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Hogs look for output at the top

by Mitchell Gladstone | April 27, 2022 at 2:33 a.m.

During the University of Arkansas' weekend series at Texas A&M, Coach Dave Van Horn dropped third baseman Cayden Wallace from the leadoff spot and slid him into the No. 3 spot in the batting order behind center fielder Braydon Webb and designated hitter Brady Slavens.

Webb went 1 for 10 during his two games at the top of the order, so Van Horn decided to give another Razorback a shot at the leadoff role on Tuesday against the University of Central Arkansas. That duty fell to Robert Moore, who entered the night batting just .232 but he carried a streak of 29 games reaching base safely into the midweek contest.

As part of the adjustments, Wallace slid up into the No. 2 spot behind Moore, keeping him as the only Arkansas player to start all 41 games this season. Michael Turner served as the designated hitter and batted third against UCA with Brady Slavens in the cleanup spot, playing right field.

Moore became the fifth player to man the leadoff spot for Arkansas this season. Wallace has done so on 28 occasions, with the Razorbacks winning 23 of those games. Peyton Stovall ranks second with 7 games atop the order, followed by Zack Gregory with 3 and Webb with 2.

Moore didn't take long to extend his on-base streak to 30 games. The second baseman from Leawood, Kan., worked an eight-pitch walk against Central Arkansas starter Oliver Laufman to start the bottom of the first inning.

The streak dates back to the second half of a March 5 doubleheader against Southeastern Louisiana. Entering Tuesday night, Moore had recorded 20 hits and 20 walks in the 29 previous games, but his batting average had dropped from .316 to .232 during the same span.

Back in the Rock

Tuesday night marked the Razorbacks' 11th all-time game at North Little Rock's Dickey-Stephens Park, home of the Arkansas Travelers, the Class AA affiliate of the Seattle Mariners. Of the 10 previous matchups -- all of which have come since 2010 -- Arkansas had won nine, the lone defeat coming March 24, 2015, against Memphis by a 5-4 score.

Because of the covid-19 pandemic, the Razorbacks had not made the trip down to North Little Rock since 2019 when they routed Grambling State 17-3. The only current Arkansas player to appear in that game was Kole Ramage, who started on the mound and threw four innings before handing things off to the bullpen.

Another in-state matchup

Prior to 2019, Arkansas had not played against a fellow Division I side from within the state. Since then, the Razorbacks have gone up against Arkansas State, Central Arkansas, the University of Arkansas-Little Rock and the University of Arkansas-Pine Bluff 14 times.

Each of those 14 games has been played in Fayetteville -- six of them already this season -- with Arkansas coming out on top on in the last 13. The closest margin for the Razorbacks since losing 17-7 against UALR in 2019 came last March against ASU in an 8-4 win.


Print Headline: Hogs look for output at the top

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