LIVE UPDATES: Molina’s Got Next for Hogs’ Hot Pitching in Arkansas vs Murray State Finale

Mason Molina, Arkansas baseball, Arkansas vs Murray State
photo credit: Crant Osborne

FAYETTEVILLE — The Razorbacks’ starting pitchers have put up incredible numbers over the last seven games and now it’s Mason Molina’s turn again with a chance to sweep the Arkansas vs Murray State series.

The left-hander from Texas Tech is coming off a five-inning start in which he didn’t allow a run or a hit against Michigan and will try to continue that during the 1 p.m. CT first pitch against the Racers.

Since the fourth game of the season-opening series against James Madison, Arkansas’ starting pitchers actually have a lower ERA (0.26) than WHIP (0.59). They’ve combined to allow only two earned runs – both on solo home runs the last two days – on 13 hits and seven walks while striking out 60 in just 34 innings.

As always, Best of Arkansas Sports is at the ballpark and will provide live inning-by-inning updates and stats from the series finale below…

(READ NEXT: Check out our in-depth recap of Game 2 of the Arkansas vs Murray State series)

LIVE UPDATES – Arkansas vs Murray State (Game 3)

Pregame Tidbits

Arkansas’ starting lineup looks similar to Game 2, but there are a couple of changes. Most notably, Jack Wagner is in the lineup and starting at first base. That moved Ben McLaughlin to DH. Also, Hudson White is back behind the dish and batting in the 9 hole.

T-1st: Arkansas 0, Murray State 0

  • Vogel struck out on three pitches to start the game. He went down swinging. 1 out.
  • Mercer went down to one knee while whiffing at a 92 mph fastball. 2 outs.
  • Hogart put together a great at bat, fouling off a couple of two-strike pitches before working the count full and drawing a walk.
  • Garner couldn’t stop himself from swinging at a fastball well outside the strike zone. It’s another strikeout for Molina, who threw 19 pitches in the inning.

B-1st: Arkansas 0, Murray State 0

  • Edmunson hit a pop up in the infield to start the home half and the second baseman caught it on the grass. 1 out.
  • Diggs grounded out to second. As he has all weekend, the second baseman was positioned perfectly. 2 outs.
  • Aloy grounded out to short. It was an 11-pitch inning for Fender.

T-2nd: Murray State 1, Arkansas 0

  • Hawthorne managed to put the ball in play, but it was a routine fly out to center. 1 out.
  • Rudd thought he had a walk, tossing his bat down and beginning the process of removing his batting gloves, but the umpire rung him up. TrackMan confirmed it – it was a strike. 2 outs.
  • Oh my. Molina threw a 90 mph fastball down the middle and Howell made him pay, crushing it 443 feet into the Hog Pen for a solo home run. He got all of it, too, with a 105 mph exit velocity and 27.5 degree launch angle.
  • Molina bounced back by striking out Estes, who went down swinging. That was a 16-pitch inning for Molina, who is up to 35 through two innings.

B-2nd: Murray State 1, Arkansas 0

  • McLaughlin walked on four pitches to start the inning.
  • Sprague-Lott *just* missed a two-run home run. He hit it hard, but got a little too much under it and it was caught by the left fielder on the track. 1 out.
  • Jones hit a hard grounder up the middle (109 mph exit velocity), but the second baseman made a nice play to start a 4-6-3 double play to end the inning. Fender is up to just 25 pitches through two innings.

T-3rd: Murray State 1, Arkansas 0

  • Bland went down swinging to start the inning. 1 out.
  • Vogel gave it a ride to right, but the wind kept it in the park. Diggs caught it for the out. 2 outs.
  • Mercer looked at strike three. That’s seven strikeouts for Molina, who’s up to 50 pitches through three innings.

B-3rd: Arkansas 2, Murray State 1

  • This game is tied. Souza just crushed an opposite field bomb for his first career homer. He hit it 398 feet into the Hog Pen. It left the bat at 108 mph and with a 35.0 degree launch angle.
  • After fouling off a few pitches and working the count full, Wagner took strike three. 1 out.
  • White followed with a single. He beat the shift by poking a single through the big hole on the right side.
  • On the very next pitch after a mound visit by Murray State, Edmunson lined a single to center. He hit it 105 mph off the bat. White went first to third on the play, putting runners on the corners.
  • In a full count, Diggs flied out to left. It was deep enough for White to tag up and score, though, making it a sacrifice fly. 2 outs.
    • During Aloy’s at bat, a balk moved Edmunson to second.
  • Aloy fouled off a couple of pitches with 100+ mph exit velocities that he pulled too much before taking a ball four that was JUST inside. It didn’t miss by much, but it’s a walk.
    • That’s it for Fender. Now pitching for Murray State is left-hander Allen Roulette.
  • McLaughlin hit a hard grounder, but the shortstop didn’t have to move much to field it and throw to first for the out. That ends the inning.

