Arkansas pitching was dominant for the second straight day. Geoffrey Davenport and Ryne Stanek combined to strikeout 14 as the Hogs whipped Delaware State, 9-2, on Saturday before another big February crowd in Baum Stadium.
Estimated actual attendance was 7,710 and that was just what Arkansas coach Dave Van Horn was hoping for with true freshman Ryne Stanek on the mound for his college debut.
Lefty Geoffrey Davenport got the win with five solid innings. The Hogs were cruising with an 8-2 lead when Stanek, the highly advertised righthander from the Kansas City area, took the ball in the sixth.
"We were probably out of danger by then, but I still wanted to see what Stanek would do in front of this kind of a crowd, how he'd pitch," Van Horn said. "He pitched well. He's got electric stuff, but we just wanted to see his fast ball early. We added some breakers at the end and that was pretty good, too."
Davenport allowed three hits and two unearned runs before leaving after 87 pitches. He struckout a career-high eight. Stanek didn't allow a hit against the 13 batters he faced. He walked two and had six strikeouts.
The Hogs still haven't hit a home run in their 2-0 start against the Hornets, but the wind blew in for the second straight day. Van Horn said the Hogs will hit home runs in time, but he's looking for more ground balls and line drives with a big park and the wind not helping.
"This wasn't the day for it," he said. "We still hit too many fly balls for me. When it's like this, our guys need to learn to keep the ball down. Ground balls and line drives will work."
The Hogs got 11 hits and worked the count for seven walks to generate plenty of offense. Matt Reynolds and James McCann each had two hits and two RBI. Kyle Robinson added two hits. Collin Kuhn scored twice and seven other Hogs scored once.
The Hogs committed one error, their first of the season. That came when Bo Bigham was a little too aggressive on a bouncer to second.
"He could waited on that one, but otherwise we were really good defensively," Van Horn said. "Matt Reynolds made a great play at third, a Brooks Robinson-like play. He was fully extended to his right and then came up and showed that arm."
Reynolds appreciated the compliment, but it was kind of lost on the sophomore from Tulsa.
"Who?" he said. "I don't know who that is."
Davenport said, "Did he really say that? I know about Brooks Robinson. He's a Hall of Famer."
But none of the Razorbacks polled understood that Robinson is a native Arkansan.
Reynolds sounded like Robinson a little as he explained his play.
"You don't think, you just react on those," he said. "You see it and you have to leave your feet. It happens so fast there just isn't much time to think about it."
Davenport said, "It was a beauty to watch. That's the way this team is going to be on defense, very good. You don't have to try to do too much out there on the mound. There was that play today by Reynolds and there were some good ones yesterday. And our guys turned some double plays. As a pitcher, you just have to make them put it in play. You don't have to try to strike them out."
Stanek said he was just trying to locate his fast ball.
"The plan was to just throw the fast ball," he said. "We added the breaker in the last inning. We started off the hitter with a curve on the first pitch in the ninth. I feel pretty good with all of my pitches and think I can locate them for strikes."
Van Horn said he'll try to work a few more pitchers on Sunday than the first two games of the series when the Hogs went only two deep on the mound. True freshman Brandon Moore will start.
"Then we'll try to get Barrett Astin, Randall Fant and Trent Daniels some work," Van Horn said. "The idea today was to stretch Stanek out a little bit. We want to get his pitch count up because we'd like him to be in the starting rotation."
First pitch on Sunday is set for 1:05 p.m.
James McCann had two hits for the Hogs.
Kyle Robinson had two hits and a walk.
Jarrod McKinney tries for a bunt. He had two hits, including his third double of the season.
Photos by Marc F. Henning
Hogs Pound Delaware State, 9-2
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