Bybee's strong start leads No. 7 Arkansas over UNLV
FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. - No. 7 Arkansas (15-2) completed its midweek sweep of UNLV (5-10) with a 5-2 win on Wednesday afternoon at Baum-Walker Stadium behind a strong start from Ben Bybee and a two-run bast from Jared Wegner.
The Razorbacks extended their winning streak to 10 games with their takedown of the Hustlin' Rebels in their final tune-up before SEC play begins. Arkansas has now strung together double-digit win streaks in each of the last three seasons.
Bybee, a true freshman, was impressive in his second start as a Razorback. The right-hander tossed five scoreless innings on the mound, striking out three while allowing six hits and one walk to earn his first career win.
The Razorback offense provided Bybee with an early run, thanks to Kendall Diggs' RBI fielder's choice in the bottom half of the first. Arkansas maintained its one-run lead until Wegner's team-leading eighth home run in the fifth.
With a runner on first, Wegner hammered the first pitch he saw over the wall in left center. He collected his team-leading 28th and 29th RBI with his fifth-inning blast, which put the Hogs up by three.
Bybee faced two batters in the top half of the sixth before giving way to fellow freshman right-hander Gage Wood. The Batesville, Ark., native stranded both runners, recording all three outs in the inning with two strikeouts in the process.
UNLV would cut its deficit down to one in the top of the seventh, but Arkansas struck back with two runs in the bottom of the eighth inning to re-extend its lead to three. Diggs' double down the left field line brought Jace Bohrofen home before Harold Coll laced an RBI single to center, which scored pinch runner Mason Neville and put the Hogs ahead, 5-2.
Zack Morris locked down the final three innings of the Razorbacks' win, striking out a pair of batters while allowing two unearned runs on one hit and a walk. The left-hander earned his first save of the season and the second of his career.
Arkansas opens SEC play against Western Division foe Auburn (13-3-2) this weekend at Baum-Walker Stadium. First pitch of the three-game series between the Hogs and Tigers is set for 6:30 p.m. Friday, March 17, on SEC Network+.