Diamond Hogs win 22nd straight season opener

A Baum Stadium opening day-record crowd of 8,542 watched Arkansas win its 22nd straight season opener.

Dominic Taccolini gave up one hit in seven innings, leading Arkansas to a 6-1 opening day win over Central Michigan on Friday.

Taccolini struck-out three and walked one in his first game since undergoing surgery to repair a blood clot last summer. The junior right-hander threw 79 pitches on an 80-pitch limit.

A Baum Stadium opening day-record crowd of 8,542 watched Arkansas win its 22nd straight season opener.  

The Razorbacks' previous largest opening day crowd was 8,297 for a doubleheader against Washington State in 2009.

"That was a really good ballgame, especially right out of the shoot," Arkansas coach Dave Van Horn said. "(Central Michigan pitcher Sean) Renzi was everything we heard he was. He's hard to square up. We never really squared him the whole game. He did a good job throwing that fastball and breaking ball to the right handers."

The Razorbacks scored the go-ahead run on Cullen Gassaway's RBI groundout in the sixth inning. Arkansas (1-0) broke open the game in the bottom of the eighth. Cody Scroggins scored on a wild pitch and Jake Arledge added a triple and scored on a throwing error. 

Gassaway, the first baseman, had an RBI single in the first inning to give the Razorbacks their first run. Arkansas had runners thrown out at the plate in the first and seventh innings.

Central Michigan tied the game on a double steal in the second inning, but the Chippewas were held in-check the rest of the game. Taccolini retired 14 straight until Joe Houlihan walked with one out in the top of the seventh inning. 

"The past couple of weeks have been tough for me," Taccolini said. "I've been very up and down in the spring. The first pitch of the game my heart was racing. Just to finally be out there with all those fans, it was definitely awesome."

Zach Jackson worked around two base runners in the top of the eighth inning. Kacey Murphy and Doug Willey both pitched in the ninth. 

Sean Renzi gave up two runs on five hits in a six-inning start for Central Michigan (0-1). The Chippewas recorded only two hits and committed three errors. 

The teams are scheduled to play again Saturday at 2 p.m. Freshman pitcher Blaine Knight is scheduled to start for the Razorbacks. 

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