TEMPE, Ariz. - Arkansas junior Casey Coon was not in the starting lineup for Arizona State's 7-4 win over the Razorbacks on Wednesday night for only the second time this season.
Freshman Jacob House started in left field in place of Coon, who was 0-for-5 in a 6-5 loss to Arizona State on Tuesday night, stranding seven runners baserunners.
Coon struck out without swinging on three-straight pitches with runners on first and second base to end the loss.
The last time Coon didn't start a game this season was on Feb. 24 against Wright State.
"Right now he's in a little bit of a funk, and we've got to get him out of it," Arkansas coach Dave Van Horn said. "We need him."
Coon was second on the team in batting at .312 last season and had a .485 slugging percentage. He also led Arkansas with 71 RBIs, which was third in the Southeastern Conference and the eighth-highest single-season total in school history.
After Tuesday night's performance, Coon was hitting .196 (9-for-46) with 5 RBIs.
"He's going to be there for us," Van Horn said. "It might be good for him to sit off to the side. Sometimes guys sit off to the side and the game slows down a little bit for them."
Razorbacks Go West Coast
A vocal contingent of Arkansas fans could be seen engaging the locals in some (and some not-so) good old-fashioned heckling on Tuesday night.
"I was told by some people that it was fun up there, let's put it that way," Van Horn joked before Wednesday's game.
The group of Razorback fans included Doug and Patty Lyons, parents of Arkansas infielder Scott Lyons, as well as Lyons' grandparents. The junior is from Covina, Calif., and Patty Lyons said the trip to Tempe was "our closest road trip."
Doug Lyons said making the five-hour trip to watch Arkansas was an easy decision. He said the family will also make trips to Fayetteville to watch the two-game series with Centenary on March 25-26 as well as the following conference series at Vanderbilt March 28-30.
Home Sweet Home
The Sun Devils' games with Arkansas were the 13th and 14th-straight at home to open their season.
In fact, ASU opens its season with 28-straight home games in Packard Stadium. The Sun Devils, who host No. 1 Arizona next week, won't play a road game until April 4 when they travel to Stanford.
Arkansas has already played five road games this season, including the two-game series at ASU. Van Horn said he prefers the early road trips to help prepare for conference play.
"I do like playing at home, obviously," Van Horn said. "It's a definite advantage because you get to sleep in your own bed and you don't get worn out from traveling.
"But it's good to go out on the road and play good competition because you get a real conference feel."
Murphree Continues Hitting
Aaron Murphree's streak of six-straight games with a home run came to an end on Tuesday night, but it's not quite time to declare a slump for the senior.
Murphree finished Tuesday night 2-for-4 with a pair of doubles, raising his season average to .451. He also still had 12 home runs and 28 RBIs through 13 games after Tuesday's game.
"He's putting good swings on a lot of pitches and not trying to do too much," Van Horn said. "We've told him, 'Don't worry about hitting home runs. Hit the ball in the alley, hit the ball down the lines and take your walks.'
"If he does that, he's going to have a consistent season all year, and that's what we want from him."
o o o
TEMPE, Ariz. - Arizona State had the answer at every turn, putting the finishing touches on a two-game sweep with a 7-4 win over Arkansas on Wednesday night.
The No. 2 Sun Devils stay unbeaten (14-0) with the win, in which left-hander Josh Satow shut down the Razorbacks into the eighth inning.
Satow allowed just three hits, striking out seven and walking none, and made only one mistake - a two-out, two-run home run to Arkansas' Andy Wilkins in the sixth inning.
Wilkins' home run cut the ASU lead to 4-2, but the Sun Devils wasted little time in retaking control of the game. Matt Newman and Ryan Sontag reached on back-to-back walks to open the bottom of the sixth for ASU, and both advanced after Raoul Torrez reached on an infield hit to load the bases with no outs.
Petey Paramore followed with a single to right that scored Newman and Sontag. Torrez then scored on the play on an errant throw home to push the Sun Devils' lead to 7-2.
Arkansas (11-3) cut the lead to 7-4 in the eighth on a two-run single by Jacob House, and the Razorbacks had the tying run at the plate with two outs. However, Aaron Murphree grounded out to short, ending the Razorbacks' threat.
o o o
UA Sports Information
TEMPE, Ariz. – After facing top-ranked Arizona State's ace on Tuesday night, Arkansas got a look at the Sun Devils' No. 2 pitcher on Wednesday and southpaw Josh Satow was impressive in a 7-4 ASU win in front of 3,033 Fans at Packard Stadium.
Satow pitched 7.2 innings to improve to 2-0 on the season. He allowed four runs – two earned – on three hits with seven strikeouts and no walks. UA starter Brett Eibner took the loss to fall to 2-1, allowing four runs – all earned – on four hits over two-plus innings.
Eibner walked the leadoff batter in second inning and then allowed a bunt base hit and walked the next guy to load the bases.
He went to a 3-0 count on the fourth hitter before getting a double play that allowed the leadoff walk to score but kept the Sun Devils from a big inning. Eibner retired the next hitter and ASU managed just a 1-0 lead after two innings.
Eibner continued to struggle with his location in the third inning and got tagged with a three-run home run off the bat of Brett Wallace as ASU extended the lead to 4-0.
Mike Bolsinger came on in relief of Eibner and worked two innings, holding ASU in check with four strikeouts while not allowing a hit.
The Razorbacks got their pre-season All-American candidate Logan Forsythe back last night from a pulled hamstring, and he came through on Wednesday with a two-out triple that he legged out down the right-field line in the top of the sixth inning.
Andy Wilkins followed with his fifth home run of the season to straight-away center field to cut the ASU lead to 4-2.
ASU came right back with three runs in the bottom half of the sixth inning on a two-RBI single from Petey Paramore with the third run scoring on a throwing error on shortstop Tim Smalling.
After Satow retired the first two hitters of the eighth inning, the Razorbacks got a rally started that ended the left-handers night.
Satow hit Chase Leavitt and Forsythe reached on a fielder error by the shortstop. ASU went to the bullpen for Stephen Sauer, who walked Wilkins.
With the bases loaded, the Sun Devils once again went to the bullpen for Reyes Dorado, and Jacob House greeted him with a two-RBI double into right-center field. Aaron Murphree grounded out to end the inning as the Hogs cut the lead to 7-4.
Tommy Rafferty pitched around a leadoff double by Ben Tschepikow in the ninth to earn his first save of the season.
The Razorbacks return home to open SEC play with Georgia at 6:35 p.m. Friday at Baum Stadium.
Photos by Sarah Berrett
Arizona State 7, Arkansas 4
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