FAYETTEVILLE — After taking the opener, Arkansas baseball can clinch its series against Louisiana Tech on Saturday.
Game 2 is scheduled for a 2 p.m. CT first pitch and, unlike Friday’s game, it will be streamed online on SEC Network-Plus. The Razorbacks held on for a 7-4 win in the series opener.
Best of Arkansas Sports is once again at Baum-Walker Stadium and will be providing inning-by-inning updates below…
LIVE UPDATES — Arkansas vs Louisiana Tech
There is a notable lineup change for Arkansas, as Peyton Holt is getting the start at third base and batting seventh. He replaced Caleb Cali as a pinch runner in the eighth inning Friday. It’s unknown if the switch is injury related, but Cali is on the lineup card and available to play.
After not playing in Friday’s game, Louisiana Tech slugger Philip Matulia is back in the lineup and batting cleanup. The right fielder is hitting .283 and leads the team in both home runs (6) and RBIs (16).
The Bulldogs’ starting pitcher is sophomore right-hander Rawley Hector, a transfer from Texas A&M whose father played at Arkansas State. He has a 4.40 ERA in 14 1/3 innings this year.
T-1st: Arkansas 0, Louisiana Tech 0
McEntire started the game with a strikeout of Drost and then made it a 1-2-3 frame by getting Bates to fly out to center and Davis to pop up to short. He threw only 12 pitches.
B-1st: Arkansas 1, Louisiana Tech 0
Josenberger led off the inning with a line drive single to center, but Stovall’s line drive was right at the shortstop and Josenberger had to slide back into the bag to avoid being doubled up. Wegner grounded into a fielder’s choice, beating the throw to first to avoid the double play.
Not turning two on either of those plays came back to haunt Louisiana Tech, as Slavens hit a blooper toward left-center and the left fielder couldn’t make a diving grab. Wegner scored all the way from first and Slavens ended up on second with an RBI double. The inning ended on a ground out by Bohrofen, but he hit it 107 mph.
T-2nd: Arkansas 1, Louisiana Tech 0
In his first AB of the weekend, Matulia popped out in foul territory, caught by Holt. McEntire gave up a bloop single to Burchfield, but then retired Myers and Corona in order on a fly out to center and soft line out to second, respectively. It was a 15-pitch inning, increasing him to 27 for the game.
B-2nd: Arkansas 3, Louisiana Tech 0
Arkansas opened the second inning with back-to-back homers by Diggs and Holt. Diggs’ was to left, while Holt’s was to dead center. The Razorbacks went in order after that, though. Polk grounded out to third, Bolton popped out to third and Josenberger struck out.
T-3rd: Arkansas 3, Louisiana Tech 0
The third inning was vintage Will McEntire. He induced a ground out by Evans and then got McLeod and Drost to fly out to center — all on just six total pitches. He’s at 33 pitches for the game.
B-3rd: Arkansas 3, Louisiana Tech 0
Stovall started the inning with a single, but the Razorbacks couldn’t do anything with it. After getting ahead 3-0 and seemingly drawing a walk, Wegner followed with a strikeout. Then Slavens grounded into a double play to end the inning. It was a 3-6 double play, with the first baseman stepping on the bag and then throwing to the shortstop, who had to tag Stovall for the final out.
T-4th: Arkansas 3, Louisiana Tech 0
McEntire needed only nine pitches to set Louisiana Tech down in order again in the fourth. Bates flied out to right, Davis flied to center and Matulia grounded out to second. He’s at 42 pitches.
B-4th: Arkansas 4, Louisiana Tech 0
Bohrofen led off the fourth inning with a home run to right. It’s the fourth straight game he’s homered. But that was it for the Razorbacks, as Diggs struck out, Holt grounded out to first and Polk grounded out to third. Polk is now 1 for 19 this season.
T-5th: Arkansas 4, Louisiana Tech 1
After a first-pitch fly out to left, Myers laid down a perfect bunt for a hit. Holt tried to make a play on it, but his throw was wide and allowed the guy to go to second on the error. That was huge because after a pop out by Corona, Evans drove him in with a single. That was it, though, as McLeod flied out to right. It was a nine-pitch inning by McEntire, who’s now out 51 pitches through five innings.
B-5th: Arkansas 5, Louisiana Tech 1
Bolton started the fifth with a walk – the fifth straight inning Arkansas’ leadoff man has reached – and, after a solid line out to left by Josenberger, he moved to second on a wild pitch. Stovall drove him in with a double, making it 5-1. Wegner grounded out to third and Louisiana Tech is making a pitching change. The new pitcher is left-hander Ryan Harland. He got Slavens to line out to center to end the inning.
T-6th: Arkansas 5, Louisiana Tech 1
McEntire threw yet another nine-pitch inning in the sixth, retiring Louisiana Tech in order. Drost struck out looking, Bates flied out to left and Davis popped out in foul territory, caught by Slavens. He’s at 60 pitches, which means he’s averaging exactly 10 pitches an inning.
