Reserves Provide Punch Off The Bench For Hogs

FAYETTEVILLE -- Arkansas coach Dave Van Horn couldn't complain about his bench on Friday.

In fact, he was almost giddy when the subject was broached.

Van Horn started wholesale substituting without hesitation.

Arkansas got six hits and 5 RBIs off the bench. Knox McCorquodale went 2-for-2, including a triple, with 2 RBIs. Brock Bond was 2-for-2 with 2 RBIs, John Marquardt was 2-for-2 and Ben Tschepikow drove in a run with an RBI ground out.

"The bench did a great job," Van Horn said. "I commented about that out there (the postgame meeting in the outfield). Our bench didn't come in like we had a 10-run lead.

"They came in with a bit of an attitude, like 'I'm going to show you.' Bond and Marquardt each get two hits, both played good defense. Bond made a heck of a play out there (at first base). They were hungry.

"That's what I like to see."

Because of the NCAA Indoor Track and Field Championships in the nearby Randal Tyson Indoor Track Center today's game time has changed.

Arkansas and Eastern Illinois continues the series at 12:05 p.m. today. It originally was scheduled for 1:05 p.m.

The three-game series concludes at 1:05 p.m. Sunday.

Arkansas catcher Clint Walker demonstrated some early power prior to Friday's game, hitting a couple pitches over the scoreboard in right-center field during batting practice.

Guess the practice paid off. In the sixth inning, Walker sent EIU relief pitcher Alex Guttosch's offering over the right field wall.

"The wind was blowing out and if you get the ball in the air, it's going to go but as a hitter you don't want to think about hitting the ball in the air or you're going to struggle," Walker said. "I just try to hit the ball hard, get it elevated and I got it elevated and it went out.

"The guys were razzing me a little bit about not being strong enough. I was just swinging, trying to get loose in batting practice and it just went over the scoreboard."

Arkansas senior center fielder Casey Rowlett continued his hitting streak Friday. Rowlett now has hit in 15 straight games. He, too, is the only Razorbacks player to start all 15 games.

Prior to Friday's game, catcher/outfielder Clint Arnold had started the previous 14 games also.

On Friday, Rowlett went 1-for-2 with an RBI.

His streak was extended when, in fourth inning, he singled to left field. He walked and hit an RBI sacrifice fly in his other at-bats.

Meanwhile Arkansas second baseman Scott Bridges finally had his stolen base streak ended at 14 straight. Just moments after stealing second in the fourth inning, Bridges was thrown out by EIU catcher Joe Hernandez at third. Before that attempt, Bridges drew two pick-off throws to second.

Dating back to last year, Bridges had 21 straight stolen bases without being caught until Friday. The last time Bridges had been caught stealing was on May 15, 2004 at Mississippi State.

After its series against Arkansas, Eastern Illinois won't be leaving the state anytime soon.

The Panthers play at Arkansas-Little Rock on Tuesday and Wednesday. Eastern Illinois plays at Arkansas State in a three-game series, starting next Friday.

Eastern Illinois sophomore infielder Adam Varrassi is from Crystal Lake, Ill., the same hometown of Arkansas senior shortstop Scott Hode.

Varrassi entered the game as a pinch-hitter in the sixth inning. He flied out to right field.

The Panthers have only one out-of-state player on their roster. Jon Hickey, EIU's starting shortstop, hails from Kokomo, Ind. He's a 6-foot-2, 175-pound junior.

Many in the press box scratched their heads and fired up their computers trying to find out where in the world Eastern Illinois is located. Some actually knew, but I honestly couldn't remember.

Thank goodness for the Internet.

The answer is: Charleston, Ill.

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