The Arkansas Razorbacks gave Kent State a rude welcome to the College World Series Saturday night, holding the Flashes to four hits and one run in th opening round. Razorback pitchers DJ Baxendale and Brandon Moore shut down the Kent bats while Jake Wise broke a long slump homering in the Hawg's 8-1 routing of the Flashes.
Arkansas junior DJ Baxendale (8-5) had a rough outing against Baylor last week, but bounced back against Kent State, pitching a no hitter into the fifth inning. Third baseman Sawyer Polen broke up the no hitter with two outs in the fifth with an infield single. Kent shortstop Jimmie Rider touched him up in the sixth with a homer over the left field wall to score Kent's only run. In the seventh DJ was relieved by Brandon Moore, leaving the game with three hits, five strikeouts, and one run in 6 1/3 innings for the win.
"I knew after the first inning he had it because he threw every fastball right where he wanted it in the first inning, and that's a telltale sign for him in watching him pitch for three years," Arkansas coach Dave Van Horn said. "It's been a big pleasure, and hopefully we'll get him out there again before this is over with."
"DJ Baxendale was outstanding," Kent State coach Scott Stricklin said. "He kept us off balance. His fastball was sharp and he throws the breaking ball when he's behind in the count. He really competes."
Moore (4-1), a right handed sophomore, finished the game giving up one hit, no runs, and scoring the save.
Kent starter David Starn (11-4) got roughed up from the start, walking three batters he faced, and giving up an RBI single to Brian Anderson on a line drive that took Starn's glove with it.
It was basically just a flaw in my mechanics," Starn said. "I wasn't really finishing my pitches. And I was leaving them arm-side, and that's basically what happened with the control issues and everything."
Jake Wise made it 2-0 with a homer to left center in the second. Starn got knocked out in the sixth by a Matt Vinson double, finishing up with six hits, and five runs in 5 2/3 innings striking out four. RIght hander Ryan Mace (2-3) came in in relief.
In the seventh Matt Vinson drove in two runs with a two out double in the seventh. With two outs in the eighth, Wise drove in two more runs with a single.
Mace finished up with three runs on four hits and one K in 2 1/3 innings work.
The Flashes move on to the "losers bracket" in the double elimination tournament against No. 1 national seed Florida Monday at 5pm. Arkansas plays two-time defending national champion South Carolina in the "winners bracker" Monday at 9pm. Both games are on ESPN2.