B-6th: Arkansas 5, Louisiana Tech 1
Bohrofen made solid contact to start the inning, but the ball hung in the air long enough for the left fielder to catch it. Then Diggs grounded out to second and Holt struck out. Harland has retired all four guys he’s faced since entering the game.
T-7th: Arkansas 5, Louisiana Tech 1
McEntire strikes out Matulia to start the seventh. With that out, it’s the longest outing by an Arkansas starter this year. Burchfield followed with a fly out to right. Then Myers hit a grounder down the third base line that Holt fielded and threw to first. He was called out on the field and the call stood after a review. Tremendous play by Holt to end the inning. McEntire is at 72 pitches.
B-7th: Arkansas 5, Louisiana Tech 1
The new pitcher for Louisiana Tech is right-hander Isaac Crabb, who also pitched Friday. He issued a leadoff walk to Polk, but the Bulldogs threw him out trying to steal second. Then Bolton popped out to third and Josenberger flied out to center.
T-8th: Arkansas 5, Louisiana Tech 1
It’s another 1-2-3 inning for McEntire. Corona flied out to left and then he struck out Evans and pinch hitter Justin Williams. It was a 10-pitch inning, bringing his pitch count to 82 for the game.
B-8th: Arkansas 6, Louisiana Tech 1
Stovall gave it a ride to start the inning and the center fielder couldn’t make the catch at the wall. It resulted in a leadoff triple. With the infield playing in, Wegner punched a single through the middle. It gives him his 23rd RBI of the season. Slavens followed with a fielder’s choice and moved to second when the catcher tried throwing behind him, but threw it down the line. Bohrofen ended up looking at strike three and – after a walk by Diggs – a wild pitch put runners on second and third, but Holt flied out to right.
T-9th: Arkansas 6, Louisiana Tech 1
McEntire is back out to try to finish off the win. He issued his first walk of the game to start the ninth, putting Drost on base. Bates followed with a fly out to center. Davis popped out in foul territory and Stovall caught it – a play very similar to the 2018 CWS play. Matulia struck out to end the game, giving McEntire a complete game without allowing an earned run.
FINAL: Arkansas 6, Louisiana Tech 1
Starting Lineups — Arkansas vs Louisiana Tech (Game 2)
|Louisiana Tech Baseball||Arkansas Baseball|
|1. Brody Drost – CF||1. Tavian Josenberger – CF|
|2. Ethan Bates – 3B||2. Peyton Stovall – 2B|
|3. Dalton Davis – 2B||3. Jared Wegner – LF|
|4. Philip Matulia – RF||4. Brady Slavens – 1B|
|5. Walker Burchfield – DH||5. Jace Bohrofen – RF|
|6. Adarius Myers – LF||6. Kendall Diggs – DH|
|7. Jorge Corona – C||7. Peyton Holt – 3B|
|8. Karson Evans – 1B||8. Hudson Polk – C|
|9. Logan McLeod – SS||9. John Bolton – SS|
|Pitching: So. RHP Rawley Hector||Pitching: R-Jr. RHP Will McEntire|
Baseball Schedule This Week
Tuesday — Arkansas 7, Army 5
Friday — Arkansas 7, Louisiana Tech 4
Saturday — vs Louisiana Tech — 2 p.m. CT (SECN+)
Sunday — vs Louisiana Tech — 1 p.m. CT (SECN+)
Accountability Check — 2023 Arkansas Baseball Predictions
Best of Arkansas Sports managing editor Andrew Hutchinson published his week-by-week predictions for the 2023 season just before the Razorbacks opened the year at the College Baseball Showdown. Those predictions can be read in full here, but we’ll also be doing weekly “accountability checks” in this space.
Prediction: 3-0 on the weekend / 1-0 in the midweek / 10-2 on the season
It may not be a big-name school, but Wright State is a very good baseball program. The Raiders have reached the NCAA Tournament in five of the last seven seasons and are picked to win the Horizon League again this season. Fans may not recognize it as such, but a sweep this weekend will be the first sign that Arkansas is still a dominant team worthy of a top-10 ranking.
Army won’t be a pushover, as it’s picked to win the six-team Patriot League and nearly its entire infield is on the preseason all-conference team, but it should be another quality win for the Razorbacks.
Actual: 3-0 on the weekend / 1-0 in the midweek / 10-2 on the season
Wright State doesn’t have a very impressive record, but it was competitive last weekend and showed that it should still be the favorite to win its conference this year. That said, we correctly predicted the sweep. We also predicted that Army wouldn’t be a pushover, which was definitely the case — Arkansas had to rally back from a 4-0 deficit to win.
More coverage of Arkansas baseball from BoAS…