FAYETTEVILLE – Arkansas scored a combined 13 runs in the fourth and fifth innings to make easy work of Centenary Tuesday night, beating the Gentlemen 18-2 at Baum Stadium.
Almost everyone got into the act for the No 10 Razorbacks (19-5) with 14 different position players seeing action in their sixth consecutive win.
"It was good to get out there and score some runs," Arkansas coach Dave Van Horn said. "I thought their starting pitcher had a good arm throwing about 90 miles per hour, but he just got a little wild. I was proud of our guys for being patient and laying off some stuff. We put together a couple of good innings.
"It's nice to be able to play some guys after seeing the starters score some runs."
As good as the Razorback bats were, the arms were equally as impressive in the win. Arkansas pitchers Sam Murphy, Christian Kowalchuk and Zack Hall combined to give up just three hits on the night. For Hall, a redshirt freshman from Springdale, it was his first time on the mound as a collegian.
"It was good to see Zack Hall come out there in his first outing, first inning and get everyone out," Van Horn said. "He didn't seem nervous and sometimes all you need is a chance. You show what you can do a little bit and you might get another one."
It was a close game until a six-run fourth inning for Arkansas. Collin Kuhn's two-run single started things to give the Hogs a 5-2 lead. Andy Wilkins later came through with an RBI on an error, Kuhn scored on a passed ball and Monk Kreder extended the lead to 9-2 with a two-run single to plate Wilkins and Zack Cox.
The onslaught continued in the next inning as the Razorbacks scored seven more times, including a Tim Carver two-run single and Kyle Robinson three-run double.
When it was all said and done what had been a 3-2 Arkansas lead through three innings became a 16-2 lead through five.
"Those innings were good," Wilkins said. "We've been getting some real big innings and scoring a lot of runs. Hopefully we can keep it going."
When the game was no longer in question all eyes turned to the third baseman Cox and his pursuit of the school's longest hit streak. After walking twice and striking out once in his first three at-bats, Cox extended his hitting streak to 24 games with an infield single in the fifth inning.
Cox is now just six games shy of the school-record of 30 games set by Randy Bobb in 1987.
"When you extend the streak with an infield hit, that's when you know you're going good," said Arkansas freshman right-fielder Matt Vinson, who finished the night 3-for-4 with an RBI. "He's just an awesome, incredible worker. He's a great hitter, but his intelligence has what has gotten him a 24-game hitting streak."
The Razorbacks scored two in the first inning and took a 3-1 lead on Wilkins' 10th home run of the season in the third inning. Wilkins finished the night 2-for-3 at the plate with four RBIs.
Centenary (8-11) scored a run in the first and fourth innings, but couldn't muster much offense afterward.
Kowalchuk (2-0) earned the win in relief of the starter Murphy. Kowalchuk went three innings, allowing no hits and no runs, while walking two batters.
In the first action of his career, Hall pitched the eighth and ninth innings, allowing one hit and striking out one batter.
The two teams will meet again Wednesday for the second of the two-game midweek series. Freshman left-hander Garrett Methvin will make the first start of his career for the Razorbacks.
Arkansas 18, Centenary 2
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