FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. - The No. 25 Arkansas baseball team (6-0) earned a come-from-behind victory Sunday with another explosive eighth inning to claim an 8-3 win over Eastern Illinois (1-6) that completed the Razorbacks' second sweep in as many series this season.
True freshman centerfielder Andrew Benintendi continued a torrid start to his Razorback career by blasting his first collegiate home run in the bottom of the third. Benintendi took a first-pitch fastball into the visitor's bullpen in right field for a two-run homer that gave Arkansas a 2-0 lead. He finished the day 2-for-4 at the plate with two RBI and three runs scored. Tyler Spoon recorded three RBI when he broke the game open with a bases-clearing double in the bottom of the eighth. Brett McAfee had two RBI, including a sacrifice fly in the bottom of the seventh that put Arkansas on top 4-3 two batters after Brian Anderson singled to score Benintendi with the tying run.
Junior right-handed pitcher Jacob Stone (2-0) picked up the win for the Razorbacks after 1.2 innings pitched with zero runs allowed. He finished the seventh after being called on with one out and then, after Arkansas had taken a 4-3 lead in the bottom of the inning, retired the Panthers 1-2-3 in the top of the eighth. Freshman Zach Jackson came on in the third inning and threw 3.0 shutout innings while allowing just two hits and striking out three.
Arkansas wraps up its season-opening 10-game home stand with three games against South Alabama next weekend and a Monday matinee against IPFW. Game times for the South Alabama series are 3:05 p.m. Friday, 12:05 p.m. Saturday and 1:05 p.m. Sunday. Arkansas and IPFW are set for a 3:05 p.m. first pitch Monday, March 3.