Hogs Get Another Shutout, 3-0

Arkansas pitchers came up with their third shutout in four games to defeat Mississippi Valley State, 3-0, on a windy, chilly night in North Little Rock.

NORTH LITTLE ROCK -- The wind was blowing in with a couple of rain showers in the middle innings. That was all the Arkansas pitchers needed to help shut down Mississippi Valley State.

The Razorbacks (16-8) blanked the Delta Devils behind Alex Phillips, Jackson Lowery and Michael Gunn in a 3-0 victory that sent them to Starkville with seven victories in eight games.

Game time temperatures were at 61, but the 20 mph south breeze made it seem cold in Dickey-Stephens Park. It didn't matter. The crowd was 8,867 and most of them stayed through the light showers that hit in the third inning.

"They are awesome," Arkansas coach Dave Van Horn said. "I knew it was brutal out there. It's early in the season and there was a big chance of rain, but you look up and here they are. Not many left, either."

Phillips (2-0) went six innings, allowing three hits on 84 pitches. Van Horn left him past his pitch count of 75 because of the way he was cruising. He had a career high seven strikeouts.

Lowery gave up one hit in two innings with three strikeouts. Gunn got his fourth save with a perfect ninth, recording two strikeouts.

Arkansas scored in the third when Joe Serrano singled to center, stole second, moved to third on a wild pitch, then came home on a double steal started by Tyler Spoon.

"It's a play we work on, a delayed steal by Spoon," Van Horn said. "It's designed to catch them off guard and I think it did."

Serrano said, "That's our catalyst, Tyler Spoon. He leads our team and he did tonight with that play."

The Hogs got two in the seventh without a hit. Bobby Wernes walked, then Michael Bernal and Andrew Benintendi put down perfect bunts. Bernal was safe on the pitcher's error. There was no play on Benintendi's bunt. The third baseman was wild to the plate on Serrano's grounder, scoring Wernes. Anderson plated the third run on a sacrifice fly to center.

Serrano said he knew the ball had to be on the ground on the night.

"We were smoking them in batting practice and none of them went anywhere in this wind in the big park," Serrano said. "So it was going to be a night that you had to hit it on the ground.

"It was a brutal night to play with that wind, but I was impressed that our fans stayed with us. It is always awesome down here. We've all heard stories that it is packed every time here and it was again tonight."

It's back to SEC play this weekend with a trip to Starkville to play Mississippi State, leaders int the SEC West at 4-2, one game ahead of the Hogs.

"We just want to try to go win another series," Van Horn said. "They are playing good and are great at home. They are drawing big crowds and we know it's going to be a great atmosphere there."

Hawgs Daily Top Stories