10-run 6th inning propels Arkansas

Arkansas starter Ben Bybee delivers a pitch Wednesday, March 15, 2023, during the first inning of the Razorbacks’ 5-2 win over UNLV at Baum-Walker Stadium in Fayetteville.
Arkansas starter Ben Bybee delivers a pitch Wednesday, March 15, 2023, during the first inning of the Razorbacks’ 5-2 win over UNLV at Baum-Walker Stadium in Fayetteville.

FAYETTEVILLE -- Arkansas ended its 18-game homestand on a high note Tuesday.

The Razorbacks' third-ranked baseball team scored 10 runs in the sixth inning to break open a close game and run-ruled Southeast Missouri State 12-2 in seven innings at Baum-Walker Stadium.

The University of Arkansas (19-2) won its 14th consecutive game and improved to 17-1 at home.

"It's been a great homestand for us," Arkansas Coach Dave Van Horn said. "We've learned a lot about our team. I think the guys are enjoying hanging out with each other and playing hard, and they're pulling for each other."

Leading 2-1 at the start of the inning, Arkansas sent 13 batters to the plate and forced the Redhawks to change pitchers three times in the sixth inning. Caleb Cali reached on a lead-off error by SEMO third baseman Ben Palmer, and the Redhawks did not record an out until Cali struck out in his second at-bat and the Razorbacks' 10th at-bat of the inning.

Southeast Missouri State (10-13) committed 4 errors, walked 3 batters and threw 1 wild pitch during the inning. Arkansas' 10 runs were their most in an inning this season, topping a nine-run third inning during a 15-6 win over Louisiana Tech on Match 12.

"It was real fun," said Reese Robinett, who singled and struck out during the inning. "It kind of went one guy at a time and went through the whole lineup.

"That was just real fun seeing everybody compete and just fight. No matter if it was a walk or a big hit, it just kind of passed down to the next guy in the lineup."

Jayson Jones, Hunter Grimes, Jared Wegner and Harold Coll all had RBI hits in the inning, and Mason Neville walked with the bases loaded. Jones scored on a wild pitch.

Coll doubled twice in the inning, and his second hit scored two runs to give the Razorbacks an 11-1 lead that put the run rule into play. Coll scored after Palmer's second throwing error of the inning to put Arkansas ahead 12-1.

The Redhawks scored once in the seventh against Arkansas reliever Zack Morris, who earned his second three-inning save. Morris allowed 3 hits and 1 walk, and struck out 5 during his 51-pitch outing.

Arkansas freshman right-hander Ben Bybee allowed 1 run, walked 3 and struck out 5 during his 4-inning, 73-pitch start. It was Bybee's second win in seven days.

"Bybee threw the ball pretty well," Van Horn said. "He didn't have the velocity he had last week, but he had a good breaking ball. He didn't command it after the first, second inning.

"If you take away the walks, he had a good outing."

Arkansas went ahead 1-0 in the first inning when Wegner doubled and scored on Coll's fielder's choice RBI. The Razorbacks stranded two runners against SEMO right-hander Eddie White, who did not pitch past the first inning.

Wegner extended his team-best hitting streak to 14 games, Coll finished with 3 RBI, and Wegner, Coll, Jones and Robinett each had multiple hits. Arkansas out-hit SEMO 11-4.

The teams traded one-out home runs in the fourth inning. Josh Cameron's solo home run to right field tied the game 1-1, but Robinett gave the Razorbacks a 2-1 lead in the bottom of the inning with an opposite-field homer to left.

Robinett went 2 for 4 and scored twice. The freshman grew up in Kennett, Mo., about 100 miles from the Southeast Missouri State campus in Cape Girardeau.

"Thinking about that being an hour-and-a-half from my house, I kind of thought about, then I was like, 'Just go play,' " Robinett said.

SEMO threatened against Morris in the fifth inning when Palmer singled, Carlos Aranda was hit by a pitch and Gunnar Doyle walked with two outs. Morris stranded the bases loaded and preserved a 2-1 Arkansas lead when Chance Restich lined out to center field.

"He was in jeopardy a little bit there as far as keeping that lead," Van Horn said. "He found a way to get that hitter out, even though the ball was hit hard."

Van Horn sat six primary position starters for the game -- first baseman Brady Slavens, second baseman Peyton Stovall, shortstop John Bolton, center fielder Tavian Josenberger, right fielder Jace Bohrofen and catcher Parker Rowland.

"I don't know if I've ever done that," Van Horn said of sitting so many starters for a mid-week game.

Van Horn said he wanted to get experience for several players and wanted to provide rest to starters as the Razorbacks prepare to play a series at No. 1 LSU beginning Friday.

Van Horn acknowledged there was "a lot of concern" when asked if Tuesday's game against Southeast Missouri State was a trap game with the LSU series looming.

"I don't want to lose the game, but at the same time I've got to get some of these guys some experience," Van Horn said. "I'm just glad it worked out for us."


Up next

No. 3 Arkansas at No. 1 LSU

WHEN 7 p.m. Central on Friday

WHERE Alex Box Stadium, Baton Rouge

RECORDS LSU 18-2, 2-1 SEC; Arkansas 19-2, 3-0

TV ESPN2

RADIO Razorback Sports Network

SHORT HOPS Arkansas won its fourth game via run rule. The Razorbacks also run-ruled Oklahoma State (18-1 in 7 innings) on Feb. 19; Eastern Illinois (13-2 in 7) on Feb. 24; and Wright State (12-2 in 8) on March 3. … SEMO assistant coach Trevor Ezell was recognized on the video scoreboard during the game. Ezell was an All-SEC first baseman in his only season at Arkansas in 2019. He transferred to Arkansas after earning an undergraduate degree from SEMO. … The Razorbacks have homered in 17 consecutive games.

THE WEEK AHEAD

TODAY Off

THURSDAY Off

FRIDAY at LSU*, 7 p.m.

SATURDAY at LSU*, 1 p.m.

SUNDAY at LSU*, noon

MONDAY Off

TUESDAY Nebraska-Omaha, 6 p.m

*SEC game.