Diamond Hogs Give Complete Effort

FAYETTEVILLE -- From a season-high seven doubles in the lineup, to an ESPN SportsCenter-worthy catch by Jake Dugger in center field to the pitching of Nick Schmidt and Jess Todd, Arkansas put up the complete effort Sunday. An effort which came at just the right time.

Looking to avoid a three-game home sweep at the hands of Mississippi State, the Razorbacks (25-10, 8-4 in the Southeastern Conference) responded in a big way. With solid pitching, plenty of hitting, great defense and even some base running added in, No. 6 Arkansas avoided a total weekend disaster in a 9-3 Easter Sunday victory at Baum Stadium. "I thought overall this was one of our best games of the year," Diamond Hogs coach Dave Van Horn said. "In all three phases of the game, four really if you throw in base running, with pitching, fielding, and hitting, we did it all. "The pitching was outstanding, the hitting was timely and we kept getting big hits. I just thought overall it was just a very good game for us. And we had to have it. The difference between being 7-5 and 8-4 in this league, that's huge." With a crowd of 2,844 on hand, the Razorbacks refused to let the Bulldogs (21-8, 7-5) get out of town with another win. From Tim Smalling's go-ahead 3-run homer in the second inning, to Matt Willard and Danny Hamblin's combined seven hits all the way to Todd's sharp two innings of work out of the bullpen, Arkansas was focused and ready from start to finish. "We talked about before the game how there's a big difference between 7-5 and 8-4 (in the standings)," said Willard, who was 3-for-3 with three doubles and a sacrifice. "Schmidt gives us a great effort, we played great defense and everybody swung the bats a little bit. "So pitching, defense and hitting all combined together and got us a win out there." A win the Razorbacks knew going in was a must-have. "It was a big game for us," Smalling said. "It's big to be 8-4 instead of 7-5. "I think everybody was ready to get after it today and we did a good job executing and just played a great game." ON DECK... Missouri State at No. 6 Arkansas WHEN: 7:05 p.m., Tuesday WHERE: Baum Stadium, Fayetteville RECORDS: Missouri State 19-13; Arkansas 25-10

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