The No. 4 Razorbacks scored at least one run in five of its eight innings at the plate and beat Valparaiso 7-3 at Baum Stadium. The Razorbacks scored their first six runs with two outs in the inning and overcame 13 stranded base runners.
"We got some big two-out hits," Arkansas coach Dave Van Horn said. "On the other side of that, we did leave a lot of runners out there. We were one big hit away from maybe putting that game away earlier and we just couldn't quite get it.
"You've got to give Valparaiso credit. They just hung around and hung around."
Arkansas gave starting pitcher DJ Baxendale plenty of run support as the sophomore improved to 2-0 on the season. Baxendale, who has won four straight starts, allowed three runs on five hits in six innings, and struck out six batters.
"Being able to go out there as a pitcher and know that the guys behind you are going to make the plays relaxes you, especially when you get a nice lead that we got again today. Overall it was a good team win."
Baxendale gave up a solo home run to Chris Manning to lead-off the third inning, snapping a 17 2/3-inning scoreless streak dating back to last season. The hit cut Arkansas' lead to 3-1, but the Crusaders (2-2) could get no closer.
"I kind of left the fastball up and Manning put a good swing on it," Baxendale said. "It wasn't my first home run and it won't be my last. I've just got to keep moving on."
He did just that, working around a pair of base-runners in the fifth inning before allowing a double and walk to start the seventh. Both runs scored on a Spencer Mahoney single off Cade Lynch later in the inning.
Lynch earned Arkansas' first save this season by pitching three innings in relief. The Mahoney hit was the only the left-hander allowed on the mound, and he struck out three batters.
"Once he got settled in he basically dominated them for the rest of the game," Baxendale said. "I think he struck out three of the last six batters he faced. He just did a good job of attacking the zone and being able to put them away when he needed to."
Arkansas took a 2-0 lead in the bottom of the second inning on a Bo Bigham two-run single to score Tim Carver and Jake Wise.
Wise doubled in the third to extend Arkansas' lead to 3-0 and and singled in the fifth to extend the lead to 4-1. The freshman catcher was one of six Razorbacks with multiple hits Friday, finishing 2-for-4 with 2 RBIs.
Arkansas scored two more in the bottom of the sixth on a Dominic Ficociello single and Jimmy Bosco bases-loaded walk to extend its lead to 6-1.
The Razorbacks chased Valpo starter Tyler Deetjen during the frame. The left-hander finished pitching 5 2/3 innings, allowing six runs on 10 hits.
Carver's seventh inning single capped the scoring, plating Jacob Morris. Carver also stole two bases, bringing his total to seven on the season. The shortstop is batting .438 this season with 6 RBIs, including at least one in four consecutive games.
"He's been outstanding," Van Horn said. "Today he played great defense. He made some really nice plays. There were a lot of balls that just got by the pitcher, there were some slow off-balance plays two or three of them.
"But he's done a great job with the bat. It's like having a second leadoff man down at the bottom of the order."
The two teams will meet again Saturday at 1:05 p.m. in the second of the three-game series. Sophomore right-hander Ryne Stanek will get the start on the mound for Arkansas, while junior right-hander Kyle Wormington will start for the Crusaders.