • Dunaway grounded out to short. 2 outs.
  • Mancini hit a fly ball into foul territory in left and it looked like it’d fall for a basic foul ball. However, Sprague-Lott casually stuck his glove out and caught it over his shoulder. It was a seven-pitch inning for McEntire, who’s at 51 through four innings.

B-5th: Arkansas 6, James Madison 3

  • Now pitching for James Madison is right-hander Jackson Logar.
  • Aloy strikes out swinging to start the bottom of the fifth. 1 out.
  • McLaughlin took a pitch before smoking a ground ball to short. He was thrown out, but it had a 102 mph exit velocity. 2 outs.
  • Wagner grounded out to first to end the inning. Nice job by the pitcher of covering the bag. That was a nine-pitch inning for Logar.

T-6th: Arkansas 6, James Madison 4

  • In a 1-2 count, Trimble hit a double to the left-center gap. Jones didn’t take a great route, but it was always going to be Trimble’s third hit of the day.
  • Dooley grounded out to first, but moved Trimble to third. 1 out.
  • Calabrese drove in the run with a ground out to shortstop. 2 outs.
  • O’Donnell looked at strike three to end the inning. That might be it for McEntire, who has been tremendous out of the bullpen.

B-6th: Arkansas 6, James Madison 4

  • Holt flied out to right to start the inning. 1 out.
  • Jones looked at strike three. He’s 0 for 3. 2 outs.
  • With two outs, Sprague-Lott drew a four-pitch walk. He’s reached base all three times.
  • Wilmsmeyer worked the count full before looking at strike three to end the inning. Logar has been pretty good for JMU.

T-7th: Arkansas 6, James Madison 4

  • McEntire is still on the mound for Arkansas.
  • Steinberg grounded out to third on the first pitch of the inning. 1 out.
  • In a full count, Schiavone walked. It’s the free pass for McEntire. Gage Wood is getting warm in the bullpen.
  • Peifer followed with a first-pitch chopper up the middle. Holt fielded it, stepped on the bag and fired to first, where Peifer was called out to make it a 4-3 double play. However, it was reviewed and – like the other call – it was overturned. That’s it for McEntire. Right-hander Gage Wood is now pitching.
  • Wood struck out Dunaway to end the inning.
    • Final line for McEntire: 5.2 IP, 3 H, 1 R (1 ER), 1 BB, 6 K, 71 pitches (48 strikes)

B-7th: Arkansas 6, James Madison 4

  • Right-hander Hunter Entsminger is now pitching for James Madison.
  • White drew a leadoff walk in a full count.
  • Diggs followed with a single to right.
  • Aloy hit a grouder to third that looked like it could be a double play, but the third baseman who fielded it ran after White and tagged him instead of throwing to second to start the double play.
  • The third baseman, Peifer, got another chance immediately and this time he fielded McLaughlin’s fielder, stepped on third and fired across the diamond to complete the 5-3 double play.

T-8th: Arkansas 6, James Madison 4

  • Will Edmunson is now playing left field for Arkansas, replacing Jones.
  • Mancini hit a slow chopper up the middle. Holt tried to bare-hand it (his only chance at a play) and didn’t come up with it cleanly. It’s an infield single.
    • A passed ball during Trimble’s at bat moved Mancini to second.
  • That brought up Trimble. He looked at strike three and wasn’t happy about the call – and he probably has a case. TrackMan says it was actually a ball. 1 out.
  • Dooley hit yet another slow chopper up the middle. This time, Aloy fielded it and threw to first for the out. Mancini advanced to third on the play. 2 outs.
  • With a runner on third, Calabrese fouled off a couple of pitches before striking out. Wood stared him down as he walked off the field.

B-8th: Arkansas 6, James Madison 4

  • Nice piece of hitting by Wagner to start the eighth, hitting it the other way into the right-center gap for a double.
    • That prompts a pitching change. Right-hander Matt Kleinfelter is the Dukes’ new pitcher, replacing Entsminger.
    • Ross Lovich replaced Wagner at second as a pinch runner.
  • Holt hit a deep fly to center that was caught, but plenty deep for Lovich to tag up to third. 1 out.
  • With the infield playing in, Edmunson hit a grounder to second. Lovich was running on contact and was thrown out by a mile at home. 2 outs.
    • During Sprague-Lott’s at bat, Edmunson stole second.
  • After the steal, JMU opted to intentionally walk Sprague-Lott.
  • On the first pitch, Wilmsmeyer flied out to center to end the inning.

T-9th: Arkansas 6, James Madison 4

  • With a full count, O’Donnell looked at strike three. He throught it was ball four, but TrackMan confirmed it was the correct call.
  • Steinberg grounded out to shortstop. 2 outs.
  • Schiavone fell down 0-2, took three balls and then hit a pop up in the infield caught by Sprague-Lott to end the game.

FINAL: Arkansas 6, James Madison 4

More here:

Starting Lineups

James Madison BaseballArkansas Baseball
1. Mason Dunaway – SS1. Hudson White – C
2. Mike Mancini – 2B2. Kendall Diggs – RF
3. Fenwick Trimble – CF3. Wehiwa Aloy – SS
4. Ryan Dooley – LF4. Ben McLaughlin – 1B
5. Coleman Calabrese – 1B5. Jack Wagner – DH
6. Brendan O’Donnell – RF6. Peyton Holt – 2B
7. Jacob Steinberg – DH7. Jayson Jones – LF
8. Jason Schiavone – C8. Jared Sprague-Lott – 3B
9. Wyatt Peifer – 3B9. Ty Wilmsmeyer – CF
Pitching: RHP Todd MozokiPitching: LHP Hagen Smith

How to Watch Arkansas vs James Madison

Date: Friday, Feb. 16

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

TV/Stream: SEC Network-Plus

Odds/Betting Line: Arkansas, -3.5 | O/U 11.5 (BetSaracen)


More coverage of Arkansas baseball from BoAS…

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