STARKVILLE, Miss. - Despite leaving 10 runners on the base path on Saturday, No. 3 Arkansas responded to Friday night's upset loss with a 8-0 victory over Mississippi State at Dudy Noble Park.
Through the first four innings of the game, both starting pitchers pitched lights out. Mississippi State starter Nick Routt struck out a season-high eight batters in 4 2/3 innings of work, but the Razorbacks chased him away before he could finish the fifth inning.
Arkansas (21-3, 4-1 Southeastern Conference) got things brewing in the inning with a Jacob Morris walk, followed by Tim Carver's bunt that moved the center fielder into scoring position. A pair of two-out RBIs from Dominic Ficociello and Matt Reynolds then gave Arkansas a 2-0 lead.
Evan Mitchell took over for Mississippi State in the fifth, but left the game in the sixth without recording an out in the inning. Mitchell allowed four runs in his brief time on the mound. The Razorbacks chased him before he was able to pitch a full inning for the second time in as many seasons after he pitched only 2/3 of an inning when he got the start against Arkansas a year ago.
The Razorbacks totaled six runs in the sixth inning against Mitchell and Jacob Lindgren to break the game open. Carver had a two-run single, Morris scored on an error, Jacob Mahan added a RBI single of his own and Reynolds hit a two-run double in the inning to stretch the lead to 8-0.
Mississippi State (16-8, 2-3 SEC) struck out 14 batters, but could not get anything going offensively in the second game of the series after scoring 11 runs in the opener. Arkansas starter Ryne Stanek continued to pitch well with the lead and earned his sixth win by pitching 6 1/3 shutout innings. The sophomore right-hander struck out six batters and allowed just three hits before turning the game over to reliever Cade Lynch, who closed out the game without allowing a base runner.
The shutout marked the fifth of the season by Arkansas pitching.
The Razorbacks and the Bulldogs will play the rubber match tomorrow at noon. Randall Fant will be on the mound for Arkansas and is slated to face right-hander Kendall Graveman.
Arkansas 8, Mississippi State 0
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