Diamond Hogs show power in Game 2
Posted: October 12, 2012 at 7:09 p.m.
FAYETTEVILLE Arkansas coaches have touted the strength of freshman infielder Isaac Hellbusch since he signed out of Deer Creek (Okla.) High School last fall.
On Friday, Hellbusch gave Razorbacks fans a glimpse of his power. His towering three-run home run over the bullpen in left field capped the scoring in Game 2 of Arkansas' fall series, a 5-0 win for the White team at Baum Stadium.
The win evened the best-of-seven series at one game each.
"He smoked that ball today," Arkansas coach Dave Van Horn said. "Earlier in the game he had crushed one into the wind. That rain had just gone through here and if he had hit that same ball as later, he would have had two home runs today.
"He does have some power. I think that was his third or fourth home run this fall and he has four or five doubles. He's got pull power, takes good swings and he's had a good fall at the plate."
Hellbusch's eighth home run ended a rally started by outfielder Brian Anderson, his former high school teammate, two innings earlier. Anderson broke a scoreless tie with a RBI single to plate Jacob Mahan in the top of sixth.
Matt Vinson added a solo home run in the top of the seventh inning to extend the White lead to 2-0.
"We kind of had to rely on the long ball today, but we got runs across and that's what matters," Hellbusch said.
"I've been working on my power. I've always been a bigger guy since little league and that's helped me through the years. I've progressed a lot this fall."
Anderson's hit accounted for the only run allowed by either starting pitcher. Trent Daniel pitched 5 2/3 scoreless innings to pace the White team, striking out four and walking two on a 90-pitch count.
For a while, he was matched pitch-for-pitch by senior left-hander Ty Wright, who struck out six batters in 5 2/3 innings on the mound for the Cardinal team.
"They both did a good job," Van Horn said. "Both of those guys could start for us, especially if we're facing a team that is left-handed dominant offensively. Right now on the weekends, they're probably more middle relievers. Maybe we can get them in mid-week a start or in a tournament a start.
"Daniel has had a good fall. Wright is probably the one I've seen a major change in his work ethic and the way he walks around out here, and his demeanor. He's had a good fall, too."
Daniel's defense bailed him out in the top of the fifth inning, turning a 1-2-3 double play with the bases loaded. The Cardinal team stranded two more in each the sixth and seventh innings against reliever Thomas Altimont.
Altimont, a transfer from McClennan Community College in Waco, Texas, struck out four in 1 2/3 innings, working around three walks.
"Altimont came in less touted, but he's had a very good fall for us," Van Horn said. "Just his makeup - he's always bouncing around the park and smiling, and he's got a feel for the game. He's the one I didn't expect as much as we're getting from him. He's been very impressive.
Brandon Moore induced a double play in the bottom of the eighth before working a perfect ninth to record the save.
First baseman Eric Fisher led the Cardinal team offensively for the second consecutive game, recording hits in his first two at-bats. The redshirt sophomore had three hits in a 5-4 Cardinal win on Thursday.
The team will scrimmage again Sunday at 2 p.m. in Game 3 of the series. All games are free and open to the public.