Finishing what you started.
That was the mentality that the University of Arkansas baseball team took into Saturday afternoon and used it to finish off Mississippi State University 20-9 in game that had been suspended from Friday night.
Razorback head coach Dave Van Horn's club, which led 10-3 in the fifth when the rains came Friday night, rolled up six more runs in their first at-bat on Saturday as rain eventually came again.
"It (the rain and cold) is the same for both teams except they are trying to battle back and we are trying to make sure they don't come back," Arkansas head coach Dave Van Horn said. "I told the guys before the game just stay focused on each inning and try to put an run in here and there and keep a little pressure on them because they are going to make a run on us. Fortunately we scored six real quick."
Arkansas (18-4, 7-0) and Mississippi State (14-11, 2-5) are now scheduled to play a couple of seven-inning games on Sunday beginning at 12:05 p.m.
"The umpires pretty much made that decision," Van Horn said. "That was pretty much out of our hands. You saw (Arkansas relief pitcher Justin) Wells slip and fall on that double play type ball on that play there in the ninth. The field was getting really slick and they were getting cold and having trouble gripping the ball. With the weather forcast being so nice (for Sunday), it was probably the right decision."
Arkansas starting pitcher Dallas Keuchel (4-0, 3.32) – who pitched the five innings played on Friday night – got the win with Wells hurling the final four frames.
Keuchel now has 31 strikeouts and just four bases on balls in his six starts this season, getting through Friday night's effort while giving up three runs on six hits with one whiff and one walk.
"He has been real consistent, a steady guy on Friday," Van Horn said. "We know we have a chance to win every Friday and he is going to throw it over the plate. We have to play good defense behind him.
"I think Dallas will tell you that he didn't have his best stuff, but he battled and gave us five quality innings," Van Horn added. "He gave us a chance to get out and get a lead. Hopefully he will have a good outing next weekend."
Scott Lyons and Andy Wilkins both had 3 of the Razorbacks' 14 hits while Lyons, Travis Sample and Ryan Cisterna all hit home runs during the contest.
Just as he did Friday night with a homer, Lyon got the action going for Arkansas on Saturday with a big hit.
"We got a couple of runners on and Lyons got a big two-out, two-strike hit that drove in a couple," Van Horn said. "We end up scoring four more. It was nice to score those runs there."
Especially because Mississippi State finally broke out on its own in the ninth when the Bulldogs hit two homers and played a half-dozen tallies themselves.
"We knew they were going to score runs," Van Horn said. "They have a good team. They matched us in the same amount of hits (14). It was just a crazy game and it took forever. I feel like we just played a whole another game right there."
After the game ended, Van Horn and Mississippi State skipper John Cohen got into it at home plate.
It turned out to be over pinch hitter Jarrod McKinney getting hit in the eight inning.
It was one of four Arkansas batters that got hit on the day and came after the Razorbacks scored a single tally in the eighth.
"We scored a run there and McKinney gets hit almost in the back of the head," Van Horn said. "I don't know. You saw the game."
Arkansas 20, MSU 9
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