Hogs Opens Series With Win Against Centenary

FAYETTEVILLE -- Only a polar bear in a pair of Bermuda shorts or a penguin in a pair swim trunks could truly appreciate the weather in Baum Stadium on Tuesday afternoon.

That would explain why only 728 fans, wearing parkas and gloves and wrapped in blankets, showed up to watch No. 11 Arkansas beat Centenary 10-2 in a nonconference college baseball game.

"You have to dig down deep in this kind of weather," said Razorbacks right fielder Chris Hollensworth, who was 2 for 4 with 2 RBIs, including his first home run. "We needed to play today because we want to get in as many games as possible.

"I thought it was good we were able to come out and get the job done when we needed to get the job done against another good team.

"We're glad to get this win."

Arkansas (18-3) and Centenary (9-12) wrap up their two-game series at 3:05 p.m. today.

On Tuesday, Razorbacks coach Dave Van Horn got a chance to experiment with his lineup in hopes of developing even more depth.

"We played some guys who haven't played," Van Horn said. "We still have some banged up guys who are getting rested up at little bit for the weekend (against No. 25 Georgia). So, anytime you can play that many new guys and still get a win, that's good.

"I wish we could have played a little better. I hoped we'd hit a little better. We've got to get some guys going in the offense. We're definitely going to need it in conference play.

"Hopefully, we'll come out (today) and swing the batters a little bit better.

"On the mound, I thought the first two pitchers (James Gilbert and Brett Bollman) did a good job, the last two (Brian McLelland and Devin Collis), just OK."

Gilbert, normally a reliever, pitched five innings and picked up his second win of the season. He allowed 3 hits, walked 1 and had a career-high 4 strikeouts.

"It was a good day," Gilbert said. "It was a little cold out there but once I got warmed up it was OK. We had a couple of errors early that didn't help out.

"I was able to throw strikes early, maybe I was a little wild in the later innings. I think I was able to get some good pitches and get them to ground out.

"I was spotting my pitches well early."

Arkansas staked Gilbert to an early 5-0 lead and the left-hander had little trouble from there. Gilbert, on a pitch count, threw 66 pitches before giving way to Bollman, a true freshman.

"I thought Gilbert got us off to a good start," said Razorbacks center fielder Craig Gentry, who quietly went 2-for-4 with 4 RBIs and two stolen bases. "That was good to see him go out there and get a win for us.

"It was good, too, to see a lot of guys get a chance to play that haven't played. That just shows you we have a lot of guys who can play. A lot of guys stepped up and came up with big games. We are going to need that down the line.

"I think we have a lot of talent."

Arkansas jumped out to a 2-0 first-inning lead, courtesy of a two-out double by first baseman Danny Hamblin, who went 3-for-4 with 2 RBIs, and an RBI single by Hollensworth.

In the third, the Razorbacks tacked on three more runs, those coming on an RBI double by left fielder Clint Arnold, a fielder's choice RBI by designated hitter Wayne Hrozek and Hollensworth's solo homer to left.

Arkansas, which banged out 11 hits off four Centenary pitchers, added single runs in the fourth and seven innings and three in the eighth. In the eighth, Gentry, on a 3-1 pitch, slammed a three-run homer to over the left-center field wall.

"It was a good win," Van Horn said. "I expect we'll play a little bit better than we did today."


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