Arkansas pitching shuts down NSU Demons - WAFB 9 News Baton Rouge, Louisiana News, Weather, Sports

Arkansas pitching shuts down NSU Demons


The Arkansas pitching staff held the Demons to one run while its offense jumped up early and poured on late to give the Razorbacks an 8-1 win over the Northwestern State baseball team Tuesday night in non-conference action at Baum Stadium.

The second and final game of the series is slated for 3:05 on Wednesday, and will be broadcast on 100.7 KZBL-FM in Natchitoches and on   Arkansas improved to 26-16 on the year, and snapped NSU's (22-18) four game win streak against non-conference opponents.

Northwestern State left eight runners on base in the game, and was held without a hit in the last five innings. 

"We left too many men on base.  We had the bases loaded at one point, but could not drive them in," said Demon head coach Lane Burroughs.  "Our guys have to learn to expect to win these games, not just hope to win.  I expect us to come out and win the ball game tomorrow."

Arkansas broke open the game with two runs in the first inning. Andrew Benintendi scored the game's first run on a sacrifice fly to center field from Brian Anderson.  Benintendi reached on a double down the right field line two at-bats earlier.

The second run was scored by Joe Serrano scored when Blake Baxendale hit a roller that got through Demon third baseman Chase Daughdrill.  Serrano reached on a single to right field.

The Razorbacks added another in the second inning, on an error by Edwin Gomez.  Benintendi reached on a dribbler that hit Gomez's glove, but fell out and the second baseman could not find it.  Michael Bernal, who reached on a single to right field, scored.

"We don't knock a ball down at third base, and don't field a ball at second," said Burroughs. "That is pretty much the story of the game."

Northwestern State scored its lone run in the fourth inning on a full-count single up the middle that scored C.J. Webster.   Webster reached on a two-out single up the middle, and was followed by three straight singles before UA got the final out on a foul out to the right side.

NSU left the bases loaded to end the frame.

Arkansas added insurance runs in the bottom of the seventh inning on back-to-back base knocks that scored three runs.  Anderson singled to left field and knocked in Serrano and Benintendi, who each reached on a single.

Baxendale doubled to the left field wall to score Anderson, who was marked as unearned because of an error that allowed him to get to second base during his single.

The Hogs added two more in the eighth inning on a ground out from Tyler Spoon that scored Jake Wise.  Benintendi singled up the middle to score Bernal.

Brandon Smith (0-2) was tagged with the loss after he started the game and lasted two innings.  He allowed three runs (two earned) on five walks and two strikeouts.  Josh Morris relieved him with two innings of work.  He allowed no runs on two hits, and NSU turned two double plays while he was on the mound.

"I thought Brandon Smith had pretty good stuff," said Burroughs.  "Brewer threw well.  I though Adams had a guy punched out that would have ended it, but you have to be able to move on from that."

Cameron Brewer entered in the fifth inning and worked 2.2 innings.  He allowed two hits and two runs with one walk and three strikeouts.  Andrew Adams finished the seventh inning and gave up one run on two hits.

Colin Poche started on the hill for Arkansas and worked 3.2 innings.  He gave up the Demon run in the fourth inning on six hits for the game and two strikeouts.  Jackson Lowery relieved him in the fourth inning, walked the first two batters he faced, and then sat down every batter he faced after those.

Jacob Stone pitched one inning for the Razorbacks and was perfect.  Dominic Taccolini finished the game in the ninth inning, and was also perfect.

"I thought we did a good job with the starter.  They made the right move with Lowery, and got Poche out of the jam.  We tip our hat to him," said Burroughs.  "They do a great job, and are one of the best in the country."

The Razorbacks now have 21 straight scoreless innings. 

Gomez, Dugas, Webster, Richard and Heath all had hits for NSU, who was outhit 13-6 by the Razorbacks.  It was Richard's first career hit.

Atkinson set a school season record when he was hit by a pitch in the second inning, and it was the 19th time he had been hit.  The record was previously held by Tigger Lyles (2003) and Nick Simokatis (1996).

UA had four players with multiple hits in the contest.  Benintendi and Baxendale had three hits apiece, and Serrano and Anderson accounted for two each.

After the series with Arkansas, the Demons will turn their sights to another crucial Southland Conference series.  They will host Central Arkansas in a three-game set that starts at 6:30 on Friday. The second game of that set will be a 2 o'clock on Saturday and the finale will be at 1:00 on Sunday. ​

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