The Razorbacks recorded a season-high 15 hits in a 15-6 win over Wisconsin-Milwaukee. Arkansas scored four or more runs in three separate innings, including a four-run eighth that helped put the Panthers away.
"I thought offensively we came out and put together three really good innings, and it almost wasn't enough," Arkansas coach Dave Van Horn said. "You've got to give Wisconsin-Milwaukee some credit because they come out and battle you.
"They hit a couple of home runs and they struck quick. They scored a lot of those runs with two outs. I thought we did a good job answering. We scored one run after they put together an inning, and then when they put another good inning together, the middle scored four or five runs."
The performance brought back memories of the last time Vinson faced the Panthers. His solo home run in the bottom of the 10th inning gave Arkansas a 3-2 win in the series finale between the two clubs last season.
"I don't know what it is about them," Vinson said. "We just came out swinging the bats and being aggressive today as a team. We all hit the ball really well. That was our game plan, to come out and be aggressive, and that's what we did."
Vinson entered the game hitting just .176 in 17 at-bats and has been splitting time in the outfield.
"He's been working really hard," Van Horn said. "Matt's thing is he just needs to swing the bat, let it go and swing hard. He's really strong. You saw that from the home run, it looked like he just got the bottom part of the ball but he hit it hard enough to get it out of the park. He might be the strongest guy on the team, and if not, he's one of the top two or three.
"He just needs to be aggressive and let it fly. We asked him to do that, and I think he got three hits tonight, and they were all hit hard." For a while, it looked as if it would be an easy day at the ballpark for the Razorbacks (8-1). Arkansas led 6-0 after a five-run second inning in which the Hogs sent 10 batters to the plate.
Wisconsin-Milwaukee (1-5) stayed close, however, thanks in large part to a pair of clutch hits by Doug Dekoning. The senior outfielder hit a two-run home run in the third and added a three-run home run in the fifth to pull Wisconsin-Milwaukee within 7-6.
The second home run chased Arkansas starter Ryne Stanek, who earned a no-decision by pitching 4 2/3 innings, allowing a season-high six runs on eight hits.
"He didn't have good stuff," Van Horn said. "He was up in the strike zone. Both home runs that were hit down the left-field line were opposite field shots by a left-handed hitter, and both those pitches were up, out over the plate and they got on top of them. They hit a lot of balls hard; right at us sometimes.
"Sometimes that happens, and hopefully he'll learn from that and he'll be better next time out."
Freshman Barrett Astin picked up the slack, however, pitching 2 1/3 innings out of the bullpen to earn his second win in less than a week. Freshman Nolan Sanburn and sophomore Trent Daniel each added a scoreless inning in relief.
"I thought our bullpen came in and did a good job," Van Horn said. "Astin came in and did a good job. Nolan Sanburn got a little shaky there. He had good stuff, but they battled him real well at the plate, and he finally got the strikeout. We finally put the game away there in the bottom of the eighth. It wasn't over until we scored those runs in the bottom of the eighth, because they can swing it."
After Sanburn worked around the bases loaded in the top half of the inning, Kyle Robinson led off the bottom of the eighth with a solo home run. The senior continued his early tear, going 1-for-3 with four RBIs for the Razorbacks, bringing his season total to a 18 RBIs through nine games.
Robinson had RBIs on a sacrifice fly, a walk with the bases loaded, reaching on a fielding error and the home run. Jarrod McKinney and Vinson hit back-to-back home runs later in the inning, giving Arkansas three home runs in the frame after hitting just two in the 79 innings prior.
"They were all hit pretty well," Van Horn said. "We knew the ball was going to carry a little bit tonight, especially when the flags started calming down a little bit out there. It's good to hit some home runs."