McEntire throws full game, Diamond Hogs wins streak over Louisiana Tech

FAYETTEVILLE — The spectators who endured the cold, gray Saturday afternoon at Baum Walker Stadium met Arkansas pitcher Will McEntire with thunderous applause as he headed back to the mound for the ninth inning.

With only 82 pitches he had to end the game.

McEntire topped the Louisiana Tech Order for the fourth time and posted his only walk of the afternoon. A flyout, a foulout and a strikeout later, he pumped his arms as he greeted catcher Hudson Polk and celebrated the Razorbacks’ first full-length game since Dominic Taccolini in 2016.

The big right-hander’s nine innings with one-run ball lowered his season ERA from 6.17 to 3.48 as his team defeated the Bulldogs 6-1 to win the series.

Left fielder Jared Wegner became the first razorback to cross home plate, hitting from first base on a dying quail of a double off first baseman Brady Slavens’ bat.

To prove it wasn’t a fluke, Arkansas hit consecutive home runs in the second inning for the fourth time this season. Batsman-designate Kendall Diggs’ sent the seventh pitch he saw to opposite field for his fifth bat, and third baseman Peyton Holt announced his first start since Feb. 24 with authority, drilling the closest to dead center for his first NCAA longball.

Right fielder Jace Bohrofen joined the home run parade in the fourth inning, extending his streak to four games and the lead to 4-0.

McEntire was one shot away from going through five clean innings, but Louisiana Tech first baseman Karson Evans continued his hot start to his collegiate career. He made the Hogs pay for an error that first turned a tight play into a scoring-position runner and delivered a two-out RBI single for his third shot in his first six plate appearances.

The Razorbacks moved quickly to get the run back when shortstop John Bolton’s walk made him the fifth leadoff man to reach base in as many innings. He advanced 90 feet on a wild pitch and scored on second baseman Peyton Stovall’s double to right field.

The Order’s fearsome left-handed heart prompted the Bulldogs to make a pitching change before the fifth reached its end. Lefty Ryan Harland took over from Rawley Hector after 4 ⅔ innings, seven hits and five earned runs, and he pulled Slavens back to prevent further damage.

Harland and right-hander Isaac Crabb rode through the Arkansas order in sixth and seventh, respectively, to keep Louisiana Tech within slam range, but McEntire didn’t budge an inch and settled in after the run to go up nine on his third time and nine to go down through the order.

The Razorbacks went on a sixth run in the eighth inning after Stovall’s leadoff triple gave way to a Wegner RBI single to cap the goal 6-1.

McEntire’s defeat of the Bulldogs for a ninth time marked the Hogs’ seventh straight win, their 12th in 14 games, and their fourth straight weekend with at least two wins.

Arkansas can beat Louisiana Tech when the two teams meet for the final time at 1:00 p.m. Sunday. McEntire throws full game, Diamond Hogs wins streak over Louisiana Tech

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