Tschepikow's Home Run Not Enough

FAYETTEVILLE — Arkansas second baseman Ben Tschepikow isn't known for hitting home runs. But the senior has been the Razorbacks' most productive power hitter through four games.

Tschepikow, who had four home runs in his previous four seasons, hit his second of the year off Kansas starter Lee Ridenhour in the fifth inning Tuesday. Tschepikow has never had more than one home run in a season before Tuesday.

But Tschepikow wasn't ready to relish in his newfound role as a home run hitter. He was more concerned about Arkansas' inability to put together a big inning after its 9-3 loss.

"I've hit a couple home runs, but they don't really matter," he said. "We got our butts handed to us. We lost so we didn't get any big hits. That (home run) wasn't a big hit."

Tschepikow and the Razorbacks have struggled to string together big innings and it was evident Tuesday. Arkansas got three runs and they were spread out over three innings.

Arkansas coach Dave Van Horn said his team's inability to produce big innings has become a problem. The Razorbacks haven't scored more than three runs in an inning so far.

"The hitting hasn't been there," Van Horn said.

But Tschepikow said it's way too early for the Razorbacks to panic. Arkansas is hoping to heat up at the plate today.

"We're positive," Tschepikow said. "We're always positive. It's just getting the job done. You can talk about it all you want, but it doesn't matter. We've got to get the job done."



Double Duty

Sophomore Brett Eibner pulled double duty for the Razorbacks on Tuesday, starting the game on the mound and batting third in the lineup. But it wasn't great on either end.

Eibner, who started for the fourth time in his career and was scheduled to throw three innings, allowed three runs in 2 1/3 innings. They were the first earned runs Eibner had surrendered in five games dating back to last year.

"Once I got in some trouble I kind of struggled a little bit there and couldn't keep it together," Eibner said.

Eibner didn't have much success at the plate, either. He went 0-for-3 with a walk. He is batting .143 after four games.



Promising Debut

Most of Arkansas' pitching staff struggled Tuesday, but Van Horn was happy with what he saw from freshman Kendall Wehrle. The right-hander closed the game by throwing three scoreless innings. He didn't allow a hit and struck out three.

"We learned a little bit about Werle," Van Horn said. "He was a guy who was on the bubble maybe to redshirt. We weren't sure on that. We felt like he might pitch for us, but we didn't need him this year and we weren't going to use him.

"Some guys didn't get it done (Tuesday night) and we said, ‘Hey, we're going to go with him and he did a good job.'"



On Deck

Arkansas will wrap up its two-game series with Kansas at Baum Stadium at 3:05 today.

Left-hander Dallas Keuchel will start for the Razorbacks. Kansas will start left Shaeffer Hall, its opening-day starter.

Keuchel (1-0) gave up four hits and two runs in six innings against Washington State last week. Hall (1-0) threw the fifth no-hitter in Kansas history in a 5-0 win against Air Force.

Hawgs Daily Top Stories