Hogs Overcome Big Inning

FAYETTEVILLE -- Arkansas escaped a fourth-inning scare before pulling away from Southwest Missouri State for a 14-5 win in front of 2,274 in Baum Stadium on Wednesday.

The No. 10 Razorbacks (29-6) committed two errors and needed three pitchers to get through the five-run fourth inning, which gave the Bears (11-19) a 5-4 lead at the time.

Regardless, Arkansas came away with its eighth straight win.

"We gave up the big inning, but we battled back and put together a big inning of our own which really dissolved their big inning," said Arkansas coach Dave Van Horn, whose team travels to Tennessee for a three-game series beginning Friday at 6 p.m. "But we swung the bats well and played pretty good defense after that."

Big innings have haunted the Hogs this season and is one of the things Van Horn has been harping on his team to eliminate. They've improved lately and the last team to score five runs on the Hogs in one inning was Mississippi State during a 13-4 Arkansas loss on March 26.

"It started with an error and then they got a flare and there they go, but that's baseball," Van Horn said. "They did a good job of taking advantage of our mistakes. I was disappointed it happened, but I was real proud how we came back after that and swung the bats."

Hogs veteran Charley Boyce came on with two outs and the bases loaded in the fourth and quickly got SMS cleanup batter Matt Weglar to fly out to left to end the threat. Boyce (7-4) pitched 2 1/3 hitless innings to pick up the win before handing it over to Nick Schmidt at the start of the seventh.

"That was our plan," Van Horn said. "It was kind of our bullpen day for (weekend regulars Boyce and Nick Schmidt) and instead of getting their pitches in down there in the pen, they got them in during the game."

Devin Collis started and gave the Hogs three scoreless innings before the fourth-inning trouble. He gave up a three-run homer to Zach Harris and saw his outing end two batters later.

Blake Parker's solo shot in the fifth inning put the Hogs back on top 6-5. It's the sophomore's third in two games and moved him into short-lived three-way tie with Jake Dugger and Danny Hamblin for the team lead with eight.

But Hamblin homered for the fifth time in three games to regain the team lead with nine. His towering, two-run blast to left-center gave the Razorbacks some insurance and a seven-run lead in the eighth inning.

"Whenever you see (the ball) big, it makes it a lot easier to put the bat on the ball," Parker said. "I've been seeing it pretty big lately, but Danny's been seeing it even bigger with the way he's teeing off."

Three more runs came across in the fifth thanks to a wild pitch and a two-run single by Craig Gentry that made it 9-5. Arkansas sprinted out to a 4-0 lead with a run on a throwing error in the third and a three-run second inning that was highlighted by John Henry Marquardt's RBI double to right-center field.

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