Arkansas didn’t have a whole lot of argument from Mississippi State in an 11-6 win on Sunday afternoon to sweep the SEC series. It is the Razorbacks’ sixth straight league win and sweep after dropping three in a road series at Georgia.
The Hogs used four pitchers, but it was a solid 3.2 from starter Hunter Hollan and another three from Will McEntire that led the way.
And, of course, the bats came up big again facing a Mississippi State team that fired the pitching coach last Monday and never really looked settled the entire game.
With two outs in the third, Jace Bohrofen led off getting nailed by a pitch, then stealing second and scoring on a line single by Ben McLaughlin. Brady Slavens then homered (that seems to be a recurring theme lately) on a ball that bounced out of the stadium in right field for a 3-0 lead.
Mississippi State tied things up in the bottom of the third when Hollan walked two batters with two outs and had two balks, the second one costing the Hogs a run. Hunter Hines hit his 22nd homer of the year with a massive shot to right field. That tied it at 3-3.
The Hogs roared right back, using two walks and a hit batter with a fielder’s choice to score three on a double by Bohrofen (that’s another one of those things happening a lot lately), including a slide at home by Kendall Diggs on a late tag by Bulldogs catcher Ross Highfill. All of that gave gave the Razorbacks a 6-3 lead.
In the bottom of the fourth Hollan let Mississippi State chip into the lead when Nate Chester delivered a two-out double. Hollan walked another guy and Van Horn saw enough, switching to Cody Adcock.
Hollan pitched 4.2 innings, giving up four runs on four hits, walking three and having two balk calls, one of them handing the Bulldogs that run in the third inning.
There was a scary moment in the fifth when the Hogs’ Jason Jones had a pitch inside glance off his helmet and he dropped like a rock. He jumped up a few minutes later after likely checking to see if everything was still attached, but Van Horn took him out for the rest of the game as a precautionary move.
Mason Neville came in for Jones and got to second when Mississippi State shortstop David Mershon couldn’t field a ground ball by Peyton Holt.and John Bolton worked a walk to load the bases with two outs for Diggs, who got a pitch down the middle he put into the 12-18 mile an hour wind and it cleared the right-field wall for a 10-4 lead. Bohrofen came up next and, of course, hit another homer to right field for an 11-4 edge.
In the sixth the Bulldogs chipped back into the lead with a leadoff single and a homer by Amani Larry that cut the lead to 11-6. Adcock got one more batter was starting to struggle, bringing in Zack Morris, who last played against Lipscomb a couple of weeks ago.
The Razorbacks will host South Carolina for a three-game series next week in the final home league meeting at Baum-Walker Stadium at 6:30 p.m. Friday. The game Saturday will be at 6 p.m. with the final matchup Sunday at 2 p.m.