Razorbacks Slug Way To Second Series Sweep
FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. – The 12th-ranked Arkansas Baseball team hit four home runs and had seven of its 15 hits go for extra bases on Saturday as it slugged its way to a 15-7 win over Stony Brook, sweeping the series at Baum-Walker Stadium.
Junior Jack Kenley hit two of Arkansas’ home runs, his first multi-home run game of the year and was the first Razorback to hit two home runs in a game this year. Trevor Ezell and Christian Franklin also went deep for their second home runs of the season. Kenley finished the game 2-for-4 with a career-high five RBIs and three runs scored to lead all Razorbacks.
It’s the second time this year Arkansas has hit four home runs in a game and the trio of Kenley, Ezell and Franklin make up seven of the Hogs’ 10 home runs through the season’s first 10 games.
Arkansas (9-1) was down to Stony Brook (3-6) early after the Sea Wolves scored twice in the first inning, but the Hogs’ responded with four runs of their own in the bottom half as their first five batters of the game reached base and three runs scored before Stony Brook recorded its first out.
From there, the Razorbacks went on to score five runs in the fourth, breaking the game open with Ezell’s two-run home run to right-center field. Then, three more runs came in during the fifth followed by another two in the sixth as Arkansas had the long ball working.
Razorback starting pitcher Connor Noland ended up throwing three innings and giving up three runs on six hits, but threw well in the second and third innings with some help from his defense. Sophomore Zebulon Vermillion picked up his second win of the year after throwing the fifth and sixth innings with only one hit allowed and two strikeouts. In his five appearances this year, Vermillion has allowed no more than one hit in any outing and given up just one earned run in 5.2 innings.
Putting it To ‘Em
After winning both games of the doubleheader with Stony Brook on Friday by two runs or less, Arkansas jumped out to a 15-3 lead going into the ninth inning and looked primed for its largest victory of the year. The Sea Wolves did strike for four in the ninth, but Saturday’s game marked the fourth time this year Arkansas has scored 10 or more runs and the Hogs are 4-0 in those games.
Jacked Times Two
Junior infielder Jack Kenley had not hit a home run in 77 career games prior to the 2019 season. Now, he has three through the season’s first 10 games, which not only leads the team, but is well within the top-six of all SEC players. Kenley’s two home run day was the first for a Hog this year and the first since Heston Kjerstad did it against Oral Roberts in last year’s NCAA Regional opener (June 1, 2018).
Franklin Earning His Stripes
Freshman outfielder Christian Franklin has started eight of Arkansas’ 10 games this year and has consistently produced in the nine-hole of the lineup. After going 3-for-5 at the plate on Saturday and totaling three RBIs with a home run, Franklin leads the team with five multi-RBI games with nine of his 12 RBIs coming in the last six games. Franklin has also been a tough out as he has reached base in six of 10 games and is second on the team with a .485 on-base percentage.
Trevor Ezell, Mr. Consistent
Once again, Trevor Ezell found his way into the hit column as he went 2-for-4 with three RBIs and a home run in the 15-7 win. Ezell has reached base safely in all 10 games and recorded at least one hit in nine games with five of the multi-hit variety. Just in the series against Stony Brook, Ezell hit .455 (5-for-11) with a triple, a home run and four RBIs. In the seven home games, the redshirt senior is batting .500 (13-for-26) and slugging an astounding .885.
“I thought the team responded pretty good today. I was a little concerned after yesterday. We’d already won the series along with the weather and the temperature. I knew Stony Brook would come out and give us a good big game. It was a big game for them. They wanted to get out of here with a win. They jumped on us for a couple of runs in the first inning, but we came out and did a great job scoring. We ended up scoring four, but we just needed to cut that lead in half. We changed the momentum a little bit and we ended up getting the lead. They battled pretty good.” – Head coach Dave Van Horn on getting the sweep over Stony Brook
“It’s nice to have that down there. Obviously, we know the guys up top are going to get their RBIs. It’s just a matter of when they’re going to get it rolling. It’s what I told the guys, ‘We’ve played 10 games and we haven’t played our best baseball by any means.’ We’ve played just good enough to win in some and pitched really well in most. We’re not swinging the bats great yet. We’re just swinging it okay, but we’ve gotten some timely hits. Franklin’s been in the nine hole, like our second leadoff guy. But a guy that I like having on base for (Casey) Martin and Heston (Kjerstad) to hopefully knock them in at some point in the game. He’s done a tremendous job there.” – Head coach Dave Van Horn on the bottom of the lineup producing
Arkansas returns to Baum-Walker Stadium to continue its homestand on Tuesday and Wednesday with a midweek series against Charlotte. Both games are scheduled for a 3 p.m. first pitch and will be televised on SEC Network+.
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