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Fort Smith/Fayetteville News | 5newsonline KFSM 5NEWS | Get the local news and weather where you live from 5NEWS. Covering Fort Smith, Fayetteville, Bentonville, and all of Northwest Arkansas and the River Valley.

Diamond Hogs stay perfect with game two win over Gonzaga

Connor Noland able to limit damage on mound
Credit: KFSM

FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. — It took the bats a few innings to warm up again, but once they got going it was more than enough to power Arkansas to a 9-3 win over Gonzaga.

Connor Noland made the start Friday afternoon, struggling slightly with command early but limiting damage. His Bulldog counterpart, Mac Lardner, didn’t allow a baserunner until issuing a two out walk in the third inning to Robert Moore.

Neither team could break through until the fourth inning. Matt Goodheart drew a walk, advanced to second on a bunt by Casey Martin, and came around to score when Christian Franklin laced a single up the middle for the first Arkansas hit of the game.

Gonzaga responded with a run in the top of the fifth to tie the game, then Arkansas turned to small ball. Casey Opitz and Cole Austin opened the frame with singles, then Moore executed a perfect slash and run, knocking an RBI single through the whole on the left side of the infield to put the Diamond Hogs up 2-1. Braydon Webb followed with a RBI bunt to score Austin. After a Heston Kjerstad bunt single loaded the bases, a wild pitch made the score 4-1 Arkansas. Franklin notched his second RBI of the day with a sac fly, and the Hogs ended the fifth leading 5-1.

Noland gave up a two run homer in the sixth, but managed to finish the inning, finishing with 3 strikeouts, 5 hits, and 3 runs allowed in six innings.

In the bottom of the sixth, the Razorbacks added a pair of insurance runs. The in the seventh, Opitz put an exclamation point on the game, launching a two-run shot over the visitor’s bullpen. He finished 3-4, a double shy of the cycle.

With the 9-3 win, Arkansas stays a perfect 5-0 on the season. They’ll go for the series win Saturday at 2PM, when Patrick Wicklander takes the bump at Baum.