Arkansas 14, Mississippi Valley State 0

Tyler Spoon breaks the game open early while Andrew Benintendi hits a pair of home runs and Carson Shaddy adds a pinch-hit grand slam as Arkansas rolls past Mississippi Valley State 14-0 Wednesday afternoon before a crowd of 1,467 fans at Baum Stadium.

Even before a Arkansas batter recorded an out on Wednesday afternoon, the Razorbacks had plated enough runs to put another one in the win column.

But they just kept scoring anyway, including a pinch-hit grand slam for Carson Shaddy and Andrew Benintendi swatting a pair of home runs to tie for the national lead with 11.

Tyler Spoon’s bases-clearing double plated three runs in a four-run opening frame and Arkansas was off and running en route to downing Mississippi Valley State 14-0 before 1,467 fans at Baum Stadium.

Bentendi scored five runs, had three RBIs and he and Joe Seranno both had three hits to lead a 17-hit attack as the Razorbacks (18-15) won their third straight game and swept he two-game mid-week series from the Delta Devils (6-21-1).

"I think it has been a good two days for our team," Arkansas head coach Dave Van Horn said. "We got to play a couple of gamers where it went real well for us on the mound and offensively and played pretty good defense with I guess one error in two days.

"We got to play some guys and really put some pitchers out there that haven't been out there in awhile and they all did pretty well for the most part so hopefully they will be a little bit more confident than they were say before this last two games. We feel better about putting guys in the ballgame.

"I thought some hitters stayed hot or got untracked a little bit. Spoon has been swinging it well, Andrew has and Serrano got three hits today. He has kind of been a tough-luck hitter for us. He hit a lot of balls hard at Auburn that were caught."

Arkansas, which struggled out of the gate, has won four of five games and seven of its last 10 games beginning with a win at Memphis on March 25.

The Razorbacks are 5-7 in SEC action and will be trying to win their third straight league series when they host Kentucky this weekend for a three-game series on Friday, Saturday and Sunday.

Arkansas will send Dominic Taccolin and Trey Killian to the mound in the the first two games with Keaton McKinney most likely going on Sunday and the mix of Zack Jackson and Jacob Stone toeing the mound as well.

"It really has to do with pitching," Van Horn said. "Guys are getting healthy, so far so good with Trey, Taccolini has been steady all season for the most part and Jackson has had one bad inning, but been good for the most part.

"Hopefully we can have Stone continue to get better because we need his experience, we need his talent. We need him to get people out at the end of the game of if that doesn't go good, maybe we will just start starting him and let it go, bring in him early and try to get three or four innings early."

Spoon, Arkansas' clean up hitter who had a four-hit day on Tuesday, found the bases loaded when he arrived at the plate for the first time as Clark Eagan reached on error, Serrano singled and Bentintendi walked.

"I saw Beni walk and I just thought I am going to get a hit here," Spoon said. "I have been feeling good at the plate lately so I was aggressive...I got a pitch to hit and hit it well."

Bobby Wernes’ infield single chased home the final run in the first off losing pitcher Blake Thomas while Benintendi’s inside the park homer pushed that lead to 5-0 in the third.

Arkansas then added three more in the fourth - two on bases loaded walks by reliever Trent McKinney and Wernes’ RBI single that made it 8-0.

Shaddy pinch hit for Spoon in the fifth with the sacks jammed and rode one out of Baum for his third homer of the season.

Benintendi then took his time going around the bases after he launched a two-run shot way over the right field wall to pus that lead to 14-0 in the sixth.

"I think it is just coming from the work that I put in during the off-season, just getting bigger and stronger and I have learned a lot in the three hole," Benintendi said.

James Teague (2-2) fanned six and allowed three hits while pitching the first four innings for Arkansas to get the win and was followed to the mound by Jonah Patten for two innings while Collin Chadwick, Parker Sanburn and Kyle Pate finished up with an inning each.

Tyler Spoon

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