FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. — "This could have been a trap game," Dave Van Horn admitted after the final out. "But, our guys showed up today."
On a cold, rainy afternoon, series win already in hand, a lack of focus would've been understandable. But that's not this Razorback team, as they proved in a 9-5 win over Gonzaga, advancing to 7-0 on the season.
Caleb Bolden got the start, and was sharp out the gate, before starting to tire. Freshman Robert Moore continued his hot streak, getting the scoring going with an RBI single in the second. Gonzaga threatened that thin margin a couple of times, but the defense came through with inning-ending double plays in the second and third.
In the fourth, Bolden gave up two singles to lead things off and was replaced by Marshall Denton. Throwing almost nothing but breaking balls, Denton erased the threat with three straight strikeouts, shouting his way back to the dugout to a big reaction from the Baum faithful.
Christian Franklin lead off the bottom of the frame with a solo homer to make it 2-0. After singles from backup catcher Dominic Tamez and Cole Austin, Moore came through with another RBI single. Matt Goodheart drove in two more with a ground ball through the right side, though Heston Kjerstad ended the inning by being thrown out at home, trying to make that three.
The Bulldogs finally broke through for three in the top of the fifth. In the bottom, Casey Martin finally broke through, depositing his first home run of the season into the Hog bullpen to build a 6-3 lead.
After another Gonzaga run in the sixth, Arkansas pulled away with a three-spot in the bottom half, eventually going on to a 9-5 victory. They'll put the perfect start to the test next weekend in the Shriner's Classic in Houston, where they'll see Texas, Oklahoma, and Baylor