Home Run Derby

TULSA — The heart of Arkansas' offense beat loud and clear during Tuesday's 15-8 win against Oral Roberts in front of a season-high 2,213 in J.L. Johnson Stadium.

The three through five-hole hitters were responsible for 14 of the team's 15 runs. Jake Dugger, Danny Hamblin and Clay Goodwin went a combined 7-for-15 with four homers, 7 RBIs and 7 runs scored.

Hamblin, who bats cleanup, led the way by belting a career-high three homers while going 4-for-5 with 4 RBIs.

"It's big to get those guys going," said Arkansas coach Dave Van Horn, whose Hogs return to Baum Stadium today to play Southwest Missouri State at 7:05 p.m. "When the three hole isn't hitting then the four hole can pick him up and so on. But we haven't really got them all going at the same time so this was nice to see.

"For us to get offensive and get it rolling, it makes it awfully fun for these guys."

With the wind blowing out to center, the Razorbacks (28-6) homered eight times, which more than doubled their previous high (3) this season and set a school record for most in a single game. The previous best was seven set during a 20-13 win against Eastern Kentucky in 1985.

"We've been swinging the bats pretty well for about the last week," Dugger said. "And we plan on keeping this going (today against SMS) and the next game and the one after that."

Hamblin flirted with a handful of team records Tuesday. He's the sixth Razorback to go deep three times in a single game and Rodney Nye was the last to do it against South Carolina in 1999.

"It was a special night for him," Van Horn said. "Very rarely in a career, even if you're a power hitter, do you get the chance to hit three homers in a game and it was fun to watch."

The Hogs' sophomore also came one base shy of the team record for total bases in a single game with 14.

"We were just swinging the bats and having fun," said Hamblin, who flied out to the warning track in center in his only at-bat that he didn't get a hit. "It was a great night to hit. The only one I knew was out was the first one I hit, but the others I wasn't so sure about.

"The one I hit to center that was caught ... I thought that one was going out, too."

Oral Roberts coach Rob Walton was impressed, although he wasn't sure all the blasts would've carried over the fence without the aid of the wind.

"With the wind blowing out, we threw two sinker ball pitchers at them who left a lot of pitches up in the zone," Walton said. "Some were mistakes on our end, but a couple of those in the early innings would've just been popups. But give (the Hogs) credit, because all you had to do was hit the ball in the air to score some runs."

On the flip side, the Golden Eagles (19-14) blasted four homers off Arkansas pitchers James Gilbert, Shaun Seibert and Josh Smith which didn't excite Van Horn.

"There were some pitches that we left up that were mistakes," Van Horn said. "Our goal was to make them earn it when we were ahead six and seven runs and on some of those pitches over the plate, they really hit them hard."

Gilbert cruised early, retiring nine of the first 10 batters he faced before running into trouble in the fourth when he was relieved with two outs by Shaun Seibert after giving up solo homers to ORU's Kelly Minnasale and Dennis Bigley.

Seibert (4-1) lasted 2 1/3 innings before handing off to Josh Smith at the start of the seventh. He struggled for his only inning while seldom-used Brian McLelland pitched the final two innings, retiring the side in order in the ninth.

Expect Arkansas to pitch by committee again today against SMS after starter Devin Collis (2-0. 4.05)

Tuesday's outcome was pretty much decided after the first half inning as the Hogs batted around and hit for the cycle with an RBI single by Scott Hode, a double by Hamblin, an RBI triple by Goodwin and a two-run homer by Jake Dugger to grab a 4-0 lead.

The Hogs went on to score in all but two innings of the home run derby. Highlights included RBI doubles by Hode and Blake Parker in the third, a two-run homer by Parker in the fifth and solo homers by Ben Tschepikow and John Henry Marquardt in the seventh and Hamblin's two-run homer in the eighth.

It was Parker's long shot over the center field wall in the ninth which surpassed the team record for homers.

"It was one of those nights when everybody was swinging the bats," Van Horn said. "We saw great pitching all weekend (during a three-game sweep against Vanderbilt) and I think the guys just came out and got off to a good start."

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