Arkansas leveled the series with Illinois State at one game apiece Saturday afternoon as the Razorbacks downed the Redbirds 5-1. After a quiet offensive game Friday, the Hogs were able to manufacture runs with contributions up and down the lineup.
On the mound, freshman lefty Hagen Smith earned a win and a quality start in his college debut. He allowed five hits and one walk and struck out five hitters in six scoreless innings.
Junior second baseman Robert Moore opened the scoring in the second inning with the Razorbacks’ third solo home run of the weekend, a right-handed blast into the left field bullpen. In the third, senior shortstop Jalen Battles came around to score on an RBI single by sophomore third baseman Cayden Wallace with no outs.
Wallace got the next rally going in the fifth inning with a double that nearly cleared the center field fence. Senior center fielder Braydon Webb walked, and Moore drove both runners in with a double to center.
Sophomore righty Mark Adamiak took the mound after Smith, and he continued to hold the Redbirds off the scoreboard. He allowed two hits in the seventh, but he escaped unharmed after two strikeouts. The Redbirds threatened again in the eighth, but Evan Taylor and Heston Tole each recorded a strikeout to end the inning.
Graduate transfer catcher Michael Turner padded the Razorback lead in the bottom of the eighth with an RBI double to the opposite field. Tole surrendered a run in the ninth, but it was not enough for the Redbirds to mount a comeback.
The rubber match between Arkansas and Illinois State is set for 1 p.m. Sunday on the SEC Network+. Sophomore right-handed pitcher Jaxon Wiggins will get the ball for the Razorbacks against Redbird righty Derek Salata.