T-4th: Arkansas 2, Murray State 1

  • Hogart came up swinging and popped out in foul territory on the first pitch he saw. Wagner caught it. 1 out.
  • Garner went down swinging. 2 outs.
  • Hawthorne also went down swinging to end the inning. That gives Molina nine strikeouts, but more importantly, it was a 10-pitch inning. He is up to 60 through four.

B-4th: Arkansas 4, Murray State 1

  • Sprague-Lott smoked a single up the middle (100 mph exit velocity) to give Arkansas a leadoff base runner.
  • Jones followed with a line drive through the left side that had a 110 mph exit velocity.
    • Souza squared to bunt the runners over, but Roulette’s throw sailed over his head for a wild pitch, moving the runners up to second and third without having to sacrifice an out.
  • Now swinging away, Souza crushed a 3-2 pitch back up the middle to drive in two runs. He hit it 108 mph off the bat. He’s been crushing the ball lately.
  • Wagner hit a grounder to short, but it wasn’t hit hard enough for Murray State to turn two. The Racers got the out at second, 6-4, but that was it. 1 out.
  • White followed with a fly out to right. 2 outs.
  • Edmunson hit a slow roller that the third baseman fielded and threw him out at first. Pretty nice play to end the inning. Roulette has thrown 24 pitches through 1.1 innings.

T-5th: Arkansas 4, Murray State 1

  • Rudd ripped a single into left to give Murray State its first base runner of the day.
  • In a 2-2 count, Howell got hit by a pitch. It appeared to hit his back foot. That prompted a mound visit from Matt Hobbs. Gage Wood is getting loose in the bullpen.
  • Estes flied out to left in a 2-1 count. 1 out.
  • Bland struck out on three pitches. 2 outs.
  • Vogel hit a little dribbler to the right side of the mound. Molina fielded it, but Wagner was also there, so Molina had to take it to the bag himself. He got the out despite Vogel diving into first. Molina then tossed the ball over his head toward the mound with a little bit of attitude. That’s probably it for him, as he’s at 77 pitches.

B-5th: Arkansas 4, Murray State 1

  • Diggs hit a line drive the other way with a 98 mph exit velocity, but it hung up long enough for the left fielder to catch it. 1 out.
  • Aloy followed with a line drive to left that had a 110 mph exit velocity. His fell for a single.
  • McLaughlin went down swinging. 2 outs.
  • Sprague-Lott popped up in the infield and the first baseman caught it just inside the line to end the inning.

T-6th: Arkansas 4, Murray State 2

  • Now pitching for Arkansas: right-hander Gage Wood
    • Mason Molina’s final line: 5 IP, 2 H, 1 R (1 ER), 1 BB, 10 K, 1 HBP, 77 pitches (53 strikes)
  • Mercer goes down looking. 1 out.
  • Hogart followed with a line drive just out of the reach of Sprague-Lott for a single.
  • Garner then hit a chopper up the middle that allowed Hogart to go first to third, putting runners on the corners.
  • Hawthorne hit a grounder to first that looked like it might be a double play ball, or at least one out, but Wagner’s throw to Aloy at second was wide and pulled him off the bag. The E3 means everyone is safe and a run scored.
  • Rudd smoked a single through the left side, 108 mph off the bat, to load the bases and that’s it for Wood.
    • Right-hander Will McEntire is the new pitcher for Arkansas. He inherits a bases-loaded, one-out situation.
  • McEntire needed only five pitches to get out of it, as he got Howell to pop out in the infield. The umpires immediately called an infield fly for the second out. However, Sprague-Lott didn’t catch the ball and then confusion took over. Garner took off for home, but the ball bounced off the mound and went right to White. He ran after Garner before throwing to Aloy, who started the pickle, and then Aloy threw to McEntire at the plate, who laid down the tag for the unconventional infield fly/2-6-1 double play.

