15-3 win secures series victory for Arkansas

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Arkansas past Kent State

By John Thomas

FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. – For the second-straight night, the sixth-ranked Arkansas Razorbacks scored 10 or more runs and notched 10 or more hits as they dominated the 18th-ranked Tennessee Volunteers, 15-3, Saturday night in Baum-Walker Stadium, not only winning the series, but earning its sixth conference victory in a row.

Arkansas (33-11, 14-6 SEC) utilized a four-run third inning and four-run fourth inning to help knock out Tennessee (31-13, 9-11 SEC) starter Garrett Stallings after 3.2 innings, his shortest outing of the season. With an 8-0 lead, freshman starter Patrick Wicklander was able to work into the sixth inning before allowing his first run, but Tennessee’s offense stayed relatively quiet the entire night.

Six different Razorbacks recorded multi-hit games with freshman Christian Franklin having the best night, going a career-high 4-for-4 with three runs scored and one RBI. Trevor Ezell and Heston Kjerstad both went 3-for-5 with seven combined RBIs. It was Ezell’s second-straight three-hit performance, while Kjerstad drove in five of Arkansas’ 15 runs off two homers. It was his fourth career multi-home run game and second of the year.

Casey Martin and Kjerstad combined for 10 RBIs in the game, seven from home runs. Martin hit a three-run homer in the third inning, his ninth of the year, while Kjerstad’s came in the sixth and seventh innings. He now has 12 home runs, which ties for second in the SEC and the five RBIs for him and Kjerstad were both season-highs.

Wicklander earned his fourth win of the year after allowing just two runs on four hits in a career-long 5.2 innings. His seven strikeouts were just one off his career best and fifth-straight outing with four or more.

The Hogs have notched 10 or more hits in six-consecutive games and eight of its last nine. On the flip side, Tennessee had allowed just 23 runs combined in its last 11 games before giving up 26 to the Razorbacks in this weekend’s series.

Arkansas will go for its second-straight SEC sweep on Sunday as it hosts the Volunteers one more time at Baum-Walker Stadium with first pitch slated for 4 p.m. The game will be televised nationally on the SEC Network.

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