Photo Courtesy: UA Athletics (Walt Beazley)
FAYETTEVILLE - The No. 24 Arkansas baseball team (21-13) raced out to an early lead Wednesday evening and picked up a 9-2 victory over No. 17 UNLV (23-10) at Baum Stadium.
Freshman Alex Phillips (3-0) was sensational in his sixth career start, tossing 6.0 shutout innings and giving up one hit and one walk. He took a no-hitter to the fifth inning before surrendering a two-out single up the middle. Phillips faced just one batter over the minimum and turned the game over to the bullpen, where Jacob Stone, Zach Jackson and Michael Gunn slammed the door on the Rebels.
The Arkansas offense came up big early, scoring seven runs in the first four innings, including a four spot in the second frame thanks to a three-run blast to left field by Tyler Spoon. Five different players recorded multiple hits in game, including Joe Serrano who reached base in four of his five plate appearances.
Jake Wise and Michael Bernal added two hits apiece and each scored a pair of runs at the bottom of the order, while Clark Eagan posted two hits of his own, including a leadoff triple in the third inning.
Brian Anderson legged out an infield single in the second inning to extend his hitting streak to 10 games, as Arkansas reached double digits in the hit column for the 13th time this season.
The Razorbacks return to SEC action this weekend, traveling to No. 8 LSU for a three-game series with the Tigers at Alex Box Stadium. First pitch on Friday is set for 7 p.m. as Arkansas looks for its first series victory in Baton Rouge since the 2004 season.
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Head Coach Dave Van Horn Quotes
Arkansas Head Coach Dave Van Horn (opening statement) - "Just a good bounce back win for us, getting ready to get on the road tomorrow. Needed a win against a good team and we got it. (RHP) Alex Phillips came out, kind of pitched the way he pitched in the fall. Spotting his fastball on both sides of the plate, few changeups to the lefties every now and then, and kind of throwing a breaking ball around the plate for a strike. He gave us six good innings against a good hitting team,"
Arkansas Head Coach Dave Van Horn (on Jake Wise) - "He hit three balls on nose, got two hits, a safety bunt for an RBI. He had a good night. He was smiling a little bit. This game is a lot about confidence and I think he gained a little today."
Arkansas head Coach Dave Van Horn (on LSU this weekend) - "It's a good team. A lot of left handed hitters in the lineup, three outfielders that can really run. They like to hit and run and bunt. It's just a weekend you go down and play. It's just like every weekend. Friday night starter, (RHP) Aaron Nola, has been incredible his whole career there. The last two years he's been almost unstoppable. We've got our hands full. We are going to have to play a great game if we're going to beat them on Friday.
• The Razorbacks improved to 8-0 on the year wearing the all-white uniforms.
• Arkansas moved to 18-3 on the season when scoring first, and 8-2 when scoring in the first inning.
• The Razorbacks have allowed two runs or less in 20 of 34 games this season and have held opponents to four hits or less in 11 contests.
• Brian Anderson extended his hitting streak to 10 games with an infield single in the second inning. He is hitting .351 over the last 10 games with a .432 on base percentage.
• The Razorbacks recorded home runs in back-to-back games for the third time this season when Tyler Spoon connected on a three-run blast in the second inning.
• Tyler Spoon is tied with Brian Anderson for the team lead with three home runs. No other player has more than one long ball.
• Joe Serrano recorded his team-leading 12th multi-hit game of the season.
How They Scored
• Arkansas 1, UNLV 0; Bottom 1: Brian Anderson flied out to center field; Tyler Spoon scored on the sacrifice.
• Arkansas 2, UNLV 0; Bottom 2: Michael Bernal singled through the right side; Clark Eagan scored.
• Arkansas 5, UNLV 0; Bottom 2: Tyler Spoon homered to left field; Jake Wise and Michael Bernal scored.
• Arkansas 6, UNLV 0; Bottom 3: Jake Wise sacrifice bunted down the first base line; Clark Eagan scored.
• Arkansas 7, UNLV 0; Bottom 4: Andrew Benintendi scored on a wild pitch.
• Arkansas 7, UNLV 1; Top 7: T.J. White hit a solo home run.
• Arkansas 7, UNLV 2; Top 7: Joey Swanner doubled to right center field; Erik Vanmeetren scored.
• Arkansas 9, UNLV 2; Bottom 7: Andrew Benintendi doubled down the first base line; Jake Wise and Michael Bernal scored.
David Beall: Assistant Communications Director