FAYETTEVILLE — A day after putting up a couple of crooked numbers in the first game of the Arkansas vs UNLV midweek series, the Razorbacks are going for the sweep Wednesday afternoon.
It was a five-run fourth inning that put Arkansas baseball on top Tuesday night and a four-run sixth that gave it some breathing room in a 13-7 win over the Hustlin’ Rebels at Baum-Walker Stadium.
The Razorbacks enter Wednesday’s game riding a nine-game winning streak.
As they have several times this season, the Razorbacks did a lot of their damage with two outs. Kendall Diggs legging out an infield single is what sparked the first of those big innings, as it resulted in an RBI and the hot-hitting Jared Wegner and Jace Bohrofen followed with RBI singles of their own before a two-run single by Reese Robinett.
Doubles by Diggs, Bohrofen and Harold Coll were the big swings in the sixth, with the latter having a breakout game in just his second career start.
A heralded junior college transfer, Coll was beaten out by John Bolton for the starting shortstop position and hasn’t had many opportunities to play. In the lineup at second base and then moving to third, he went 3 for 5 with two doubles, a home run and four RBIs.
On the mound, Dylan Carter, Cody Adcock and Gage Wood combined for four scoreless innings, with all seven runs charged to Parker Coil and Austin Ledbetter.
However, Ledbetter’s outing was better than his final line may indicate. He retired five of the first batters he faced, including four via strikeouts. He gave up a two-out RBI single in his second inning of work and then Arkansas baseball coach Dave Van Horn said he got tired in his third inning, when he gave up another couple of runs while recording just one more out — another strikeout.
Coil, a freshman left-hander, started the game and also looked pretty good through his first two innings, but was ultimately charged with four earned runs in 2 1/3 innings.
A full box score and postgame interviews from Tuesday’s win can be found below our inning-by-inning updates from Game 2 of the Arkansas vs UNLV midweek series…
LIVE UPDATES — Arkansas vs UNLV (Game 2)
The Razorbacks are sending freshman right-hander Ben Bybee to the mound for his second career start. He’s also made two relief appearances and has a 6.75 ERA with four strikeouts and two walks in 2 2/3 innings. In his only other start, he allowed two earned runs in two innings against Grambling a few weeks ago.
UNLV will counter with a freshman right-hander of its own. Jordan Hanson will also be making his second career start, but he is more experienced than Bybee with four relief appearances and 11 1/3 total innings this season. He has a 4.76 ERA and opponents are hitting .286 against him with only six strikeouts.
Arkansas is using most of its starters Wednesday after giving several backups a start in the first game. However, Harold Coll is still in the lineup after his big game, just playing third base, and Jayson Jones is in the lineup at second base. That means Peyton Stovall is missing a second straight game.
It’s also worth noting that Kendall Diggs is starting in right field instead of at DH. It’s the first time he’ll be playing in the field this year. That allows Bohrofen to slide in at DH.
T-1st: Arkansas 0, UNLV 0
Bybee falls behind 3-1 to the leadoff batter, but battled back to strike out Charles. Panaro followed with a single and, after a quick pop out by Sharp, Williams smacked an 0-2 pitch for a double that hit the left field wall on two bounces. That put runners on second and third for Kryszczuk, who made solid contact – but it was a line drive right to Wegner in left to end the inning. Bybee escapes danger on 18 pitches.
B-1st: Arkansas 1, UNLV 0
After looking at strike three in each of his at bats Tuesday, Josenberger hit the first pitch of the home half of the first inning into right for a leadoff single. Wegner struck out after that, but then Slavens went the other way with a line drive to left-center. It was a double and Josenberger held up at third. A full-count walk by Bohrofen loaded the bases for Diggs, who hit a slow grounder to second. It was too slow for UNLV to turn the double play, though, so it goes down as an RBI fielder’s choice. That was it for Arkansas, as Coll lined out to center to strand runners on the corners.
T-2nd: Arkansas 1, UNLV 0
Bybee made quick work of the Hustlin’ Rebels in the second inning. After striking out Murphy, he got Pimentel to line out to short on the first pitch and Ditmar to hit a slow roller to short on the second pitch. Bolton made both plays to make it an 8-pitch inning for the freshman.
B-2nd: Arkansas 1, UNLV 0
Hanson returned the favor with a quick 1-2-3 inning of his own. Rowland made solid contact to start the inning, but it was a line drive right to the right fielder. Jones grounded out to short on the first pitch he saw and then Bolton went down swinging. The Razorbacks saw seven total pitches.
