FAYETTEVILLE — Eastern Illinois trailed 3-1 entering the sixth inning on Sunday, but then scored 11 runs to take a 12-3 victory over Arkansas and avoid the sweep at Baum-Walker Stadium.
Hunter Hollan got the start for Arkansas and struggled in the first inning allowing two hits, a pair of walks and one run while throwing 30 pitches. However, he then settled in and worked 5.2 innings before giving way to Cody Adcock. On Sunday, Adcock, now 1-1, didn't have his best stuff and allowed four runs on as many hits in 1.1 innings. Dave Van Horn talked about the loss.
"Just some really, really big mistakes made as far as the count, 1-2, 0-2, giving up home run balls on elevated breaking balls that are supposed to be in the dirt, supposed to be chase-type pitches," Van Horn said. "It all happened with two outs, I think. I think most of their runs early happened with two outs. But credit to them. They came out swinging and they got after it. They pitched extremely well. We didn’t pitch very well at all after we took Hunter Hollan out. Towards the end, we just basically put those freshmen out there and gave them another opportunity and some of them did the same thing they did last weekend, which was not throw the ball over the plate."
Cole Gober hit two home runs and Ryan Ignoffo added another to lead the 14-hit attack for Eastern Illinois. Arkansas' Tavian Josenberger had two hits and Jace Bohrofen hit a solo home run in the second inning.
Ky Hampton went seven innings allowing only three hits, a trio of runs, walking one and striking out four while facing 26 batters. Eastern Illinois manager Jason Anderson was glad to see his team's offense get going.
“Man, our bats finally came alive,” Anderson said. “We’d been sleeping for five straight games. I know we are going to have a good offensive club, but it just kind of clicked there, we ran into some balls, got some momentum and they say hitting is contagious. We had been waiting for that for five or six games.”
Arkansas (5-2) will be at home on Wednesday afternoon to host Illinois State at 3 p.m.
Friday, Feb. 24, Arkansas 13 - Eastern Illinois 2
Arkansas used big third and seventh innings to take a run-rule victory over Eastern Illinois. Designated hitter Kendall Diggs ended the game with a three-run blast over the fence in the bottom of the seventh. Diggs knocked in four runs for the Hogs. Arkansas scored six runs in the third to break open a scoreless game. They added a run in the bottom of the fifth to go up 7-0. After EIU scored two in the top of the sixth, Arkansas scored six runs in the seventh to end the game. Tavian Josenberger, Brady Slavens, Hudson Polk and John Bolton each had two hits. Hagen Smith started and worked 4.2 innings allowing three hits and struck out six. Cody Adock (2-0) worked 0.1 inning and got the win. Batesville's Gage Wood worked one inning and struck out two. He impressed Dave Van Horn.
"I just thought that we played solid defense, stole a few bases," Van Horn said. "I thought that both teams competed hard. It looked like after the third we had the game in control, but they kept fighting, fouled off a lot of pitches and got Hagen’s pitch count up pretty good, so obviously we had to go out and get him.
"But for the most part, I thought Adcock came in and did a great job and then (Austin) Ledbetter struggled, threw a lot of pitches, and then Gage Wood was really good. That’s kind of what we’ve been seeing from Gage. Didn’t see it in his first outing last week in Arlington and then we got him back out there again on Sunday, was a little more of himself, and then today I think he relaxed and pitched really well. Two more to go."
Diggs talked about the pitch he sent over the fence to end the game.
"In the at-bats earlier in the game, I was struggling to say back a little, so I was just telling myself to drive something through the middle or the other way," Diggs said. "He left a fastball over the plate and I put a good swing on it."
Saturday, Feb. 25, Arkansas 10 - Eastern Illinois 3
Arkansas and Eastern Illinois was a tighter game than Friday's was. Arkansas only led 5-3 entering the bottom of the eighth when they exploded for five runs. Jace Bohrofen led the attack with three hits and knocked in a pair of runs. Tavian Josenberger had two hits and knocked in a pair of runs with a home run in the second. Jared Wegner, Brady Slavens and Parker Rowland each added two hits. Will McEntire worked 4.2 innings and got the win. He only allowed two hits, one run, walked a pair and struck out four. Koty Frank pitched 2.1 innings of relief and was impressive. Van Horn and the Hogs knew they were getting a very good player in Josenberger, but have been surprised by one thing.
"We didn't plan on him hitting the ball as far as he does," Van Horn said. "Give credit to him for working hard. He's gotten a lot stronger. Our strength coach has probably helped him a lot. Coach (Bobby) Wernes and (Nate) Thompson have helped his swing a lot. It's funny, if you come watch Tavian take batting practice, he doesn't light you up. But in the game, he's a hitter. When he steps in the box, he's a different hitter. He's hard to get out. He'll go the other way. Obviously, he'll lay down a bit. He'll take walks. He'll take a hit by pitch. And now he'll hit it over your head. That's a good combination."
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