FAYETTEVILLE — No. 4 Arkansas didn’t take long to show why it was ranked so high in the preseason baseball rankings.
The Razorbacks scored six first-inning runs and junior pitcher DJ Baxendale threw five scoreless innings to lead the Hogs to an 11-5 season-opening win in front of 6,317 at Baum Stadium.
Arkansas (1-0) racked up 13 hits and controlled the game after its early offensive outburst. Baxendale (1-0) earned the win and improved his streak of scoreless innings to 14, dating back to last season.
"The bats really showed up and scored some runs early and gave me a chance to relax," Baxendale said. "Overall, it was a great first game as a team."
Sophomore centerfielder Jacob Morris went 2-for-3 and had three RBIs. His two-run triple was part of the big first inning and he led off the fourth with a solo home run.
"He’s going to play because he’s an outstanding defender and has got a great arm," Arkansas coach Dave Van Horn said. "Obviously I don’t expect him to hit like that all the time, but he has power as you saw and can really run with that triple. It will be nice if he hits. That would be a big plus for us."
Morris batted eighth on Friday. He hit .194 and had just five RBIs in 23 games as a freshman last season.
The Hogs will start sophomore right-hander Ryne Stanek against the Wildcats Saturday at 1:05 p.m. in the second game of the three-game series.