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Razorbacks roll to 9-3 win over Western Illinois

1070 days ago
Arkansas Athletics

FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. -- Five Razorbacks recorded multi-hit games Saturday afternoon against Western Illinois, led by senior Rick Nomura, who went a career-high 4-for-5 with a home run as the 14th-ranked Razorback baseball team rolled past the Leathernecks, 9-3 at Baum Stadium. The win earns the Razorbacks its fourth weekend series win of the season, which includes the sweep at the Houston College Classic last month.

Arkansas (12-3) notched 15 hits in the win, including six doubles and two home runs. The six two-baggers was a new season-high for the Razorbacks as a team, while Western Illinois (2-10) was forced to use four pitchers in the loss, each giving up at least one run.

Along with Nomura, Luke Bonfield, Chad Spanberger, Eric Cole and Clark Eagan all recorded two hits or more in the ballgame. Bonfield came away with the second-highest total on the day as he went a perfect 3-for-3 with two runs scored and two doubles.

Spanberger tied a career-high four RBI in the game, three coming off a monster home run in the third inning to jumpstart the Razorback offense. Spanberger finished the game 2-for-3 with the home run and a double. Of his four hits this season, all have been for extra bases as he has two doubles and two home runs.

Freshman Blaine Knight got the win on the mound after coming in to relieve starter Keaton McKinney in the middle of the fourth inning. Knight entered the game with two outs and the bases loaded and proceeded to strikeout the first batter he faced, then only allow five base runners the rest of the way on three hits and two walks over 4.1 innings.

Knight moves his record to 2-0 on the year, while Joe Mortillaro got the loss for the Leathernecks as he is now 0-3.

Arkansas starter Keaton McKinney looked good through his first two innings of work, but struggled in the third, giving up two runs to tie the game at 2-2. Arkansas was able to score three more in the bottom half of the inning to re-take a good three run lead, but once McKinney gave up another run in the top of the fourth, Van Horn decided to go to the bullpen.

McKinney finished the game with 3.2 innings pitched, allowing three runs on five hits and walking four.

Arkansas and Western Illinois return to Baum Stadium for the final game of the series on Sunday with first pitch scheduled for 1 p.m. The game will be broadcast on SEC Network+.