By Mark Lane (@therealmarklane)
FAYETTEVILLE — The Razorbacks had five players record multi-hit games as Arkansas dismantled the ULM Warhawks 11-2 at Baum Stadium Wednesday.
Senior Jake Arledge and junior Luke Bonfield led all hitters with three hits apiece. Arledge scored three times and also drove in three runs. Bonfield was a perfect 3-of-3 at the plate with two RBIs.
For Arledge, it was his second three-hit game of the year, matching a career best. For Bonfield, it was his third multi-hit game in his last four games and his second consecutive three-hit game of 2017.
Freshman Jax Biggers, freshman Dominic Fletcher, and junior Chad Spanberger each had two-hit games. Fletcher belted a three-run homer in the first inning that put the Razorbacks on the board.
Sophomore pitcher Kacey Murphy was impressive from the mound in his first career start as he went five innings and struck out nine batters, both career highs. Murphy only gave up two earned runs and scattered three hits in his best collegiate performance to date.
Head coach Dave Van Horn was impressed with Murphy’s first career start.
“He had three pitches working,” said Van Horn. “He was ahead in the count. He was throwing his fastball to both sides of the plate. I felt like their hitters couldn’t just sit on fastball. They were looking fastball a lot of times, and he threw the change-up, and they were out in front and over the top of it.
“And then he would drop some pretty good breaking balls down in there and get some guys to go out of the zone with it. The way you get strikeouts is you throw strike one, and they get on the defensive side of it, and he did a great job of it.”
For the Rogers, Arkansas native, the nine-strikeout performance is a confidence builder.
Said Murphy: “I just want to try to prove my spot and I can work from there. I can start now. I can be short relief. I can be a situation guy. Whatever the coach tells me to do, I’ll just do it, and hopefully get the same results.”
Thanks to Murphy’s performance, the Hogs starting pitchers have struck out 39 batters over 25 innings with all but one pitching through the fifth inning.
The Razorbacks remain unbeaten at home now with an 8-0 mark. Arkansas will host Rhode Island at Baum Stadium for a three-game series starting Friday at 3:00 p.m. The action can be heard live on Fox Sports Radio 1400 AM with pregame at 2:30 p.m.