Runnin' Razorbacks Keep On Stealing Headlines

FAYETTEVILLE -- Might as well get out the eraser because it looks like Arkansas is going to set a school record for stolen bases.

By all indications it certainly could happen.

In their 12-1 win against Eastern Illinois on Saturday, the runnin' Razorbacks stole seven more bases.

The team record for steals in a game is 12 set against Central Missouri State on Feb. 28, 1992. The school record for steals for a season is 155 set in 1983.

Individually, second baseman Scott Bridges and center fielder Casey Rowlett are aiming for the school record for the most steals by a player.

Scott Loseke holds that record with 42 in 1983.

"From day one, our goal on the base paths was to be aggressive," Bridges said. "We're going to take the extra base every chance we get and run hard. It's helping us out a lot because it's putting pressure on the defense."

Bridges and Rowlett both stole three bases Saturday. Bridges leads the team with 17, Rowlett has 14.

So who's going to set the record?

"I am," said Bridges without hesitation.

Are you sure?

"Oh yeah," Bridges said. "We were hoping we both would get 42, but I hope I get 44, 45, 50 maybe.

"Hopefully I'll win it by a couple."

Saturday, the Razorback stole six bases in the first three innings.

Bridges stole his 15th and 16th bases in that run-wild third inning, including stealing home. The last time a Razorbacks player stole home was when Brady Toops did it against Wichita State on March 30, 2004.



A GOOD START

Arkansas starting pitcher Charley Boyce, who struggled earlier this season, got off to a fast start on Saturday, but he got some help from his friends.

Boyce gave up a single to Eastern Illinois right fielder Mark Chagnon to open the game. Then Boyce got designated hitter Blake Meyer to hit into a double play.

Bridges fielded the grounder, tagged out Chagnon and threw to first baseman Danny Hamblin just in time for the double play.

Boyce ended the inning by striking out Ryan Campbell, who was caught looking.



STREAKING ROWLETT

Rowlett continued his hitting streak Saturday. He now has hit in 16 straight games. He, too, is the only Razorbacks player to start all 16 games.

Rowlett went 3-for-5 with 3 RBIs. Rowlett singled in the first, third and sixth innings. He's hitting .514.

Rowlett's streak is the longest in the (Arkansas coach) Dave Van Horn era which started in 2003, and longest streak since 2001. Haas Pratt had the longest streak last year, hitting safely in 14 straight games.

Rowlett's streak was extended when, in the first inning, he smashed a sharp single to left field. Rowlett immediately stole second and later stole third before Jake Dugger flied to right to end the inning.

Bridges is second on the team with a nine-game hitting streak after going 2-for-3 with 1 RBI on Saturday. He's hitting a team-leading .520.


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