ARKANSAS POST-GAME NOTES
• With the win Arkansas improved its all-time regional record to 49-37.
• The meeting marked the first time Arkansas has faced Liberty on the diamond.
• Junior starter Chris Oliver struggled in the first two frames issuing four walks, hitting two batters on his way to loading the bases in the second. His second hit batter brought home the game’s first run and gave Liberty a 1-0 lead.
• Oliver was able to get out of the jam striking out the side with the bases loaded.
• Junior second baseman Brian Anderson leveled the score with his seventh home run of the season over the right field wall to start the bottom half of the second inning.
• Oliver’s six walks tied a new career high for the Arkansas right-handed pitcher.
• Starter Chris Oliver went 5.0 innings for Arkansas, allowing two earned runs on four hits, while striking out four Liberty hitters.
• Junior southpaw Michael Gunn tossed 3.0 innings of relief as the first reliever out of the bullpen, with no runs allowed on one hit and striking out three Flames hitters. The three-inning appearance tied his longest of the year (Florida, March 16).
• Closer Jacob Stone came on in the ninth for his third straight save opportunity. The junior closed out the frame for his third consecutive save and fourth of the year.
• Arkansas is now 35-1 when leading after eight innings.
• The Razorbacks out-hit the Liberty 7-5 on the evening, Arkansas’ record when producing more hits then the opponent is 32-6.
• For the third time in the last four games Brian Anderson collected an RBI for Arkansas.
• With his two RBI in the game, Anderson posted his 12th multiple RBI games.
• Both Andrew Benintendi and Anderson collected a pair of hits for Arkansas. The duo also drove in two runners and scored a pair of runs.
• Bobby Wernes’ RBI groundout in the fourth was the sophomore’s first RBI since Arkansas’ May 17 win over Missouri.
• Five different Arkansas hitters collected a hit in the contest with just one going for extra bases.
• Arkansas did not commit an error, as the Razorbacks’ record improves to 15-7 when playing clean in the field.
LIBERTY POST-GAME NOTES
• The meeting marked the first time the programs have played each other on the diamond.
• With the loss Friday night, Liberty moved its all-time regional record to 3-9.
• Five of the first eight batters reached base for the Flames, with three reaching via walk, and one apiece on a hit and hit by pitch. The fourth walk loaded the bases for Liberty in the second.
• The home run Liberty yielded to Arkansas’ Brian Anderson marked the fifth long ball allowed by senior starter Trey Lambert.
• After Anderson’s leadoff home run in the second, Lambert retired the side with three consecutive strikeouts. • The Flames left seven runners on base in the first three innings offensively.
• Lambert allowed one hit in the first three innings, but a three-hit fourth frame gave Arkansas two runs and a 3-1 lead.
• Liberty pulled within one run when sophomore shortstop Dalton Britt laced a foul ball into left field that was deep enough to score junior Alex Close, for his 35th RBI of the year.
• Dalton Britt finished 2-for-4 with a double and driving in one run. Britt is currently riding a six-game hit streak and has reached base in seven consecutive contests.
• Trey Lambert went 6.1 innings for the Flames allowing two earned runs on five hits, and striking out five Razorbacks.
• Lambert has gone 6.0 innings or better now in 13 of his 16 starts on the season, posting an 11-1 record in those 13 games.
• Liberty did not commit an error. Liberty’s record is 17-6 when playing clean in the field.
• The Flames stranded a game-high 11 runners on base.
• Liberty’s 6-9 hitters went hitless, going a combined 0-for-9 with five strikeouts.
• After winning nine straight decisions Lambert is 2-2 in his last five starts.
University of Arkansas Quotes
Arkansas Coach Dave Van Horn Opening Statement: “First off they played extremely well and I thought that on our side Chris [Oliver] didn’t really have command of his fastball tonight, but somehow he managed to get through that second inning. That saved us. He had just enough to get us through five innings at about 110 pitches or so. That was all we were looking to get out of him after that second inning. We’re thinking if we can just get five out of him and hang in there and put together a hit or two – we could bring in the two pitchers that we did and they both did a tremendous job. Michael Gunn and Jacob Stone finishing it up there. I thought our defense did a tremendous job with getting balls hit real hard right at us. On the offensive side, credit to their senior pitcher – the way he pitched with runners in scoring position was outstanding and he kept us from adding to that lead.”
On the second inning and what Brian Anderson’s home run meant: “Very rarely do you get out of an inning like that without giving up two or three runs versus only giving up one. That was a big lift. We just slowed them down mentally over in that dugout by hitting that homerun when they were rolling. They probably thought that even though they only scored one run, that they were going to get after us pretty good. Brian [Anderson] hit that homerun. And you think about what [Trey] Lambert did to us right after he did that. I think he struck out the side. He was pretty good. It was a momentum changer definitely. It evened it up, in the score and mentally. And then when Chris [Oliver] went out and didn’t give up a run in the top of the third – I think that was big for us.”
