Arkansas out-slugs SEMO to win Fayetteville Regional opener

Arkansas got six home runs, including two apiece from Hudson White and Ben McLaughlin, to out-slug Southeast Missouri State, 17-9, in the opener of the Fayetteville Regional at Baum-Walker Stadium Friday.

White homered in his first and last at-bat of the game. His solo shot off Warhawks starter Haden Dow in the bottom of the first inning gave the Razorbacks an early 1-0 lead.

The Arkansas catcher ended his day in the eighth with a three-run blast to left-center that put the finishing touches on a five-RBI day. The home runs were White’s seventh and eighth of the season.

McLaughlin hit his eighth and ninth home runs, and the Razorbacks also got long balls from Wehiwa Aloy and Kendall Diggs in a 16-hit affair. McLaughlin finished his day with six RBIs.

Arkansas (44-14 overall) got out to an 8-0 lead after a seven-run second inning that was capped by a three-run shot from McLaughlin, only to see SEMO (34-26) score eight unanswered runs over three innings to tie the game at 8-all against Razorbacks starter Mason Molina and reliever Will McEntire.

Arkansas pulled back ahead in the fifth on back-to-back home runs from Aloy and Diggs for a 10-8 lead.

After SEMO’s Bryce Cannon doubled home Chance Resetich to make it 10-9, White sent the first pitch he saw from reliever Kyle Miller to right for an RBI sacrifice fly that pushed a run across for an 11-9 lead.

With two out, McLaughlin crushed his second homer of the day — a 413-foot three-run blast to right that put the Diamond Hogs ahead, 14-9.

White’s three-run homer with two out in the eighth came off Alex Hayes, the Warhawks’ sixth pitcher of the day.

Six players finished with two hits or more for Arkansas, including McLaughlin’s 3-for-5 performance. White (2-for-4), Aloy (2-5), Diggs (2-3), Peyton Holt (2-4) and Ty Wilmsmeyer (2-5) each picked up two hits.

Christian Foutch (1-0) earned his first win of the season in relief. The real star out of the Razorbacks’ bullpen was SEC Freshman of the Year Gabe Gaeckle. The right-hander held SEMO to one run in three innings of work despite allowing three walks and three hits. He struck out six in his 22nd appearance.

Jake Faherty pitched a scoreless ninth inning to close out the game.

Collin Wilma (2-5) suffered the loss for Southeast Missouri State, allowing three runs in three innings. Molina lasted just 1 2/3 innings on the bump for Arkansas and left after allowing six hits.

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Story originally appeared on Razorbacks Wire