T-3rd: Arkansas 1, UNLV 0
It was unconventional, but Bybee got two outs on two pitches to start the third. Horvat, the 9-hole, singled through the left side and then Charles grounded into a 4-3 double play. Jones did a nice job of making the tag and flipping to first. However, Panaro followed with a four-pitch walk. Bybee then struck out the dangerous 3-hole, Sharp, on three pitches to end the inning. He’s through three scoreless on 35 pitches.
B-3rd: Arkansas 1, UNLV 0
Josenberger nearly had another leadoff hit, but Charles made a nice diving catch in center to rob him. Wegner drew a full-count walk, but Slavens flied out to left for the second out of the inning. Bohrofen followed with a 109 mph scorcher that got under the diving second baseman’s glove for a single. Wegner went first to third on the play, so that puts runners on the corners for Diggs. That’s where they were stranded, as he flied out to center.
T-4th: Arkansas 1, UNLV 0
Back out on the mound for the fourth inning, Bybee got ahead of Williams 0-2 to start the inning, but just like he did in the first inning, he fouled off a couple of pitches before getting a hit. This time it’s a single into right. He then swiped second to put a runner in scoring position with no outs.
Kryszczuk followed with a slow roller to short and Bolton got the out at first after giving a quick glance to second to keep Williams there. Murphy also grounded out, this time to third. Coll got the out after double clutching. After plunking Pimentel and getting a visit from Matt Hobbs, Bybee induced a ground out by pinch hitter Paul Myro. Slavens had to move to his right quite a bit and made a long underhand toss to Bybee covering the bag.
Dave Van Horn said on the pregame show that he was hoping for at least three innings out of his starter and anything beyond that would be a bonus. Well, he made it through four innings on 53 pitches.
B-4th: Arkansas 1, UNLV 0
A one-out walk by Rowland was erased by a 6-4-3 double play by Jones. That followed a leadoff ground out by Coll. Hanson is at 61 pitches for UNLV.
T-5th: Arkansas 1, UNLV 0
Bybee is still on the mound for Arkansas. He gets a groundout to third from Horvat, a groundout to first by Charles and pop out to short by Panaro. That’s a six-pitch inning for the freshman, who is now through five innings on 59 pitches.
B-5th: Arkansas 3, UNLV 0
Bolton started the fifth with a leadoff walk and, after a shallow fly out to center by Josenberger, Wegner crushed a two-run home run to left. His eighth homer of the year had a 103 mph exit velocity and gives Arkansas a 3-0 lead. Slavens followed with more hard contact, but it went right to the center fielder. Bohrofen also hit the ball hard, but the left fielder managed to make a nice running grab before getting to the wall.
T-6th: Arkansas 3, UNLV 0
Bybee is still on the mound for Arkansas. UNLV jumped on him in the sixth, with Sharp leading off with a single and Williams following with a double – his third hit of the game – to put runners on second and third with no outs. That’ll be it for him.
The new pitcher is right-hander Gage Wood, another freshman. He got Kryszczuk to hit a blooping liner to short for the first out while keeping everyone where they were. Murphy swung at a high fastball for a strikeout and the second out. Wood fell behind Pimentel 3-0, battled back to a full count and ended up walking him after a couple of foul balls. That loads the bases and puts the tying run on base. UNLV couldn’t do anything, though, as Wood strikes out Myro to preserve the shutout.
B-6th: Arkansas 3, UNLV 0
The new pitcher for UNLV is right-hander Noah Carabajal. He got Diggs to ground out to first on the first pitch and then Coll flied out center on just two pitches. Rowland made him work some, but still flied out to right. It was a seven-pitch, 1-2-3 inning for the reliever.
T-7th: Arkansas 3, UNLV 2
The new pitcher for Arkansas is left-hander Zack Morris. It’s his first appearance since March 1 against Illinois State. He struggled to find the strike zone early on, issuing a leadoff walk to Horvat, the 9-hole. He struck out Charles with a check-swing on a pitch near his head. Panaro followed with a slow grounder up the middle that just got under Jones’ glove on a diving attempt.
It looked like Sharp might have tied it up, but his deep fly was caught by Wegner with his butt touching the wall. Horvat tagged up to third on the play, so there are runners on the corners for Williams, who is 3 for 3 with two doubles today. He gave it another ride, but Diggs should have caught the ball to end the inning. However, he dropped it. The E9 allowed two runs to score and put the tying run on third.
Coll preserved the lead with a diving stop and throw to rob Kryszczuk of the game-tying RBI single.