B-6th: Arkansas 4, Murray State 2

  • Jones grounded out to short on the first pitch of the inning. 1 out.
  • Souza grounded out to second on the second pitch he saw, giving Roulette two outs on three pitches. 2 outs.
  • Wagner ripped a line drive to left for a two-out single. That was it for Roulette.
    • The new pitcher for Murray State was right-hander Alex Elsing.
  • Elsing struck out White to end the inning.

T-7th: Arkansas 4, Murray State 3

  • Estes went down swinging to start the seventh. 1 out.
  • Bland also struck out swinging, making him 0 for 3 with three strikeouts today.
  • With two outs, McEntire caught a little two much of the plate in an 0-2 count and Vogel made him pay by hitting it 364 feet into the left field bullpen for a solo home run. He hit it 109 mph off the bat and with an 18.9 degree launch angle.
  • Mercer lined out to center to end the inning.

B-7th: Arkansas 5, Murray State 3

  • Edmunson hit a grounder to short that should have been an out, but the shortstop booted it. He reached an on E6.
    • Edmunson got a nice jump and swiped second easily because the throw went to the backstop. It’s a stolen base.
  • Diggs followed with a blooper to center and the center fielder couldn’t make the diving catch. Edmunson had to hold up, but was able to move to third, so runners are on the corners.
    • That’s it for Elsing. Now pitching for Murray State is left-hander Ethan Lyke.
  • Aloy put the ball in play, but it was a tailor-made 6-4-3 double play. There were no outs, though, so a run scored. 2 outs.
  • McLaughlin hit a single the other way, with a 103 mph exit velocity, for a two-out base runner.
  • Sprague-Lott also lined a pitch with a 103 mph exit velocity, but his was caught by the center fielder to end the inning.

T-8th: Arkansas 5, Murray State 3

  • Hogart went down looking for a three-pitch strikeout. 1 out.
  • Garner also struck out on three pitches, going down swinging. 2 outs.
  • Hawthorne smoked a low line drive with a 104 mph exit velocity just out of the reach of a diving Souza. It’s a single.
  • McEntire should have gotten out of it when Rudd hit a fly ball to right, but Diggs dropped it. That puts the tying runs on second and third.
  • After a mound visit by Hobbs, Krizen popped up the first pitch he saw in the infield and Souza secured it to end the inning.

B-8th: Arkansas 5, Murray State 3

  • Right-hander Nathan Holler is now pitching for Murray State.
  • In a full count, Jones looked at strike three…but he wasn’t happy about the call. TrackMan says: He has a legitimate gripe. It was a ball. 1 out.
  • In another full count, Souza hit it hard (105 mph exit velocity), but it was a routine fly out to center. 2 outs.
  • Wagner hit a hard grounder (100 mph), but it was right to the shortstop. That ends the inning.

T-9th: Arkansas 5, Murray State 3

  • Peyton Holt is now playing second base for Arkansas.
  • Estes strikes out on three pitches. He went down looking at a pitch that may have actually been outside. 1 out.
  • Bland put it in play, but it was a lazy pop up caught by Aloy in shallow left. 2 outs.
  • Vogel came up swinging and lined the first pitch he saw to left-center. Jones did a nice job of getting to it and limiting him to a single, though. That brings the tying run to the plate.
  • Mercer lined out to third to end the game and complete the sweep.

FINAL – Arkansas 5, Murray State 3

Starting Lineups

Murray State BaseballArkansas Baseball
1. Drew Vogel – SS1. Will Edmunson – CF
2. Dustin Mercer – CF2. Kendall Diggs – RF
3. Jonathan Hogart – RF3. Wehiwa Aloy – SS
4. Carson Garner – 3B4. Ben McLaughlin – DH
5. Riley Hawthorne – LF5. Jared Sprague-Lott – 3B
6. Dalton Rudd – DH6. Jayson Jones – LF
7. Taylor Howell – C7. Nolan Souza – 2B
8. Parker Estes – 1B8. Jack Wagner – 1B
9. Logan Bland – 2B9. Hudson White – C
Pitching: RHP Ryan FenderPitching: LHP Mason Molina

How to Watch Arkansas vs Murray State (Game 3)

Date: Sunday, March 3

First Pitch: 2 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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