Hogbeat – McIntyre throws first complete game for Arkansas since 2016

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Arkansas starting pitcher Will McIntyre turned in the first complete game performance of at least nine innings by a Razorback pitcher since 2016 in a 6-1 win over Louisiana Tech on Saturday.

Leading up to the game on a chilly afternoon at Baum-Walker Stadium, head coach Dave Van Horn told his players to get ready for a good day for McEntire.

Van Horn said, “I told him before the game that when we were in our huddle, Will didn’t listen, I said, ‘Will’s going to be around the plate, you guys be ready to field the ball. ” “They’re going to swing. Play great defense. See how long we can keep him out there.” And he did it.”

McIntyre located his pitches at an elite level all afternoon, with the cutter doing the best job for him. He relied on his defense, and it led to six 1-2-3 frames to keep his pitch count low and go the distance.

“His pitch count was really low,” Van Horn said. “He had some really quick innings. I think he went nine pitches and somewhere in there he had a less than a .-run lead, maybe a two- or three-run lead, and he just kept filling it up.

“I mean, we could see from that side that cutter was really running and he was capable of going for a while if he didn’t get tired or just ran in a bad inning.”

The Bryant native gave up only one unearned run on three hits in the contest, gave up one run and struck out six. A run was scored in the fifth inning after a throwing error by third baseman Peyton Holt, which ultimately saw the batter score after a two-out RBI single.

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Although Van Horn said he knew McEntire was going to do well in the third inning, Wright told reporters that he did not think he could do so until a little later in the outing.

“I think when I went back for seventh and I had a fairly quick seventh, I thought I could finish.” McEntire said,

McEntire needed just 97 pitches to do the job against a speedy Louisiana Tech lineup that some hard hit balls. The confidence in their defense benefited them, most notably when Holt, who had previously committed an error, made an incredible play on third for the final out in the top of the seventh inning.

“The defense made really good plays, it made good pitches, they were aggressive in the box, and so we were all expecting the ball to come on every pitch,” Holt said,

The last time an Arkansas pitcher pitched a complete game of at least nine innings was when Dominic Taccolini threw a 10-inning complete shutout against Kentucky on April 22, 2016. Taccolini’s performance allowed only five hits, no walks and had a career-high 10 walks. strike. It was the longest outing by any pitcher in the NCAA in 2016 and the longest outing for a Razorback since Clint Brannon, who threw 11 complete innings in the 2004 SEC Tournament.

McIntyre’s performance was huge for the pitching staff, which saw its ace (Jackson Wiggins) go down with a pre-season torn UCL, its best bullpen arm (Coti Frank) go down for the year with a late injury. and his closer (Brady Tygart) is out for 5-6 weeks with a UCL strain.

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Not only to turn in a complete game that erased his early season struggles – in which he was allowed five earned runs on nine hits in his first 2.0 innings – but to preserve the less experienced and struggling bullpen arms. The time was Redshirt Jr.

Van Horn said, “For him to go out and give us nine innings in less than 100 pitches was a huge thing for our bullpen.” “I’m sure it was big for his confidence.”

Now with four starts under his belt, McEntire has an ERA of 3.48 over 20 2/3 innings. He has allowed just four earned runs on 13 hits in his last three starts, resulting in the win.

The Diamond Hogs will be back at 1 p.m. CT on Sunday for the series finale against Louisiana Tech at Baum-Walker Stadium. The game will be streamed on SEC Network Plus.