FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. — The Arkansas baseball team had a bit of difficulty with New Orleans on Wednesday at Baum Stadium, but the Diamond Hogs received good-enough bullpen work to hold off the Privateers, 5-2.
New Orleans struck for just five hits as Arkansas (18-4) relievers kept damage to a minimum after Grant Koch homered and Jax Biggers took advantage of some shaky New Orleans pitching to build a 4-0 lead.
Koch’s homer, a two-run shot in the fifth, provided the ultimate winning run. The Razorbacks catcher was nearly called out a pitch earlier. He hit a high pop back behind the plate that UNO catcher John Cable caught. Arkansas coach Dave Van Horn immediately expressed his disagreement. Van Horn said the ball nicked the netting behind the plate, rendering the out a no-go.
The umpires agreed and Koch planted the next pitch over the left-field wall.
New Orleans cut the lead to two in the seventh when two walks, a pair of infield singles and a wild pitch left the visitors with a shot.
Biggers scored his second run of the game, however, in the eighth when he scooped a solo home run down the line, just over the right-field wall, to provide the final score.
Grading the Hogs
Two homers, including one from the most likely player (Koch) and least likely player (Biggers) to hit one. The eight hits are fair. All in all, pretty par for a midweek game against a decent nonconference team.
Considering Arkansas threw only one of its arguably five best pitchers and limited a New Orleans team who beat LSU earlier this season to five hits and two runs is solid. The seven walks were too high, though.
The Big Stick + Arm
Arm: Barrett Loseke
The Oklahoma native worked 3 1/3 innings of one-hit, one-walk ball out of the bullpen. He came in for starter Kacey Murphy to record the final out of the second inning and held down the fort after that.
Koch went 2 for 4 with the homer, 3 RBI and a run.
What’s next for Arkansas?
The Diamond Hogs return to SEC play Friday and go through Sunday in Columbia, Mo. Missouri is tied for the lead in the SEC East with a 3-0 record.
First pitch Friday is 6:30 p.m.