FAYETTEVILLE, AR (U of A)– The No. 17 University of Arkansas baseball team scored in four of the first five innings Tuesday afternoon to roll past Eastern Illinois 7-0 and complete the series sweep at Baum Stadium.
The Razorbacks (7-2) complete their second consecutive three-game sweep at Baum Stadium, improving to 6-0 at home on the year, while Eastern Illinois (0-6) stays winless after back-to-back sweeps at the hands Georgia and Arkansas.
The Arkansas offense continued to stay red hot, scoring two runs in the first, one in the second and two runs in the fourth and fifth innings to open up a 7-0 lead.
Carson Shaddy led the way at the plate, going 3-for-3 and reaching base four times with two runs scored. Andrew Benintendi added two hits of his own, including a solo blast to leadoff the fifth inning for his team-leading third home run of the season.
Clark Eagan reached base four times and scored a run in the leadoff spot, while Michael Bernal tallied a hit, RBI and run scored in the victory.
Keaton McKinney (1-0) earned his first collegiate victory in 4.0 innings of work, allowing just one hit, while striking out three. Five other pitchers tossed an inning each, combining to allow just one hit in 5.0 innings, while fanning seven.
Coming Up Arkansas returns to action this weekend, welcoming Loyola Marymount to town for a three-game series at Baum Stadium. The two teams will play Friday and Saturday at 3:05 p.m. and Sunday at 1:05 p.m. with all three games broadcasted live on SEC Network Plus and the WatchESPN App.
Arkansas Head Coach Dave Van Horn on Shaddy's performance: “Carson is probably the most improved player on the team. At least one of two. I truly believe that. He's a little gamer. He just comes to play every day. He wasn't even penciled in to start today. Tyler Spoon came up a little bit sick and I went up to Carson about twenty minutes before the game and said you're playing right field. He got three hits and did a great job for us.”
Van Horn on Bobby Wernes' improvement so far this season: “He's a guy that as a coach, you love having on the team. He's into every pitch, every play. Even when he wasn't playing, he was standing there in my ear talking to somebody or helping somebody. He just loves the game and works extremely hard. He's a great student and kid. He's just a joy to be around and to see him have this much success early is fun. It's well-deserved.”
Van Horn on McKinney's performance: “He was better in the third and fourth inning than he was in the first and second. In the first inning, he get a couple of quick outs, next thing you know he's thrown 32 pitches or whatever. That was the only thing that was disappointing. He threw too many pitches in the first inning when he didn't need to. We just try to keep an eye on these guys' pitch counts. It's a long season.”
The Razorbacks posted their second shutout in nine games this season.
Arkansas improves to 6-0 when holding opponents to two runs or less.
The combined two-hit shutout was the first since April 1, 2014 against Nebraska.
The Razorback pitching staff posted its fifth double-digit strikeout performance this year and has 83 strikeouts in nine games.
The Arkansas offense has scored four or more runs in every game this season.
The Razorbacks have recorded home runs in five of nine games this season, and rank third in the SEC with 11 homers on the year.
Andrew Benintendi's solo home run in the fifth inning was his team-leading third home run of the season and fourth of his career.
Carson Shaddy recorded his second three-hit performance of the year.
Michael Bernal made his second straight start at shortstop and extended his hitting streak to five games dating back to last season.
Keaton McKinney earned his first collegiate victory and lowered his earned run average to 1.46 on the year.