Newcomers Come Through For Diamond Hogs

SHREVEPORT, La. -- Only two regulars played for Arkansas as coach Dave Van Horn used mostly newcomers to upend Centenary 10-1 on Tuesday in front of 885 in Shehee Stadium.

Freshman Clint Arnold, who's started 18 games, looked like a veteran by going 4 for 6 with two runs and an RBI. Clay Goodwin, a senior who's started 18 games as well, continued his offensive struggles by going 0 for 4.

"I started seeing the ball a little better at South Carolina in that last game (a 5-3 win on Sunday)," said Arnold, who gave his grandfather, Charles England who was at the game, a nice 64th birthday present by becoming the first Razorback with four hits in a game this season. "The more games I play, the more comfortable I get and the more experience I get under my belt."

A few of the No. 8 Razorbacks' (19-2) newcomers turned in decent performances led by Craig Gentry's 2-for-5 effort. Gentry, a junior college transfer who has played in nine games, flew around the bases on a two-out triple to right-center field in the fourth that impressed the coaching staff.

"These young guys are getting better and I think they're having a good time right now," said Arkansas coach Dave Van Horn. "(Gentry) was moving pretty good on that triple."

Hogs starter Josh Smith established his 96-mph fastball early and allowed one earned run on one hit in four innings before hitting his limit of 61 pitches. Smith missed last season while undergoing Tommy John surgery.

"Smith had good stuff, but he wasn't commanding it," Van Horn said. "He got better as the game went on ... We did have him on a pitch count and he achieved it too early."

James Gilbert (3-0) started the fifth and cruised for two innings before loading the bases with two outs in the seventh. But the crafty left-hander got Beaux Waddell to pop up to center to escape the inning unscathed. He allowed just two hits in three scoreless innings to record the win.

Another pitcher coming off Tommy John surgery for the Razorbacks is Lee Land. He didn't allow any runs on one hit and a walk while pitching the final two innings.

Arkansas needed only two hits to score four runs in the first inning when Centenary starter Matt Clark walked three, hit two and threw a wild pitch.

Arnold set the tone with a leadoff double down the left-field line. Brock Bond, John Marquardt, Steven Robison and Ben Tschepikow each drove in a run in the inning.

The Gents made it 4-1 when Tim Ryan worked a one-out walk in the first, moved to second on a ground-out and scored on a single by Justin Darr.

The Razorbacks added three runs in the fifth with a single by Marquardt leading to two runs (the second scored on a throwing error) and another coming in on a wild pitch by Gents' starter Matt Clark.

In the eighth, consecutive singles by Tschepikow and Arnold and a walk to Gentry led to another run when Tschepikow scored from third on a sacrifice fly by Bond to make it 9-1. Arnold then singled to drive in the final run in the ninth.

"It's good to have the young guys play," Van Horn said. "Sometimes, I wish they would play more aggressive because they don't get to play all the time and just really kind of take control of things.

"But we got to play a lot of guys and rest some guys. I'll come back (today) with more of our starters."

Van Horn plans to start left-hander Devon Collis in today's 3 p.m. game and said he'll likely use struggling weekend starter Charley Boyce out of the bullpen.

"We're going to get (Boyce) his mid-week work," Van Horn said. "Boyce won't start this weekend (against Mississippi State) until Sunday, is he starts Sunday."

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