Arkansas broke open a close game to take a 4-1 win over TCU in the State Farm College Baseball Showdown at Globe Life Field in Arlington, Texas.
The Hogs didn’t score until the top of the eight when Christian Franklin hit a triple to plate Jalen Battles. Then Cullen Smith singled to get Franklin home for a 2-1 lead.
Arkansas (3-0) added some cushion in the top of the ninth when Brady Slavens was hit by a pitch to start the inning. Casey Opitz followed with a double to get him across the plate. Cayden Wallace walked, then Zack Gregory sacrificed Opitz to third and Wallace to second. Opitz then scored on a wild pitch.
TCU got on the scoreboard first in the bottom of the second with a two-out rally. It started when Lael Lockhart hit catcher Zach Humphreys. Brayden Taylor then singled to left field. Third baseman Luke Boyers then singled to right-center field to plate Taylor for a 1-0 lead after two innings.
Lockhart went 4.1 innings for the Hogs. He allowed one run, struck out eight, walked two and hit a pair. His pitch count was 78. He was replaced by Evan Taylor. He pitched to one hitter and got the Hogs out of the fifth inning.
Taylor was replaced in the bottom of the sixth by true freshman Jaxon Wiggins making his debut as a Razorback. Wiggins a standout recruit from Roland (Okla.) High School, fanned the side in his first inning. Wiggins pitched one inning and struck out the side. Ryan Costeiu replaced him in the bottom of the seventh. Costeiu retired the Horned Frogs in order to help keep the Hogs within striking distance.
Kevin Kopps came in to pitch the eighth for Arkansas. Kopps continued the good pitching for Arkansas as he retired the three hitters he faced in the bottom of the eighth striking out two of them.
The Hogs used five pitchers striking out 18 hitters, walking four, two hit batters and only a pair of hits. Costeiu picked up the win for Arkansas while Charles King took the loss.
The Razorbacks will begin a four-game homestand on Thursday when they host Southeast Missouri State at 3 p.m. at Baum-Walker Stadium. The two teams will also play on Friday, Saturday and Sunday. All the games start at 3 with the exception of Sunday starting at 1 p.m.