FAYETTEVILLE - Andrew Benintendi's hot start to the weekend continued Saturday afternoon.
The sophomore went 3-for-5 with five RBIs, highlighted by a 3-run double in the eighth inning, in Arkansas' 13-7 win over Loyola Marymount.
In two games against the Lions, Benintendi is 5-for-8, raising his average from .250 to .333 this season.
"He's been trying to pull the ball too much," Arkansas coach Dave Van Horn said. "He's worked extremely hard the last 10 days. (Arkansas hitting coach Tony) Vitello and him have been getting after it."
He was not the only player to torch Loyola's pitching Saturday. The Razorbacks piled up 14 hits. It was the seventh game Arkansas has collected at least 10 hits this season, but the first since Feb. 22.
Clark Eagan, Rick Nomura and Michael Bernal each had a two-hit game, while Tyler Spoon extended his hitting streak to 12 games.
"I thought we did a really good job of being patient early," Van Horn said. "We laid off some borderline pitches in some counts where we could have been swinging."
It seemed like Spoon's streak was in jeopardy, but five batters reached base with two outs in the bottom of the eighth inning to give him a chance. He capitalized by crushing a 1-1 pitch over the left field wall for a 2-run home run.
Arkansas also did a good job jumping on Loyola early. The Razorbacks scored five runs in the first three innings and the lead-off batter reached base the first seven innings. Five times, the lead-off man came around to score.
On the mound, Dominic Taccolini turned in his best start of the year, giving up two runs on five hits while striking out a career-high nine batters in seven innings.
"He got on top a lot today and was never really behind in the count," Benintendi said. "With his stuff, if he gets ahead, he's going to be tough."
Through six innings, Taccolini allowed only two hits: a single and a solo home run by Tanner Donnels.
The Lions finally got to him in the seventh inning, when they rattled off three straight hits. The third, a double by Donnels, scored a run.
However, Taccolini settled down and struck out the next three batters, stranding runners on second and third.
"That was a big point in the game," Taccolini said. "Right there, I'm just trying to get outs. They were on my fastball, so (Arkansas pitching coach Dave) Jorn was mixing it up going off-speed. I got a bunch of strikes with that."
The large lead gave Arkansas a chance to use some of its young pitchers in the last two innings.
Parker Sanburn struggled with his command, hitting three batters with a pitch and walking one. He also had a throwing error on a pick-off attempt that allowed a run to score and one wild pitch.
He was replaced by Cannon Chadwick with the bases loaded and one out in the ninth. Chadwick also had command issues, walking in a run before getting a ground out to score another. Kyle Pate closed out the game with a strikeout after allowing a walk and a two-run single.
Arkansas will go for the sweep Sunday at 12:35 p.m.
Arkansas 13, Loyola Marymount 7
Hawgs Daily Top Stories
Friday Five: Best transfers of SEC eraHawgsDaily ranks the top five Arkansas transfers since the Razorbacks joined the SEC in 1992.
Hawgs DailyYesterday at 3:13 PM
Friday Round-Tripper: Diamond Hogs notesHere is an update on all things Arkansas baseball.
Hawgs DailyYesterday at 2:59 PM
Top 10 most irreplaceable Razorbacks in 2017Arkansas can't afford to lose any of these players in 2017.
Hawgs DailyThursday at 2:08 PM
Hogs announce 2017-18 season openerArkansas has announced the date and opponent for its 2017-18 season opener.
Hawgs DailyThursday at 9:06 AM
Ragnow picks up another preseason honorFrank Ragnow has picked up another preseason honor.
Hawgs DailyWednesday at 4:24 PM