Valley View alum Cade Lynch & Forrest City alum Barrett Astin pi - KAIT Jonesboro, AR - Region 8 News, weather, sports

Valley View alum Cade Lynch & Forrest City alum Barrett Astin pitch in Arkansas victory

FAYETTEVILLE (NWAOnline.com) - Through 11 games, things couldn't be going much better for Arkansas.

The No. 16 Razorbacks beat Wisconsin-Milwaukee 7-3 to record their third consecutive weekend sweep and finish an 11-game homestand with 10 wins.

"Record-wise I'm real pleased," Arkansas coach Dave Van Horn said. "I'm real excited about the way we swung the bats all week until today. We didn't swing it well today and we didn't swing it well in batting practice either.

"The game was a little sluggish. This game isn't easy, especially when you're 2-0 and they're 0-2 (on the weekend). They were doing everything they could to get out of here with a win. Again, I feel fortunate to win the game. The record is outstanding and we have learned a lot about our club."

Kyle Robinson's two-run home run with two outs in the bottom of the seventh inning gave the Razorbacks the lead for good at 5-3 before Arkansas tacked on two more runs in the eighth.

"They threw him a breaking ball and he crushed it," Van Horn said. "That's smart baseball, that's good baseball and I'm proud of him. He did a good job. He's got to hit it and he hit it. He got every bit of it."

Through the first 11 games, Robinson is batting .465 with 21 RBIs and three home runs.

"I've just been putting in hard work with the coaches," Robinson said. "I've been working hard. I just thank the good Lord he gave me the ability to come out here and play. I've been coming out to do whatever I can to help the team out, and hopefully I can do that the rest of the season."

While Robinson, who finished the week with three home runs and 13 RBIs, made a strong statement for SEC Player of the Week, he was complimented well by Dominic Ficociello. The first baseman likely polished off freshman of the week honors with three more RBIs Sunday on a first inning triple and a third inning sacrifice to give the Hogs a 3-1 lead.

Ficociello has multiple RBIs in each of the last six games, including 17 in five games this week.

"I'm a lot more comfortable now," Ficociello said. "I'm kind of figuring it all out. We're starting to settle in and understand what we've got to do. I think we're going to be good and surprise some people."

The Panthers (1-7) stayed close thanks to a solid pitching effort by former Razorback Chad Pierce. The right-hander had given up just two hits prior to the Robinson home run that chased him in the seventh inning.

Pierce finished pitching 6 2/3 innings, allowing five runs on five hits, while striking out three batters.

"It's great coming back here to battle like we did," said Pierce, who lettered at Arkansas in 2008. "You know, coming out on the losing end is not the greatest feeling, but I can say that I battled."

Arkansas starter Cade Lynch struggled in his first weekend start, giving up two runs on six hits in four innings. Like several Razorbacks starters before him this season, he was picked up by the bullpen.

Geoffrey Davenport earned the win by throwing 2 2/3 scoreless innings in his first bullpen appearance of the year. Davenport atoned for a pair of lackluster starts the previous week.

"He was probably the major plus of all of our pitchers today," Van Horn said. "He came in and gave us three solid innings and I'm glad to see it. We need him, obviously. I'm glad for him. He worked hard and didn't pout when he didn't get the start this weekend. He came in at a critical time in the ball game and he did a great job."

Barrett Astin allowed a run in the sixth inning that tied the game for the Panthers at 3-3. The freshman threw 2 1/3 innings for the Razorbacks, allowing two hits and striking out three batters.

"He started going out of the zone and he was getting behind," Van Horn said. "We felt like we had Geoffrey down there, we've got (Nolan) Sanburn down there; we've got some guys rested and ready to go."

Sophomore third baseman Matt Reynolds left the game after the fourth inning. Reynolds dislocated his right index finger on a bunt attempt, but X-rays revealed no fractures.

Arkansas was without outfielder Collin Kuhn for the fourth consecutive game Sunday as he continued to rest an injured hand.

"Kuhn almost came off the bench there and pinch-hit in the ninth, but we just decided to let him go until Thursday," Van Horn said.

Both Reynolds and Kuhn could be in the lineup Thursday when the Razorbacks play the first of a four-game series at San Diego State.

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