Binghamton'S Friday night starter was as advertised, nasty with a nice breaking ball and lots of strikes. Still, Mike Augliera and the Bearcats were no match for the big Razorbacks.
That's what Dave Van Horn seemed to plug into his lineup on Friday, nothing but big, big athletes. And they performed in a big way.
For instance, the trio of Razorbacks who made it into the interview room afterwards filled up the dias. They could have brought in big man Sam Bates, but there wasn't room. Consider:
• Ryne Stanek, 6-4, 180, with a 96 mph fast ball and a slider that jumps hard and quick at the end. Stanek gave up two hits in seven innings to improve to 4-0. He threw 50 of his 81 pitches for strikes.
• Derrick Bleeker, 6-5 225, with two home runs in a bid to claim the starting spot in left field.
• Jacob Morris, 6-3, 215, with a home run and a walk. He also threw a 92 mph strike from center field to throw out a runner at the plate for a double play to end the Binghamton seventh, the only Bearcat threat.
• Sam Bates, 6-5, 230, with a homer and a single.
Van Horn has been looking for more production in the outfield. He got it from Bleeker, Morris and Bates. Perhaps Bleeker, in his second stint with the Hogs after spending a year in junior college, is going to take the jog in left.
"I think I'll probably play him all day tomorrow now."
That's in reference to plans for a Saturday doubleheader with the Bearcats. The series was scheduled to stretch until Sunday, but weather and tight travel plans for the New York team changed that.
"Everything we have been told says it's going to start raining late (Saturday night) and continue on Sunday," Van Horn said. "We had to make a decision at 10 or 11 this morning. And it was going to have to be a (noon) game Sunday since they have a 5 p.m. flight. They were going to have to be off the field 3 o'clock."
Bleeker had just two hits in 11 trips before the day, but he lit it up with his Longmont, Colo., family in town.
"I have been struggling," Bleeker said. "I worked all week with (hitting coach Todd Butler). I worked on driving pitches the other way."
One of his home runs was a slice to the opposite field that rode the wind into the Binghamton bullpen.
"This is a huge confidence boost. I just wanted to help the ball club.
"Coach Butler worked with me to load the bat a little more. I went down in bat size and tried to stay calm. I was out of control. I just wanted to be calm and smooth."
More than calm and smooth, the Hogs looked big.