FAYETTEVILLE – Andy Wilkins had four RBIs and Jarrod McKinney and Brett Eibner each scored four runs as Arkansas overcame an early deficit to beat Kansas 15-3 on a cold afternoon at Baum Stadium Tuesday.
The Razorbacks (6-1) scored in all but one inning of their fifth consecutive win. The run surge was a sight for sore eyes after Arkansas struggled to score runs late in a win over Troy Sunday.
"It was good to break out because we had a chance to really break it open in the third or fourth inning Sunday and didn't," Van Horn said. "Tonight we got a break and we capitalized and scored almost every inning. That was good to see.
"It was a tough day to play with the temperature the way it was."
Arkansas not only got timely hitting, but good all-around production from the plate in their first midweek game of the season. The Razorbacks drew 14 walks and were hit by pitches two more times.
"The walks had a lot to do with it," Arkansas hitting coach Todd Butler said. "I was disappointed Sunday because we sat on our lead. I've been trying to push from this offense to go 1 through 9 and go nine innings."
The Razorbacks got the kind of production their coach was looking for with seven of the eight position players recording at least one hit and six of eight scoring at least one run.
Wilkins continued his brilliant early season hitting with RBIs in the first and third innings to tie the game, drawing a bases loaded walk in the fourth and an RBI-double in the fifth. The junior now has 11 RBIs in his last four games.
"He's special," Butler said. "You don't get the opportunity very often to get left-handed hitters like him and Zack Cox. Wilkins is as pure a hitter as anyone in the country and a guy that does not get recognition. You don't see him in all the publications but he's one of the best in the country."
As clutch as the bats were against the Jayhawks (4-2), the Razorback pitching was just as impressive.
Starter TJ Forrest gave up two Kansas runs with two outs in the first, but the bullpen shut the Jayhawks down afterward. Arkansas didn't allow another run until a Jimmy Waters home run to lead off the eighth inning.
Sophomore Geoffrey Davenport (1-1) picked up the win for Arkansas, pitching two shutout innings. Jeremy Heatley followed the winning pitcher with two scoreless innings of his own and junior left-hander Jason Fuqua had a good comeback from a case of strep throat, tossing two innings and striking out three batters.
"I thought Jason looked extremely good especially being down with strep throat since Friday night," Van Horn said. "His breaking ball was really sharp. He got some backward Ks on that breaking ball and it was really good to see.
"I was really impressed with our pitchers. They threw a lot of strikes and you take away the first inning…and it was impressive out of the bullpen."
Arkansas took the lead in the fourth inning. James McCann led off the inning with a single and was followed by an Eibner double – one of two extra base hits for the junior on the day. McCann scored on a wild pitch and Eibner later scored the first of his four runs on a bases loaded walk to give the Hogs a 4-2 lead.
The Razorbacks blew the game open with a five-run fifth inning that included a three-run home run from Jarrod McKinney, his first home run of the season.
Freshman shortstop Matt Reynolds snapped an early-season slump in the sixth with an RBI single that scored Eibner to increase the lead to 10-2. Monk Kreder added to that with a two-run home run in the seventh, his first home run as a Razorback.
Kansas walked the first three batters of the eighth inning. Eibner scored on a fielder's choice, Tim Carver scored on an RBI single from Collin Kuhn and McKinney scored his fourth run on a bases loaded walk by Kreder.
The 15 runs were a season-high for the Razorbacks.
Arkansas will next travel to California for a three-game weekend series beginning Friday. The Bears (6-1) didn't play a midweek series in preparation for the Razorbacks.
Arkansas won two of three from California last season in Fayetteville.
Arkansas 15, Kansas 3
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