Smith, Tygart Smother Longhorns in Razorbacks’ Opening Day Win
ARLINGTON, Texas – Hagen Smith and Brady Tygart were virtually unhittable on Friday night, leading No. 8 Arkansas (1-0) to a 3-2 Opening Day win over Texas (0-1) in the College Baseball Showdown at Globe Life Field.
The Razorbacks have won six of their last eight games against the Longhorns, including the past two meetings between the teams in Arlington, Texas. Arkansas is now 8-5 all-time against Texas under head coach Dave Van Horn.
In front of an announced crowd of 15,721, Smith looked every bit of a preseason All-American. The left-hander stuck out eight over five scoreless innings of one-hit ball, departing the game after throwing 68 pitches in his first start of the year.
The Razorback bats would not get going until after Smith exited, however, as Arkansas and Texas exchanged zeroes until the seventh inning. Kendall Diggs’ two-run single with the bases loaded in the top half of the frame broke a scoreless tie and put the Hogs ahead, 2-0.
John Bolton followed up Diggs’ run-scoring production with some offensive firepower of his own. Making his Arkansas debut, the graduate transfer from Austin Peay hit a one-out double down the left field line, scoring Jace Bohrofen from second and putting the Razorbacks up, 3-0, in the seventh.
Texas would battle back in the bottom of the seventh, scoring a pair of runs via a solo homer and wild pitch to cut Arkansas’ lead down to one. When the Longhorns put runners on first and second with one out in the bottom of the eighth, Tygart was called upon to extinguish the threat.
The preseason All-American, who was recently named to the National Collegiate Baseball Writers Association’s preseason watch list for the Stopper of the Year Award, emerged from the bullpen and quickly proved why he is considered one of the top closers in all of college baseball. Tygart emphatically struck out both batters he faced to end the threat and maintain Arkansas’ one-run lead entering the ninth.
Tygart stayed on to pitch the bottom of the ninth, and the results were no different. The Hernando, Miss., native retired the side in order, striking out the final batter of the game to record a five-out save – the ninth of his career – and seal the Razorbacks’ 3-2 victory.
Bolton and Brady Slavens each finished with two hits to lead the Hogs offensively. Cody Adcock was credited with the win – his first as a Razorback – in middle relief, striking out two while allowing two runs on two hits in an inning of work.
Arkansas will gear up for a top-15 showdown tomorrow night against No. 15 TCU in day two of the College Baseball Showdown. First pitch between the Razorbacks and Horned Frogs is set for 7 p.m. Saturday, Feb. 18, on FloBaseball.
For complete coverage of Arkansas baseball, follow the Hogs on Twitter (@RazorbackBSB), Instagram (@RazorbackBSB) and Facebook (Arkansas Razorback Baseball).