The squad will resume the series with 3 p.m. games Wednesday and Thursday. It's a best-of-seven series, with if needed games Saturday and Sunday.
True freshman shortstop Brett McAfee homered and scored twice. He had three hits and Jacob Mahan added two hits to give Fant all the offense he would need.
Arkansas coach Dave Van Horn said Fant's outing was typical of the way he's pitched this fall. He's been ahead in the count and gone much deeper each outing.
"Randall has been really good," Van Horn said. "This is his fourth fall and he's been really good. He didn't want to come back, but he's had a great attitude. His pitch-ability and attitude and the way he's approached the game has been great.
"He's done that all fall. He's been going three or four innings and hasn't gotten past 40 pitches, so we've stretched him out with his bullpen work so he can go deeper. That was tremendous today."
Fant, taken in the 29th round by the Indians last summer, said it's a new pitch that has made a difference. He's always had a tremendous changeup, but now has added a slider.
"I was spotting my off speed pretty good and that slider was getting ground balls," Fant said. "That was working today. I feel like I've gotten better. The fast ball was alright, but I got away with a couple that weren't so good.
"Obviously, I did want to sign. But I'm glad I'm back. I'm glad to be here."
Van Horn watched from down the right field line in the stands with pitching coach Dave Jorn. Interestingly, when he first met with reporters, the coach said it was the fast ball that was doing the damage. Van Horn corrected himself after visiting again with Fant and pitching coach Dave Jorn.
"Obviously, we were wrong," he said. "We were confused with what he was throwing. So were the batters. He had them off balance, moving it in and out and mixing that with his changeup. With that pitch, you can't sit on the changeup. He's doing a nice job. Coach Jorn and I were sitting where it looked like a fast ball, but it was moving just a little and it was tough to hit."
Where will Fant pitch in the rotation?
"He's a starter," Van Horn said. "Whether it's on the weekend or on Tuesday or Wednesday, we aren't sure yet. But with the way he's pitching now, if he's on Tuesday night that means we are pretty good on the mound."
McAfee, who fell behind 0-2 to start the bottom of the first, homered to the alley in left. He took advantage of a jet stream to left. Mahan followed with a double to right center, but Beeks stranded him at third when Isaac Hellbusch went down swinging. Through one inning, White leads, 1-0.
"That is a different wind for this park, from the northeast," Van Horn said. "He hit it on a line and I thought it was over the outfielder's heads and then it was out. He's got power."
In the third, McAfee singled, Mahan doubled to left. McAfee scored on a balk by Beeks. Hellbusch, on with a walk, started on a delayed steal with catcher Jean Rameriz throwing before Dominic Ficociello reached the bag. The ball bounced away from Ficociollo's reach, allowing Mahan to score.
McAfee's third hit was a topped roller in front of the plate that third baseman Jordan Farris allowed to roll. It hugged the line and kissed the bag for the single.
Fant threw eight shutout innings for the White. He allowed four hits on 86 pitches. The pitch limit for starters in the fall series is 90. He walked only one with two strikeouts. Ryne Stanek pitched the ninth, walking Joe Serrano.
McAfee spent one season at Panola Junior College after undergoing Tommy John surgery after his junior year in high school.
"He's still not cutting it loose, but he's got a nice arm," Van Horn said. "He didn't play much last year at Panola because of a hamstring. He hasn't played much baseball the last two years, but he's got all of the tools. He's got power, the arm and he can run."
Serrano had two hits to pace the Cardinal. Sophomore lefty Jalen Beeks pitched 4 2/3 innings and took the loss. Colby Suggs didn't allow a run in 3 1/3 innings, giving up just one hit.
"I thought Ryne and Colby were a little rusty," Van Horn said. "Colby got his breaking ball going in his second inning and then he could come back to his fast ball. Stanek got it going for the last at bat."