FAYETTEVILLE (KFSM) – Leaving runners on base has been an issue for Arkansas in recent weeks and they had their fair share of problems on Friday night as well but they got two big hits when it mattered most.
Casey Martin’s second inning grand slam and Casey Opitz’s three-run triple in the seventh inning was enough offense for the Razorbacks to take down No. 3 Mississippi State 12-5. Arkansas has taken the first two games of the series and will go for the three game sweep on Saturday.
Martin’s blast over the centerfield wall gave the Hogs a 5-0 lead but Mississippi State continued to chip away at the Arkansas advantage. The Bulldogs trailed 7-2 in the fifth but a three-run home run but Justin Foscue cut the Razorbacks’ lead to a pair. From that point, it looked like left runners on base would again be an issue for Arkansas as they left the bases loaded in the fifth and then grounded into a bases loaded double play in the sixth to end the frame.
Arkansas was able to take advantage of errant command and one timely hit in the seventh to blow the game open. Mississippi State’s Cole Gordon allowed an infield single and four walks in the seventh inning to see the Razorbacks push their lead to 9-5 then Opitz delivered the final blow. His line drive to right field was misplayed by the Bulldogs’ Elijah MacNamee, allowing all three runs to score as the Arkansas catcher ended up at third with a three run triple.
Mississippi State pitchers walked 15 Razorback batters in the game.
Heston Kjerstad went 1-for-4 with an RBI but was ejected in the seventh inning after he struck out looking with the bases loaded. Kjerstad argued with the home plate umpire after a delayed strike three call.