Balanced Offense Gives Razorbacks Series Over Crimson Tide
TUSCALOOSA, Ala. – The game started with a lead-off home run by sophomore Casey Martin and then the heart of eighth-ranked Arkansas’ order took it the rest of the way combining for 11 of the Razorbacks’ 14 hits in a 10-2 series-clinching win over Alabama Sunday afternoon at Sewell-Thomas Stadium.
Arkansas (20-4, 5-1 SEC) wins its second-straight Southeastern Conference series to open league play and wins its first conference road series since 2017. Alabama (19-6, 2-4 SEC) drops its second-straight SEC series with the loss.
The Razorbacks got the offense kickstarted by Martin’s home run and later scored four runs in the fourth inning to put some distance between them and the Tide, making it 8-2 before the midway point of the game.
Five different Razorbacks recorded two or more hits in the game with sophomore Heston Kjerstad and Dominic Fletcher leading all hitters with three hits each. Kjerstad was a 3-for-4 at the plate, including a double. It’s Kjerstad’s second three-hit game of the series and sixth game with three or more hits this year.
Fletcher went 3-for-5 with two singles and an eighth-inning home run, his fourth of the year and second of the weekend. Fletcher is on a five-game hit streak heading into Tuesday’s midweek game at Missouri State and has three multi-hit performances during that stretch.
Matt Goodheart and Trevor Ezell also had two hits in the game. It’s Ezell’s first two-hit game since March 2, while Goodheart continues to surge as he finished the series 5-for-8 (.625) with two double and two runs scored.
On the mound, redshirt junior Cody Scroggins earned his second victory of the year after working five innings with two runs allowed, one being earned on three hits with three strikeouts. Scroggins has thrown five or more innings in each of his last three starts and hasn’t allowed more than three hits in either of those outings.
Getting Out Of The Slump
Sophomore Casey Martin got out of his slump in a major way early Sunday, hitting his team-leading fifth home run on the second pitch of the game from Alabama starter Wil Freeman. Martin’s long ball traveled well over the left field wall and was Arkansas’ first home run to lead off a game since Eric Cole did it against LSU on May 4, 2018. Martin finished the game 2-for-6 with two runs scored, his first multi-hit game since March 13 against Western Illinois.
Playing The Long Game
It’s been a successful week for the Razorback offense after a win at Texas and two victories at Alabama. In all three wins, the Hog offense scored 10 or more runs and hit two or more home runs. On Sunday against the Crimson Tide, Martin and junior Dominic Fletcher both went deep, giving the Razorbacks four home runs in the series and 26 as a team for the year. Fletcher’s home run in the eighth put a cap on the 10-run outburst on Sunday and upped Arkansas’ record to 10-2 when hitting a home run this year.
Coming Back Swinging
Arkansas has had some of its biggest games, offensively, this season after coming off of a loss. In the four games following a defeat, the Razorbacks are averaging 10.8 runs a game and 1.5 home runs a game. The offense is hitting .315 in those four games with Heston Kjerstad leading all Razorbacks with 10 or more at-bats with a .556 average (10-for-18) and has seven RBIs.
Arkansas finishes its six-game road trip with a lone midweek game at Missouri State where it will take on the Bears at Hammons Field in Springfield, Missouri on Tuesday. First pitch is slated for 6:30 p.m.
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