FAYETTEVILLE (ArkansasRazorbacks.com) – The No. 13 University of Arkansas baseball team recorded its fifth shutout of the season on Saturday as the Razorbacks blanked Mississippi Valley State, 6-0, on Tuesday at Baum Stadium.
The win improves the Razorbacks to 18-7 on the year, while the Delta Devils drop to 3-22.
Arkansas got strong pitching on the day as four Razorback pitchers combined to two hit the Delta Devils. Freshman Colin Poché got the start and the win for Arkansas, improving to 3-0 on the year. Poché pitched four innings, allowing no hits and tying a season high with six strikeouts. Trey Killian and Trent Daniel each worked two scoreless innings out of the bullpen, while Chris Oliver closed the game by tossing a shutout inning.
Trey Lacy took the loss for Mississippi Valley State, falling to 0-3. He allowed four runs on fifth hits through five innings.
Jean Ramirez led the Razorbacks at the plate, recording the first three hits of his collegiate career. Ramirez also had two runs scored and one RBI. Brett McAfee had two hits, while Dominic Ficociello hit his first homer of the season.
Ramirez got the first hit of the day by lining a single up the middle in the third inning for the first hit of his collegiate career. With two outs, Jordan Farris hit a deep drive to center field. The ball went off the center fielder's glove for an E8, scoring Ramirez from first and putting Arkansas into the lead.
After Poche again retired the side in the top of the fourth, Arkansas added to their lead in the bottom of the inning. With one out, Ficociello launched his first home run of the year over the left center field wall. The home run was the 11th of Ficociello's career, the most career home runs of any active Razorback. With two outs, Matt Vinson hit a grounder to the second baseman, but an error kept the inning alive. Isaac Hellbusch made the Delta Devils pay, hitting a shot into the right centerfield gap for a double that scored Vinson.
In the bottom of the fifth, Brett McAfee and Farris singled to give the Razorbacks runners at the corners with no one out. Joe Serrano lifted a fly ball into right field, plating a runner with the sacrifice fly.
In the bottom half of the seventh, Arkansas added two more runs. Ramirez led off by lining a double down the left field line, and McAfee reached on an infield single. Farris grounded into a fielder's choice, scoring the fifth run of the day. With two outs, Tyler Spoon laced one over the right fielder, plating McAfee for an RBI double.
Oliver came on to pitch the ninth inning, and he closed out the shutout. After giving up a leadoff walk, Oliver retired the next three batters he faced to finish off the win.
The Razorbacks face Mississippi Valley State again on Wednesday at 7:05 p.m. at Dickey-Stephens Park in N. Little Rock, Ark. Senior left hander Tyler Wright (0-0, 0.00) will take the mound for the Razorbacks, while the Delta Devils are scheduled to throw right hander Montana Killier (1-4, 5.50). Limited general admission tickets remain for Wednesday's game. General admission tickets are $12 and include all berms, bleachers and standing room. Tickets can be purchased online at www.travs.com, in person at the Dickey-Stephens Park box office or over the phone at (501) 664-1555.