Arnold Fits Perfectly In Leadoff Spot

RUSTON, La. -- Arkansas appears to have found itself a true leadoff hitter in freshman Clint Arnold.

Arnold doubled to lead off Friday's 5-2 win against Louisiana Tech at J.C. Love Field. He was 3-for-5 with a run and an RBI to extend his hitting streak to five games.

"He's putting the bat on the ball and that's what he does," said Arkansas coach Dave Van Horn. "He's a tough out and that's what I like up there. He's almost setting the tone for some of the other guys to start following a young guy right there."

The 6-foot, 185-pounder from Cedar Hill, Texas, led off three innings (first, third and seventh) with a base hit and clearly fulfilled his role at the top of the order.

"I'm just trying to get on base with good at-bats," Arnold said. "See a lot of pitches and work the pitchers a little bit and so far, I've done a decent job I think."

Last season, Jake Dugger was a regular in the leadoff spot despite putting up numbers (team-high 19 doubles, 8 home runs, 42 RBIs) comparable to that of a power hitter. The prior season, the Hogs used Nick Pitts, who hit .280 with an on-base percentage of .366 and two stolen bases, as their leadoff man.

"It lets us shake (the lineup) up a little bit," Van Horn said. "I liked (Friday's) lineup and we had 14 hits with a lot of hard hits that didn't fall in."

Besides Arnold, senior Casey Rowlett is the only other Razorback with a hit in each of the first five games. He was 3-for-5 with an RBI in Friday's win.

Scott Bridges also brought a four-game hitting streak into Friday, but was hitless in four at-bats.

Arkansas 'Dogs
A pair of Louisiana Tech freshmen are from Arkansas. They are outfielder Adam Cobb (Ashdown) and right-handed pitcher Dylan Mosely (Texarkana).

Cobb entered the series third on the team with a .231 batting average, a double and two RBIs. He was 0-for-4 in Friday's game.

"Cobb has been a real pleasant surprise for us," said Louisiana Tech coach Wade Simoneaux. "He had a good opening weekend with about six or seven hits and I think he only had one hit last weekend, but he's going to be a good one for us.

"He really knows the game and plays hard."

Mosely, who was drafted in the 33rd round by the Cincinnati Reds out of Arkansas High, was roughed up in his only appearance (two earned runs, two walks and a strikeout in 1/3 inning) and Simoneaux said he'll look for opportunities to get him some innings this weekend.

Series To Continue
This weekend's series is part of a home-and-home deal between Arkansas and Louisiana Tech and is scheduled to be continued next season.

"I love the fact that (Van Horn) is man enough to give us a return trip," Simoneaux said. "There's a lot of the bigger schools out there that won't do that and that's why he always is going to have a good ball club because when you go on the road, you toughen up and come together as a team."

Arkansas swept three games from the Bulldogs in Fayetteville last season and is slated to host them again Feb. 23-25 in 2006.

Home Crowd Again?
For the second consecutive weekend, Arkansas enjoyed a strong following as nearly half of the stands at J.C. Love Field were filled with Razorbacks fans.

"At game time, we looked up and it looked like there was a lot of red on our side," Van Horn said. "It makes you proud to be a Razorback. Here we are down in Louisiana and we're splitting the stands down the middle with red."

Friday's attendance of 1,837 was the largest the Hogs have played in front of this season.

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