The Razorbacks finally picked up some clutch hits Sunday, as they collected three different two-out RBI knocks en route to a 4-2 win over the Illinois State Redbirds.
Arkansas sophomore right-hander Jaxon Wiggins earned his first win as a starter, and the Hogs took the series two games to one.
Wiggins struggled in the early going, surrendering a pair of singles in the second inning and allowing the first runner to score on an RBI fielder’s choice.
As he settled down over the next three frames, the Arkansas bats came to life. Freshman first baseman Peyton Stovall recorded his first collegiate hit, an opposite-field double in the third. Junior second baseman Robert Moore led off the fourth with a double to center, and he eventually scored on a two-strike, two-out single by junior right fielder Zack Gregory.
In the fifth, Stovall and Moore scored on two-out singles by graduate left fielder Chris Lanzilli and senior designated hitter Brady Slavens, respectively.
Wiggins finished his outing with five hits, two walks and five strikeouts. Head coach Dave Van Horn turned to senior pitcher Kole Ramage to take care of the rest of the game, and the righty did just that. He struck out four of the first five Redbirds he saw, and allowed only a solo home run in the eighth.
Leading 3-2, Gregory led off the eighth with a walk, and senior shortstop Jalen Battles drove him in with a double to pad the lead. Ramage worked around a pinch-hit single in the ninth to seal the victory and a 12-out save.
The Razorbacks will head to Dell Diamond in Round Rock, Texas, next week for the Karbach Round Rock Classic. They are slated to take on Indiana, Stanford and Louisiana before returning home to Baum-Walker Stadium to play Omaha on March 2.