STARKVILLE, Miss. – Sophomore Hunter Renfroe belted a pair of two-run home runs, the first two of his career, powering Mississippi State (16-7, 2-2 SEC) to an 8-2 win against No. 3 Arkansas (20-3, 3-1 SEC) in the Bulldogs’ SEC home opener. A season-high gathering of 4,007 watched the Bulldogs notch their second win in four games against a top 10-ranked opponent.
Renfroe raced around the bases with an inside the park blast in the first inning off Arkansas starter D.J. Baxendale (5-1). Two innings later he extended the MSU lead to 6-1 with a second two-run shot that sailed into the left field lounge.
Junior right-hander Chris Stratton (5-0), making his first Dudy Noble Field start this season, limited the defending SEC West champion Razorbacks to two runs on five hits while striking out nine over seven innings. Freshman Jonathan Holder pitched the final two frames.
State scored two runs in each of the first four frames and added three runs in the seventh, two of those coming on a bases-loaded double by Sam Frost.
Tim Carver drove in the first Arkansas run in the third inning with an infield groundout while Sam Bates doubled in the a run.
Baxendale, the first of four Arkansas pitchers in the game, allowed eight runs (seven earned) on nine hits during his three-plus inning start in absorbing his first loss.
State and Arkansas continue their weekend series Saturday at 3 p.m. ET. Sunday’s 1 p.m. ET series finale will be televised by SportSouth.