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Junior College Football
Arkansas 8, BYU 1
Posted Feb 29, 2012
Arkansas used eight pitchers, including a perfect inning from ace DJ Baxendale, in an 8-1 win over the BYU Cougars on Wednesday at Baum Stadium.
Two days before taking his team to play at the MLB ballpark in Houston, Arkansas coach Dave Van Horn was worried Wednesday’s game against BYU might be a trap.
Instead, the No. 4 Razorbacks displayed the maturity expected of a team with such a ranking, beating the Cougars 8-1 at Baum Stadium. Arkansas swept the midweek series.
“I thought we played really well the last two days,” Van Horn said. “It started on the mound. I thought our pitching was outstanding. Just about everybody we brought in today threw real well.
“Today was the game I was really concerned about. Winning yesterday was a big relief to me, just knowing we had the first one and had a chance to get the second one before we get out of town.”
Arkansas used eight different pitchers – DJ Baxendale, Greg Milhorn, Colby Suggs, Ty Wright, Chris Oliver, Mark Reyes, Barrett Astin and Nolan Sanburn – to shut down the Cougars for the second consecutive day. Only Milhorn (2) pitched more than one inning.
Baxendale (3-0) earned the win by throwing just eight pitches. He was one of four pitchers to record a perfect inning. At one point, Arkansas’ pitchers retired 13 consecutive batters.
The Razorbacks allowed only eight hits to BYU in the series and one run. Arkansas used four different pitchers in a 5-0 win on Tuesday.
“We’ve done a great job,” Baxendale said. “After a rough day last Sunday we came together as a team with Coach (Dave) Jorn and wrinkled out some of the issues we were having. We’re starting to throw the ball well. We’re focusing on location of the pitch and it’s helping us.
“Hopefully we can carry it over to the weekend.”
Arkansas scored three runs in the first inning. Sam Bates drew a bases-loaded walk, Matt Reynolds followed with a sacrifice fly and Matt Vinson added a RBI single.
The Razorbacks extended the lead to 5-0 in the second inning on a Dominic Ficociello home run. The ball barely cleared the fence in right-center field, which was brought in by 10 feet in the preseason.
“It was nice the offense got us the lead both days,” Van Horn said. “I was really impressed with BYU. We just got ahead of them and our pitchers did a better job.”
The Cougars (4-4) got on the board in the top of the third when Kelton Caldwell scored on a RBI single by Stephen Wells.
Arkansas responded with a run in each the fourth, fifth and sixth innings. Jimmy Bosco’s home run to lead-off the sixth was the first in his time at Arkansas.
The sophomore transfer finished the day 2-for-2 at the plate with three runs scored and drew two walks.
“It felt good,” Bosco said of the home run. “I got a pitch out over the plate and jumped out on it.
“I’m feeling good at the plate.”
The Razorbacks will next face Texas Tech on Friday in the Houston College Classic. The game, which will be played at Minute Maid Park, will begin at noon.
Sophomore right-hander Ryne Stanek will start the first game of the tournament for Arkansas. The Razorbacks will also face Houston on Saturday and Texas on Sunday.
“I’m looking forward to getting this team on the road and seeing how they can play on the road,” Van Horn said. “We’re in a dome, so the weather won’t be an issue. It’s going to be about playing good baseball and playing good competition.”
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