B-7th: Arkansas 3, UNLV 2
Jones crushes a pitch 113 mph off the bat to the left-center gap for a leadoff double. Bolton moved him to third with what amounted to a swinging bunt. UNLV got the out on the dribbler back to the pitcher, though. Josenberger also grounded out to the pitcher and Jones is unable to score on the play. Arkansas wasted the opportunity when Wegner flied out to shallow center.
T-8th: Arkansas 3, UNLV 2
Wegner and Bolton collided while sliding for a catch on a foul pop up to start the inning and neither caught it. Instead, Morris got Murphy to look at strike three. Pimentel flied out to left on one pitch and Myro nearly grounded out to short on the first pitch he saw, but Bolton’s throw to first was low and got by Slavens, allowing him to reach on the E6. Horvat hit the 1-0 pitch to right for a simple fly out to end the inning.
B-8th: Arkansas 5, UNLV 2
Slavens flied out to left to start the inning and then Bohrofen reached when Horvat’s throw to first after a sharp grounder was wide. It’s scored an E6. Diggs immediately made UNLV pay by hitting an RBI double into the left field corner, scoring Bohrofen from first. Mason Neville pinch ran for him.
Coll followed with an RBI single to left-center and then took second when the throw went all the way to the plate. Rowland looked at strike three for the second out and, after Jones was HBP, Bolton grounded out to second.
T-9th: Arkansas 5, UNLV 2
Neville stayed in to play right. Charles grounded out to first, with Slavens just getting to first ahead of his dive. Panaro flied out to left. Sharp worked the count full and grounded out to third. Morris finishes off the three-inning save and Arkansas wins its 10th straight.
FINAL: Arkansas 5, UNLV 2
BOX SCORE – Arkansas vs UNLV (Game 2)
Starting Lineups — Arkansas vs UNLV (Game 2)
|1. Rylan Charles – CF
|1. Tavian Josenberger – CF
|2. Santino Panaro – RF
|2. Jared Wegner – LF
|3. Jacob Sharp – C
|3. Brady Slavens – 1B
|4. Edarian Williams – 2B
|4. Jace Bohrofen – DH
|5. Austin Kryszczuk – LF
|5. Kendall Diggs – RF
|6. Braden Murphy – 1B
|6. Harold Coll – 3B
|7. Alex Pimentel – DH
|7. Parker Rowland – C
|8. Chase Ditmar – 3B
|8. Jayson Jones – 2B
|9. Gianni Horvat – SS
|9. John Bolton – SS
|Pitching: Fr. RHP Jordan Hanson
|Pitching: Fr. RHP Ben Bybee
BOX SCORE — Arkansas vs UNLV (Game 1)
Postgame Interviews — Arkansas vs UNLV (Game 1)
Baseball Schedule This Week
Wednesday — vs UNLV — 3 p.m. CT (SECN+)
Friday — vs Auburn — 6:30 p.m. CT (SECN+)
Saturday — vs Auburn — 2 p.m. CT (SECN+)
Sunday — vs Auburn — 2 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: 2-1 over the weekend / 10-2 on the season
Louisiana Tech is another mid-major baseball power and will be looking for revenge for when Arkansas took two of three down in Ruston, La., a couple of years ago. It is the perfect final tuneup before SEC play. I could easily see this coming down to a tight rubber match on Sunday.
Actual: 3-0 over weekend / 13-2 on the season
Louisiana Tech didn’t put up as much of a fight as I expected, although Friday’s opener was a pretty tight game. The Razorbacks are now a game ahead of my predictions, with a chance to move two games ahead with a win Wednesday afternoon.
Composite College Baseball Top 25
Unlike football and basketball, which have just the AP and Coaches Polls all year (with football adding the CFP rankings late in the season), college baseball has six major polls.
To get a better feel for how teams stack up, BoAS has combined those rankings into a single top 25 by using a points system in which a No. 1 ranking = 25 points, No. 2 = 24 points and all the way to No. 25 = 1 point. We will update this each week throughout the season…
|4. Wake Forest
|t-5. Ole Miss
|12. East Carolina
|13. Oklahoma State
|14. Texas A&M
|16. South Carolina
|t-17. Texas Tech
|t-17. Virginia Tech
|19. North Carolina State
|20. Miami (Fla.)
|21. North Carolina
|t-22. UC-Santa Barbara
|24. Florida State
|25. Boston College
MOVED IN: UC-Santa Barbara (t-22), Campbell (t-22), Florida State (24), Boston College (25)
DROPPED OUT: Oregon State (19), Alabama (t-22), Auburn (t-22), Southern Miss (25)
- ACC: 9
- SEC: 8
- Big 12: 3
- Pac-12: 2
- AAC: 1
- Big South: 1
- Big West: 1
More coverage of Arkansas baseball from BoAS…