Arkansas (5-0) continues its series against Louisiana Tech (3-4) today at 1 p.m. and wraps up the weekend at 1 p.m. on Sunday.
"They pitched extremely well," said Louisiana Tech coach Wade Simoneaux. "I just credit our guys for hanging in there and keeping it close for nine innings against three quality arms."
True freshman Nick Schmidt solidified himself as Arkansas' Friday night starter by allowing one earned run on four hits in five innings. The left-hander walked two and struck out four to record his second straight victory before being relieved by Daryl Maday, who allowed one hit and one unearned run in 3 1/3 innings, before handing it over to Trey Holloway for the save in the ninth.
"Schmidt threw well and when he missed, he just missed (by a little)," said Arkansas coach Dave Van Horn. "He battled and threw some tough pitches down around the knees and then Maday came in and did what he did last week (when he retired all 15 batters he faced) by throwing hard and throwing a lot of strikes."
Schmidt, who pitched five scoreless innings in an 8-1 win against Dallas Baptist last weekend, escaped his first jam of the season relatively unscathed after loading the bases with no outs in the bottom of the third inning. He got Ashdown native Adam Cobb to ground into a double play, which scored a run, and then got Ryan Hamilton to ground out to end the inning.
"What I like about Schmidt is he's left-handed, he's confident and he throws a lot of strikes," Van Horn said. "He's solid and if he can keep giving us five or six innings on Friday, we'll take it."
Schmidt received some offensive support when the Razorbacks scored two runs off Louisiana Tech starter Clayton Meyer in the third inning.
Back-to-back singles by Clint Arnold and Jake Dugger led off the inning. Casey Rowlett lined a single to center to score Arnold and Clay Goodwin grounded out to second base to score Dugger from third and give the Hogs the early 2-0 cushion.
"(Meyer) was a good pitcher," said Arnold, who was 3-for-5. "He wasn't overpowering at all, but he really knew how to pitch and those kind of guys are frustrating at times."
Arkansas finally ended Meyer's outing by loading the bases with one out in the seventh, but reliever Steve Alverson got Goodwin to ground into an inning-ending double play.
It was one of the many opportunities squandered by the Razorbacks, who left 13 runners on base.
"We hit the ball hard early, we just didn't get the big hit and give them credit, they made some big pitches to get out of jams," Van Horn said. "We're all frustrated just like the fans probably were. We tried to keep them under control over there by being positive.
"If you keep winning games by not getting big hits, well, those big hits are going to come, so maybe we're saving them for down the road."
The Razorbacks loaded the bases again in the eighth with one out and finally capitalized with the help of a two-base throwing error which resulted in two runs and a 4-1 Arkansas lead.
In the ninth, Brian Walker lined a single to left-center field to score Goodwin, who had reached on a leadoff single, to complete the scoring for the Razorbacks.
"We lost, but we got better," Simoneaux said. "Arkansas is every bit as good as any team in our conference including (perennial powerhouse) Rice, so this still was a good outing for our team."
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