FAYETTEVILLE (NWAOnline.com) - Whether hitting from the left or right side, Dominic Ficociello was clutch Sunday.
The freshman switch-hitter went 3-for-4 with four RBIs as No. 24 Arkansas beat Utah 10-1 to complete a weekend sweep at Baum Stadium.
From the left side, Ficociello had an RBI double in the second inning and an RBI single in the fifth. From the right side, the Fullerton, Calif., native added a two-run double in a six-run sixth inning that allowed the Razorbacks to break the game open.
"He impressed me with the (first inning) double off the wall – which would have been out of the park if it wasn't for the wind – that drove in our first run," Van Horn said. "It was good to see him get three hits in one game. Hopefully he will relax now. You have seen what he can do defensively; good defender at first and third. It is nice to have a switch-hitter that is doing well."
Ficociello entered the game batting just .091 with four strikeouts on the season while splitting time at first base with freshman Eric Fisher.
"I'm starting to feel more and more comfortable from the left side," Ficociello said. "You have to work hard on both sides. The goal is to stay equally as comfortable from both sides of the plate."
Arkansas (6-0) roughed up a trio of Utah pitchers in the sixth inning that came in relief of Utes starter Joe Pond. The Razorbacks scored all six runs with one out in the frame and sent 10 batters to the plate.
"We got a chance to put together an inning and I think it is our best of the year," Van Horn said. "Six in one inning with the wind blowing in, the bats and everything, it is tough to do that. We had five base hits in a row and two of those came with two strikes. That finished it off pretty good and the momentum was in our dugout."
After giving up just one run in the first four innings, Pond began to struggle for the Utes (0-5) in the fifth inning. Ficociello and Kyle Robinson both had RBIs and Jacob Morris scored when Bo Bigham beat out a fielder's choice at second base with two outs to put the Razorbacks up 4-1.
That gave Arkansas and starter Brandon Moore the lead for good. Moore picked up his second win in as many Sundays, allowing one run on four hits in six innings. The Van Buren native struck out four batters pitching in front of several friends and family members in town to celebrate his 19th birthday.
"That was a good present for him," Van Horn said. "I told the position players to not let him down on his birthday; this is his last year to be a teenager. They played solid defense and had another error-less game, and that is always good to see. I am just real proud of our team, especially our pitching staff. Brandon is a freshman and he did a good job for his second time out."
Cade Lynch pitched two scoreless innings out of the bullpen, while freshman right-hander Nolan Sanburn recorded a perfect ninth inning in his first time on the mound. In 23 innings pitched this season, Arkansas' bullpen has given up just one run.
Strong bullpen performances by DJ Baxendale Friday and a combination Barrett Astin and Baxendale Saturday helped Arkansas win one-run ballgames. Winning the finale by a wide margin came as a bit of a surprise to Van Horn.
"It was nice because I thought it was going to be another one- or two-run game," Van Horn said. "That would have been OK, too, just as long as we win, but obviously it is great to break loose and put together that six-run inning.
"It was a good ball game."