Hogs Shutout Bulldogs Behind Scroggins Gem
FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. – The 10th-ranked Arkansas Baseball team bounced back from its first home loss of the year Sunday to shutout Louisiana Tech, 11-0, winning its first rubber match of the season behind a career performance from right-handed pitcher Cody Scroggins.
The redshirt junior went a career-long six innings and struck out a career-high 11 batters, while walking only one and giving up two singles on 88 pitches. Scroggins didn’t even allow a baserunner past first base for his entire outing and retired seven of the first eight he faced. Sunday’s game was his’ first victory of the year and first decision in 27 career appearances dating back to 2016.
Arkansas (12-2) got a more well-rounded performance from its offense starting with a four-run second inning, capped by a three-run home run by sophomore Casey Martin. It was his only hit of the game, but marked his third game with three or more RBIs this season. Martin’s bat heated up toward the end of the series as he drove in six runs in his last eight at-bats, all from three-run home runs.
Jack Kenley and Jacob Nesbit both turned in two-hit games as well as Arkansas totaled 12 hits as a team, its sixth game this year with 10 or more hits and second of the series.
The Hogs never looked back after jumping on Louisiana Tech (10-5) early, adding one more run in the sixth and then six more in the seventh as the offense was clicking once the Bulldogs had to go to their bullpen. In that inning, Arkansas sent 11 men to the plate with eight of the first nine reaching base. Heston Kjerstad got the rally going with one of his three hits in the game, a double to score Martin. It was followed by five singles, four that drove in runs as Nesbit, Casey Opitz, Matt Goodheart and Christian Franklin all found the hit column.
First Shutout, Best Shutout
Arkansas finally tallied its first shutout of the year with the 11-0 win over Louisiana Tech Sunday at Baum-Walker Stadium, its first since shutting out South Carolina on both ends of a seven-inning doubleheader on April 14. The Razorback pitching staff only allowed three hits in the game, tying for its lowest total in any game this year (Charlotte – March 6), and walked only three, its 11th game of three or less. Arkansas tallied six shutouts as a team a year ago, two coming in SEC play.
Back To The Casey Martin We Know
Infielder Casey Martin hammered his third home run of the year into the Hog Pen seats in the second inning of Sunday’s game, his second home run in as many games. The three home runs now ties him for the team lead with Trevor Ezell and Jack Kenley. Coming into the series with Louisiana Tech, Martin only had three hits and one RBI in his last five games. Now, he’s tallied six RBIs and three hits in his last two games and is tied for second on the team with 14 RBIs.
Welcome To The Show Kid
Freshman right-hander Elijah Trest made his collegiate debut in the ninth inning on Sunday, striking out the side on 20 pitches to help secure Arkansas’ 12th victory of the year. Trest is the seventh different freshman pitcher to see time on the mound so far this season and fourth to strike out the side in their first collegiate inning of work (C. Monke, P. Wicklander, E. Taylor).
“Just a tremendous response by our team after a tough loss yesterday, letting a four-run lead slip away from us in the middle of the game. Today, it all started with Cody Scroggins; he just had a great game. Six innings, 80-something pitches, threw pretty much nothing but strikes. When he got behind, he found a way to come back. He used a lot of sliders, a few changeups, a lot of fastballs. He kind of just pounded the bottom of the strike zone. I’m super happy for him, but he gave us what we needed.” – Head coach Dave Van Horn on the series win over Louisiana Tech and Cody Scroggins’ performance
“Yesterday it got a little crazy with the wind. Mentally, I think we just did a better job. We saw a lot of pitches like we did the first ballgame. We weren’t swinging at stuff when it wasn’t there, basically wasn’t a good pitch to hit. Today was a lot better of getting our pitch to hit and maybe getting in a little better hitter counts. Obviously, the result was good. We ended up scoring 11 runs and earned most of them.” – Head coach Dave Van Horn on the hitting approach
“I wanted to be a starter, but it wasn’t too important to me. Wherever the team needs me they can put me, to be honest. If I need to close a little bit and give (Matt) Cronin a break I can, middle-relief, start. But, I’ve been kind of starting lately and they’ve been telling me to get three or four and today I went a little bit extra because everything was kind of working for me today.” – Cody Scroggins on if he wanted to be a starter this year from the beginning
“Good teams find a way to win on Sundays, and I think today we definitely came out and showed them what kind of team we can be. We can clean some things up defensively still and we can improve in hitting, but as far as pitching, overall, I thought the pitching was outstanding today, a lot better than yesterday. That’s kind of what we expect, especially from these younger guys looking up to these older guys like Scroggins. I mean, the talent is there they just need to follow and trust the approach and I think we’ll be alright.” – Casey Martin on the team’s ability to win series-deciding games at home
Arkansas continues the homestand on Tuesday and Wednesday with a two-game midweek series against Western Illinois. Tuesday’s game is slated for 6:30 p.m., while Wednesday’s game will start at 3 p.m. Both games will be televised on SEC Network+.
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