Fayetteville Connection Solidifies Hog Victory

TULSA -- Coated with confidence and drenched with enthusiasm, the Arkansas baseball team seemingly could do no wrong Tuesday night.

Neither could Razorbacks infielders and former Fayetteville High School teammates Ben Tschepikow and Blake Parker.

Those two helped No. 10 Arkansas beat Oral Roberts 15-8 win in front of 2,213 in J.L. Johnson Stadium.

Parker, a 6-foot-3, 205-pound sophomore first baseman went 3-for-4 with a 4 RBIs, including two home runs and a double. Tschepikow was 2-for-3 and also homered.

"Yeah, statistically this was my best game in college," Parker said. "The wind was blowing out, thin air it made it easier to hit the ball out tonight.

"I think not only me, but the team, took advantage of some pitches and put the ball out of the ballpark.

"That's just the way things went tonight."

Tschepikow, a 5-11, 190-pound freshman, was the hero of Saturday's 5-4 win against Vanderbilt. Tschepikow drove in the winning run in the 10th inning with two outs. It was only his third at-bat in his career.

Tschepikow came into Tuesday's game in the fourth inning. That's when Razorbacks shortstop Scott Hode injured his right hand. John Henry Marquardt replaced Hode and Tschepikow replaced Marquardt at second.

In his first at-bat in the fifth, Tschepikow slapped a single to right on an aggressive swing with a one-out base hit.

Parker, who didn't hit a home run last year, followed with his sixth homer of the season -- a two-run shot -- to left field to push Arkansas in front 9-4.

In the seventh, Tschepikow jerked his first collegiate homer with a shot to right to increase the Arkansas lead to 12-4.

Tschepikow? A home run? What happened?

"I have no idea," Tschepikow said. "I'm going to credit that home run to Blake. My second at-bat, he told me he's going to throw you a fast one.

"He knows more about the pitching at this level of competition. Blake said, ‘You're going to get a fastball and sit on it and just hit it out.' and I did."

Tschepikow again became big part of the storyline.

"The whole week has been an awesome experience," Tschepikow said. "I'm just trying to stay ready every game, just sitting on the bench. You never know what is going to happen. Hode gets hurt and I had to go in."

Parker smashed his second homer of the game to deep center field in the ninth to push the Razorbacks in front 15-8.

"Ben and I played well together in high school and it was good getting together again," Parker said. "I was trying to tell him what kind of pitches to look for and it worked out."

"I'm happy he had a good game, too."




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