Arkansas, Baseball America’s No. 1 team in the country, made a major statement on the road today.
It completed the weekend series sweep against No. 2 Mississippi State, downing the Bulldogs, 6-4, on Sunday afternoon at Dudy Noble Stadium.
Matt Goodheart was especially big, homering for the third straight game. He was one of five Arkansas baseball players to drive in one RBI. Jalen Battles had a pair of hits, scored one run and drove in one RBI.
The Hogs’ seventh straight win improves their overall record to 19-3, including 5-1 in conference play, on the year.
The Razorbacks earned their first SEC series sweep of the season, marking the first time since the 2010 campaign that Arkansas has swept Mississippi State in Starkville.
Matt Goodheart started the inning with a solo home run to right field.
Cayden Wallace singled to right field and advanced on a walk to Brady Slavens. Jalen Battles’ single scored two and Robert Moore’s triple plated one. Jacob Nesbit brought another around to push Arkansas to a five run lead.
Arkansas 5, Mississippi State 0
Kamren James walked and advanced to second as Luke Hancock was hit-by-pitch. Logan Tanner reached on a fielder’s choice to load the bases before Josh Hatcher reached on the same to score one.
Brad Cumbest’s single to right center scored the second run of the frame.
Arkansas 5, Mississippi State 2
Casey Optiz doubled to left field to start the inning and advanced to third on a Battles single. Moore and Braydon Webb walked back-to-back to score one.
Arkansas 6, Mississippi State 2
Two back-to-back solo home runs for Hancock and Tanner capped the scoring for the game.
Arkansas 6, Mississippi State 4
Arkansas returns home Tuesday, March 30, to host in-state for Central Arkansas at Baum-Walker Stadium. First pitch is set for 6:30 p.m. on SEC Network+.
Arkansas Baseball Highlights (Game 3)
Arkansas – Mississippi State Game 2 Recap (via Razorback Communications)
The Razorbacks have marched into Dudy Noble Field and won their first SEC road series of the season, clinching the three-game weekend set with an explosive 11-5 rain-interrupted win on Saturday afternoon.
Christian Franklin continued his tear, launching one of the Hogs’ four homers and powering the offense to its fifth double-digit scoring output of the year.
Arkansas’ bullpen, meanwhile, was dominant in relief of starter Zebulon Vermillion. Caleb Bolden, Caden Monke and Kevin Kopps combined to allow one run on three hits and a walk while striking out nine over 5.2 innings.
Kopps earned his second save of the season, punching out seven in his four shutout frames.
The Hogs improve to 18-3 overall and 4-1 in SEC play on the year with the win against the No. 2 Bulldogs.
Saturday’s series-clinching victory marks the first time since the 2012 campaign that Arkansas has won a road set in Starkville.
Arkansas fell behind 3-0 early, but there were plenty of runs to come. The Hogs scored one in the top of the third, taking advantage of an error in center field to cut the deficit to two.
When Mississippi State re-extended its lead to three in the bottom of third, the Razorbacks came back with four in the top of the fifth.
Braydon Webb’s one-out homer set the stage for Franklin’s two-out, three-run blast, which put Arkansas up, 5-4.
The Bulldogs tied the game at five, but the Hogs kept coming. Cullen Smith and Matt Goodheart each homered in the top of sixth, pouring on three runs to open an 8-5 advantage.
Although a 75-minute rain delay wreaked havoc in the seventh, Arkansas did not skip a beat.
The Razorbacks tacked on two more runs in the top half of the inning when play resumed and one more in the ninth, putting the game away for good.
Monke, who struck out both batters he faced in his two-thirds of an inning, earned his third win of the year.