FAYETTEVILLE - It took only two pitchers in the first two games of the series for Arkansas. The Hogs might have gotten it done against Delaware State on Sunday with only two again, but Dave Van Horn wanted to look at more arms on opening weekend.
Freshman righthander Brandon Moore pitched the first six innings, then Van Horn finished off the Hornets with one inning each from sophomore lefty Trent Daniel, freshman righthander Barrett Astin and sophomore lefty Randall Fant. All were effective as the Razorbacks costed to a 10-0 victory and a 3-0 start to the college baseball season.
Attenance was 5,207 on a 60-degree blustery day that saw the wind blow in at about 20 mph from right field. Attendance at Baum on Friday was 7,521. There were 7,710 in the park on Saturday.
Kyle Robinson led the attack with three hits in four at bats. He had a triple and a sacrifice fly and plated a career-high five runs. Robinson, taking over the four-hole spot in the lineup, went 7 for 13 on the weekend with six RBI.
"I'm just trying to hit line drives and put them in the gap, not do too much," the 6-4 senior said. "These bats don't allow too many home runs. I might have pulled off a couple of pitches trying to hit it out, but I think I stayed within myself most of the weekend. You are going to get some home runs, but that's not what we are going to the plate looking to hit."
"Probably no one figured me to hit the first one of the season," said Bigham, the junior second baseman and the eighth batter in the order. "It wasn't like I was going up there to do that. But it was inside and I turned on it. I've lifted weights and I'm stronger."
Van Horn wasn't as surprised as most.
"We had said in the dugout that the new pitcher they had sent out was a sinker ball guy and it tails in and stays up some," Van Horn said. "You can look for that pitch and turn on it. We did talk about that and Bo did exactly what we had gone over. I thought someone might get that guy with that pitch. Bo was looking for it."
However, it wasn't the hitting that was the story on the weekend. After the Hogs used just two pitchers in each of the first two, Van Horn made sure to look at a few more from his bullpen.
"Moore was at the pitch count (75) we had set up after six, but I think he could have gone out there again the way he was throwing," Van Horn said. "But we just needed to see those other guys. That was the plan. They all really threw well and could have gone longer. But we needed to see all of them."
And there is more in the bullpen.
"I think we've got a few more guys for sure," Van Horn said. "When we get to the five-game weeks, we'll need them. Right now, you just aren't going to be able to get to all of them."
Moore was as advertised. He threw lots of strikes and used a sinker and breaking ball to get ground balls.
"He's not a power guy, but he keeps it down and has movement down and that's going to lead to a lot of ground balls," Van Horn said. "For the most part, we fielded it pretty well and I think we will."
Third baseman Dominic Ficociello made two errors, but one was probably a tough chance.
"Yeah, I thought so," Van Horn said. "He made quite a few plays (five assists) and there was one that went through his legs that was a cue shot with a lot of spin."
Catcher James McCann thought it was a good weekend.
"I think we have good talent on the mound," McCann said. "They all looked calm, poised and ready to pitch. I liked the way all of them handled themselves for three days on the weekend. From the way they carried themselves in the locker room, to the way they prepared in the bullpen and to the way they conducted themselves on the mound, it was good from start to finish."
Pitching coach Dave Jorn said the same thing.
"I like what they did," Jorn said. "For the first weekend, I'm happy. I think our delivery looks fairly sound. We were aggressive, confident and composed. This staff is good enough. They have good enough stuff. They lack experience, but we are getting that.
"If there was one thing I'd like to improve, is the first pitch. We need more strikes. We were inconsistent there and got to too many three-ball counts.
"The way we lined up 'em this weekend might not be the same way we go next weekend. We were trying to stretch out Ryne Stanek and Cade Lynch as far as pitch counts because they might be starters when we get to the five-game weeks. But next weekend we might just let the games take care of how we pitch."
The Hogs have a three-game series scheduled with Utah this coming weekend. First pitch Friday is 3:05 p.m. The start for Saturday is 1:05 p.m. Sunday's start is 12:35 p.m.