Razorbacks Sweep Away Sun Devils

FAYETTEVILLE — Who's No. 1 now? Arkansas wrapped up its midweek series against top-ranked Arizona State on Wednesday, hoping a second-straight win against the Sun Devils would help settle the debate of top-ranked teams.

And despite another early deficit, the Razorbacks found a way to rally from five runs down to sweep the Sun Devils, 8-7 in front of a Baum Stadium record crowd of 11,014.

"I told our guys, I think with the schedule we've played we've been behind a lot this year and we've never panicked," Arkansas coach Dave Van Horn said. "When we were down 5-0 we had a lot of at-bats, we're both in middle of the week pitching and it gets a little thin and you have to recycle.

"And we put together an inning, they made an error over there (at first) and we took advantage of that and we got some big two-out hits. The next thing you know we were right back in it, then we got the lead and I thought our bullpen did a good job."

Arkansas (24-6) found itself in a tough spot right away when Arizona State (23-7) scored five times in the first two innings against pitchers Bryan Bingham and Drew Smyly. But once Smyly settled in and the bullpen behind got even better, the Razorbacks began another come-from-behind march.

Still trailing 6-1 in the fourth, Arkansas scored four runs — benefiting from a fielding error by Sun Devils first baseman Abe Ruiz — and found itself back in the game in a hurry. Three more runs in the fifth, led by an RBI single from Andrew Darr and a two-run single by Tim Carver, put the Hogs ahead for good.

"It was exciting," said Darr, who had three hits and four RBIs. "There was 11,000 people here cheering us on and that's not your typical midweek. They kept us going and good things happened in the end."

The final four innings were then a bullpen showcase. Freshman Zack Cox worked three scoreless innings to pick up the win, Sam Murphy worked out of an eighth-inning jam and Stephen Richards closed the door in the ninth to pick up his second save in as many days.

"(Arkansas has) an older club, they play well, are very talented, a very disciplined offensive club," Arizona State coach Pat Murphy said. "I am impressed with them, very impressed with them."

And Van Horn was impressed with his team as well. Winning two games from what many outlets consider to be the top team in the country is no small feat. But for the Razorbacks, it's just one step along the way.

"I told our guys these are two great wins, but I don't want you to feel like this is the highlight of our season," Van Horn said. "We've got a lot of baseball left, and I think we have some guys that are focused and they know what's up.

"And I'm just proud of them for the way they hung in there tonight."

Hawgs Daily Top Stories