By Chris Mycoskie
Shortstop Jalen Battles hit a three-run homer to give Arkansas its first lead of the day in the top of the eighth inning, then initiated a game-ending double play in the bottom of the ninth, giving the Razorbacks a 6-4 victory over Louisiana in the final game of the 2022 Karbach Round Rock Classic on Sunday.
“That was a good win for our team,” Arkansas head coach Dave Van Horn said. “We finally got a big swing there in the 8th inning. We have to get a few things figured out and get our offense cranking.”
Arkansas starting pitcher Jaxon Wiggins received a no decision after going six innings, allowing three runs on three hits. He struck out four and walked two over 91 pitches. Zebulon Vermillon earned the win in relief, throwing one scoreless inning.
“My fastball was working,” Wiggins said. “I wasn’t really comfortable with my off-speed from the start, so I just had to work with it.” Pitching into the sixth inning for the first time this season, he said he “felt great” about his longevity.
Arkansas went 2-1 on the weekend, with its only loss coming against Stanford earlier Sunday. The Ragin’ Cajuns dropped all three of their games.
“It was a game I thought we should have won,” Louisiana head coach Matt Deggs said. “We played Stanford better than anybody did in this tournament and we had Arkansas there. We’ve got to find ways to finish.”
Centerfielder Carson Roccaforte led the Louisiana offense, going 2-for-3 that included a three-run double in the third. Jeff Wilson provided a quality start, allowing one earned run on two hits through 4 2/3 innings. He struck out six and walked two, tallying 85 pitches. Relief pitcher Dylan Theut picked up the loss.
Louisiana next faces Northwestern State on the road Tuesday, while Arkansas returns home for a matchup with Omaha on Wednesday.