FAYETTEVILLE (ArkansasRazorbacks.com) - The Arkansas baseball team (26-16) continued its trend of early-inning run production Tuesday evening and cruised to an 8-1 victory over Northwestern State (22-18) at Baum Stadium.
The offense was paced by a pair of stellar freshmen performances, as Blake Baxendale and Andrew Benintendi each recorded their first-career three-hit game. Baxendale's three hits gave him multi-hit games in five of the last six contests, while Benintendi notched his team-high 14th multi-hit game of the year as he reached base in all five plate appearances.
The Razorbacks scored in the first inning for the fifth time in the last games when Brian Anderson lifted a sacrifice fly to centerfield for one of his three runs batted in on the night. He would add a two-run single to left field in the seventh inning as part of a three-run frame as Arkansas pulled away with five runs in its last two at-bats.
Joe Serrano and Michael Bernal joined the hit parade as five Razorbacks tallied a pair of base knocks and Arkansas reached double digits in the hit column for the 16th time this season.
The bullpen continued its perfection, as Jackson Lowery came in with the bases loaded in the fourth inning and escaped a jam for starter Colin Poché, before going 3.1 innings and not allowing a hit for his first win of the season. Jacob Stone and Dominic Taccolini each threw perfect hitless innings as the trio of relievers extended the bullpen's scoreless streak to 21.0 consecutive innings.
Arkansas and Northwestern State will cap the two-game series Wednesday afternoon with first pitch set for 3:05 p.m. at Baum Stadium.
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Coach Dave Van Horn Quotes:
Arkansas Head Coach Dave Van Horn (Opening Statement...) - "I thought we did a nice job today offensively, continuing to battle with two outs. We drove in four or five of those runs with two outs, one of them on an error on a ball that was hit hard. Our offense did a good job of continuing to swing the bat until the third out was made."
Arkansas Head Coach Dave Van Horn (On Blake Baxendale...) - "He has a done a really good job. He had a rough day on Sunday against Vanderbilt. I really wanted to go back with him. I'm sure he was ready to go and was excited to see his name in the lineup. He took full advantage of it with three hits, a couple RBI, and getting his batting average up and that's good to see."
Arkansas Head Coach Dave Van Horn (On Andrew Benintendi's success...) - "He did a great job. He's been the guy that I mentioned about a week ago that I felt like was swinging the bat as good as he has since he has been here. I feel like he's healthy and confident. He's doing a tremendous job and that's one reason we've been winning and scoring runs. He's been on base scoring, stealing bases, and doing a great job for us."
How They Scored