FAYETTEVILLE Arkansas scored five runs in the first inning and never looked back en route to a 16-4 run-rule victory over Arkansas-Pine Bluff in seven innings Tuesday.
The No. 10 Razorbacks recorded 16 hits two days after recording 22 hits in a win at Vanderbilt. Seven Arkansas batters recorded at least one hit and the Razorbacks drew eight walks.
"It was contagious," Arkansas coach Dave Van Horn said. "I think it was contagious on Sunday. They guys didn’t want to let each other down, they kept fighting and I mean we had 22 hits on Sunday and another 15 of 16 today. That’s hard to do and I think the offense is clicking a little bit now."
Casey Martin, Trevor Ezell and Dominic Fletcher led Arkansas with three hits apiece. Martin and Fletcher hit two of the Razorbacks' three home runs, along with Jack Kenley.
Arkansas (27-10) won in its first meeting against UAPB and defeated an in-state program for the first time. The Razorbacks lost 17-7 to Arkansas-Little Rock two weeks ago.
Freshman right hander Connor Noland earned his first career win in a scoreless two-inning start for Arkansas. Noland, who has started nine weekend games for the Razorbacks, was making his first career start in the midweek and worked around two hits.
Noland had thrown only 15 pitches and failed to record an out against five pitchers last Saturday at Vanderbilt.
"He bounced back today and I’m sure the next time he gets the ball, I think he’ll do well and continue to climb back up and be a big part of our pitching staff like he is," Van Horn said.
Noland (1-2) was awarded the win at the discretion of the official scorer, who determined he was Arkansas' most effective pitcher. The Razorbacks threw six pitchers and none for more than two innings.
Junior left hander Carlos Benoit (0-6) took the loss for the Golden Lions. Benoit allowed 8 runs (7 earned) on 8 hits and 2 walks in 1 2/3 innings.
The game ended after UAPB stranded the bases loaded in the top of the seventh inning against Arkansas reliever Liam Henry. The teams agreed to a run rule prior to the game.
The Golden Lions (6-28) recorded nine hits and stranded 11 base runners. UAPB lost its sixth consecutive game.
"Every time we had a threat to score, they caught a ball and made a play," UAPB coach Carlos James said.
Arkansas is scheduled to host No. 2 Mississippi State on Thursday at 8 p.m.
Arkansas 16, UAPB 4 - Final
After Arkansas goes down 1-2-3 for first time tonight, Razorback freshman pitcher Liam Henry is on to try and close out the game.
Henry loaded the bases, but got out of it with a ground out to end the game.
Connor Noland (1-2), who pitched the first two innings, has been awarded his first collegiate victory.
Arkansas 16, UAPB 4- Middle 6th inning
After Chris Sells, Arkansas' fourth pitcher of the night, allowed a bases-loaded single to Tywan Mackey, Jr., Razorback head coach Dave Van Horn summoned Angus Deaton from the bullpen.
Denton recorded a out before he walked in a run, but then got a fielder's choice to end the inning.
Arkansas 16, UAPB 2 - End 5th Inning
Jack Kenley became the sixth Razorback player to pick up his two hits tonight when he drove a line drive home run over the right field wall.
Casey Martin would later launch a ball over the same fence for a three-run blast, his 20th in his two-year career as a Razorback.
Those homers were the seventh of the season for both Kenley and Martin.
Arkansas 12, UAPB 2 - End 4th Inning
Arkansas loaded the bases after two outs as Martin singled and Goodheart and pinch-hitter Christian Franklin both walked, but Trey Harris lined out to right for the Razorbacks' first scoreless inning of the night.
Arkansas 12, UAPB 2 - Middle 4th Inning
Ryan Mallison's bases-loaded walk got UAPB within 10, but another run was gunned down at the plate on a wild pitch.
Arkansas 12, UAPB 1 - End 3rd Inning
Arkansas continues its assault on the visitors pitching as Goodheart singled home a run and then Fletcher blasted a three-run homer way over the right field fence despite the wind blowing in.
There is a 10-run rule, but it doesn't come into play until the seventh inning.
Arkansas 8, UAPB 1 - Middle 3rd Inning
Connor Noland is done after two innings in favor of Elijah Trest. Noland threw 24 pitches in his two innings with 15 of them being strikes. He fanned two and allowed two hits.
Ryan Mallison reached on an error. moved up on a throwing error on a pickoff attempt and then scored on Sergio Espa's single.
Arkansas 8, UAPB 0 - End 2nd Inning
The Razorbacks went right back after Benoit in the second as Ezell and Goodheart both singled an out apart and then moved up on a wild pitch.
Fletcher's bloop to left-center brought home Ezell and Kjerstad plated another on a ground out to third.
Kenley's triple chased home Fletcher to put Arkansas up 8-0 and chased Benoit in favor of Race Tittle.
Arkansas 5, UAPB 0 - Bottom 2nd Inning
Noland gave up a couple of hits, but Razorback catcher Zack Plunkett gunned down Larry Sims at third base as the Lions tried a double steal to end the inning.
Arkansas 5, UAPB 0 - End 1st Inning
After Connor Noland retired the side on just eight pitchers, Arkansas jumped out quickly as Trevor Ezell tripled and Casey Martin drove him home with a single to center.
UAPB starter Carlos Benoit then walked Matt Goodheart and clean-up hitter Dominick Fletcher sacrifice bunt was thrown away allowing the second run of the inning to score.
Heston Kjerstad followed with a RBI double to put runners at second and third.
Jack Kenley's RBI groundout added a fourth run and Jordan McFarland's RBI single pushed it to 5-0.
The Razorbacks batted around in the first inning with five hits.
It is a warm, cloudy night in Fayetteville. The temperatures will be in the lower 70s and upper 60s as the game goes along.
Arkansas will throw freshman right hander Connor Noland tonight. Noland is coming off a poor performance at Vanderbilt over the weekend in which he failed to record an out against five batters and threw only 15 pitches.
Razorbacks coach Dave Van Horn plans to let Noland throw extensively tonight as a way to get some needed work. It also likely signals a change coming to Arkansas' weekend rotation.
Other notables in the lineup tonight include Trevor Ezell playing second base, Jordan McFarland playing first, Jack Kenley playing third, Zack Plunkett catching and Curtis Washington Jr. playing in left field.
UAPB enters tonight with a 6-27 overall record. The Golden Lions have lost five straight games.
Former MLB All-Star Torii Hunter is in attendance for tonight's game. Hunter, who is from Pine Bluff, signed to play for the Razorbacks out of high school but went pro instead.