On preparing for a quick turnaround to play Virginia tomorrow: “We knew we had our hands full coming out here and we did not look past Liberty one bit. We could have easily lost that ballgame. We could have gotten whipped, actually, the way it went. I feel very fortunate we were able to win. Virginia, obviously I made the comment the other day that I hoped we got the opportunity to play them. Their pitching staff is incredible. Anytime you can throw your number four pitcher on the opening game and you’ve got all three weekend starters left—that’s amazing. They rolled right through the first game. The game you just saw us play, we’ve been playing those all year, trust me. We’re used to tight games, back and forth. You play the season. In the SEC, we’ve been playing these types of teams. You hope that you get into certain situations that the experience of the season helps you.”
Brian Anderson On his homerun in the second inning: “It was definitely a momentum changer for us. We were able to escape that inning [with Liberty] only getting one run across, so I definitely thought we were still in the ballgame. By no means was I trying to hit a home run, but I got an elevated fastball, something I can handle, and I put a good swing on it.”
On facing Virginia: “We’re going to have to come out swinging. They are going to have a good starter on the bump, but we’ve got Trey Killian going. I think it will be good for us to get out front early. I think that will help settle the crowd down. They are going to have a lot of people here. I think we are going to have to pitch, play defense, and get timely hits.”
Chris Oliver On the command of his fastball and struggling in the second inning: “My command of the fastball was kind of like the lsu series that we played. I had no trouble with the off speed early in the count. The fastball is something that I have to get control of, especially for the games to come – hopefully. Coach Jorn said I’m just leaving my backside and not getting it through. It is just the way my arm works. I’m tall and lanky. I’ve just got to let the backside come through. Coach Jorn said it best; I’ve just got to let it go.”
On the lift Brian Anderson’s home run gave the team: “It was awesome. It was like starting a brand new game. As a pitcher, anytime your team comes back and ties the game, you kind of put it on your shoulders to hold them at that score. Tonight our offense was great and scored three runs and you can’t ask for much more.”
Liberty University Quotes
Liberty Coach Jim Toman Opening Statement: “I would like to congratulate Arkansas on a great game. Win or lose, at Liberty we are going to give glory to God. Our guys were fighting, scratching and clawing, and just couldn’t get it done. In the first three innings we left seven guys on base and it’s hard to win games when you do that. We got one run in the first three innings and that hurt us. I am proud of our guys for fighting back. It’s tough to score runs when you’re up against two relievers with ERAs under 1, so I give credit to those guys.”
On Ashton Perritt: “He will be able to pitch because it was his left wrist that was hit both times. I am sure it is not feeling well and I think it affected his last at bat. Knowing Ashton, it could have been broken and he was not coming out of the game. He got hit hard and then [hit] again in the same wrist, so it was a rough day. Hopefully, because it was his left wrist, we will be able to use him tomorrow.”
On Arkansas pitcher Chris Oliver: “When pitchers don’t have control of their fast ball, you know they are going to walk a guy on four fast balls, so they are going to throw a breaking ball. Our guys were sitting on it by the second or third inning knowing what he was throwing. I think you could say he was effectively wild. We lost some good opportunities there. Against an SEC team as good as Arkansas, you have to score more runs than two.”
On tomorrows pitcher: “I will have to look at the stat reports on Bucknell and sit down with our pitching coach. We have some options. It could be Clowers, Fulghum, or Bean. Those are the three guys we will look at depending on what the scouting reports say and what we saw from Bucknell.”
Dalton Britt On missed opportunities: “We had bases loaded and good hitters coming up, but we just couldn’t seem to get a timely hit. If we had, I think we really would have busted it open.”
On Arkansas pitcher Chris Oliver: “We knew he was mid-90’s in the miles per hour, but he couldn’t seem to locate his fastball in the beginning. I think he took us by surprise when he was leading off with all speed. That was what he went to when he didn’t feel comfortable, like on his 3-0 counts he was throwing curve balls and then would come back with it [fastballs] again. We had to make the adjustments and sit back to hit those like on any other count.”
On playing an elimination game: “It is tough to turn the page, but we have done it before. We did it last year and this year in the conference tournament. We are going to come out tomorrow and take all our frustrations from the loss and hopefully turn it into something good and go to the super regionals. I have no doubt the guys will be ready to play tomorrow.”
Trey Lambert On the game: “I was trying to do the same thing I did most of the year. I was careful of the zone and let the defense do the work. The guys played well. We had some difficulties at the plate and let the offense slip away from us.”
On Arkansas’ Brian Anderson: “He is an excellent hitter. I think he led [Arkansas] with batting average and is up there in the power categories as well. He showed why he is a leading hitter of an SEC club. The pitch was inside and off the plate where I wanted it, but he put a good swing on it.”