No-Hitter

MOBILE, Ala. — Arkansas pitchers Nick Schmidt, Brian McLellan and Devin Collis combined for the school's first no-hitter in five years during Saturday's 3-0 win against Oklahoma State.

What is most impressive is none of the three pitchers had their best stuff, but still were dominant enough to hold Cowboys hitless for the first time in their school's history.

"That's what's scary," said catcher Brian Walker, looking like a deer in headlights. "Schmidt didn't throw that great, McLellan didn't throw that great and Collis ... well he threw pretty good. But what's scary is we're winning ballgames by not giving up many runs and these guys still aren't throw the best they can. It's exciting because when they do start pitching up to their potential watch out."

No. 20 Arkansas (2-0) will try to complete a three-game sweep in the Jaguar Invitational against host South Alabama (3-1) at 2:30 p.m today at Stanky Field. Right-hander Charley Boyce will start for the Hogs, while right-hander David Freese starts for the Jags.

Scott Roehl threw the Razorbacks' last no-hitter in a 2-0 win against Kansas State in 2001.

Solid pitching was needed for the Hogs on Saturday as the offense struggled for the second consecutive game. Besides an error by shortstop John Henry Marquardt on a bad hop, they were flawless defensively.

"Really, the only negative was leaving runners stranded a few times after we already had a three-run lead," said Arkansas coach Dave Van Horn. "We should have easily had a four, five or six-run lead if we just put the bat on the ball. We didn't need it with the way the pitchers were throwing, but it was pretty much a nail-biter all the way into the ninth inning."

Walker got the scoring started with a bases-loaded, two-run single in the sixth. Blake Parker followed with an RBI-single up the middle to create the final margin. It was Walker's "outstanding" at-bat which most impressed Van Horn. The sophomore slapped a 1-2 fastball through the left side of the infield after fouling off several pitches.

It was Walker's first hit this season.

"I'm at two strikes every at-bat, so I told Coach I should be a leadoff hitter because I work the count," Walker said. "But I'm not quite comfortable yet. There's still a few things going wrong but as long as I continue to swing at strikes and battle I'll be all right."

Schmidt used a 93-mile per hour fastball to battle through most of his six innings as he apparently had trouble with command of his curve and changeup. He still struck out six, while walking three.

"I wasn't rusty, just a little anxious," said Schmidt, a Freshman All-American last season. "That first outing, you're so ready to go you are almost pumped up too much. But after that first batter you calm down and get it going.

McLelland overcame a shrinking strike zone to get through the seventh before Collis, who coaches say is the most improved on the staff, took over at the start of the eighth.

Collis struck out two in two innings.

"It's awesome for the pitchers," Schmidt said. "Because last year we were so inconsistent and now this is two good performances in a row by our starters and our bullpen."


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