FAYETTEVILLE — Turns out Dave Van Horn wasn’t making things up.

FAYETTEVILLE — Turns out Dave Van Horn wasn’t making things up.


The Arkansas coach said earlier in the week first baseman Clark Eagan was the team’s most improved player. The sophomore from Wisconsin made his skipper look wise Friday.


Eagan had three hits, three RBIs and three runs in the Razorbacks season-opening 11-4 win against North Dakota at Baum Stadium.


"That does not surprise me a bit," Van Horn said. "He has been swinging it awfully good, really since the end of last season, all summer, fall."


In all, the Razorbacks piled up 18 hits from 10 different players, including all nine starters. Ten of the knocks came in the sixth inning or later as Arkansas actually had to rally to get the victory.


Eagan put Arkansas ahead for good in a three-run sixth inning.


Arkansas trailed, 4-3, when Bobby Wernes doubled and Tucker Pennell walked after Brett McAfee lined out to start the inning. Carson Shaddy came in for Pennell to pinch run and he and Wernes scored when Eagan socked a triple off the wall in right-centerfield. Andrew Benintendi scored Eagan two batters later on a single up the middle.


A five-run seventh inning followed and the pressure dissipated.


Arkansas right-hander James Teague was not sharp in his second career start. He surrendered only a single hit in his 2 1/3 innings but walked two and allowed three earned runs. Teague also had three strikeouts.


North Dakota starter Andrew Thome was the opposite. He threw 108 pitches in his season debut. It wasn’t until hit the century mark the trouble began. No. 100 was ball four to Pennell in the Razorbacks’ half of the sixth. North Dakota coach Jeff Dodson didn’t think the workload was the reason for the late struggles.


"He’s ready for 100-120 pitches," Dodson said. "His stuff was ok. I’m not going to push him. With all of our starters, their condition has them ready to go 100-120 pitches but they won’t go much more than that."


McAfee’s game was the first in nearly a year. He played in 15 games last year before losing the rest of the season with a back injury. McAfee was granted a redshirt, though, and enters this year as a junior. He and second baseman Rick Nomura joined Eagan with three-hit games. Each went 3-for-5. McAfee had a run and Nomura had a run and a double.


Freshmen Carson Shaddy and Luke Bonfield each picked up their first career hits, as well. Shaddy singled and scored in the seventh and Bonfield singled in the eighth. Every Arkansas position-player had at least one hit.


Eagan was the star, though.


"I think this offense can be great," he said. "We showed tonight we’re able to get a lot of hits. We did a great job of just executing, whether it’s moving a base-runner over or driving a guy in with one or zero outs. I think we can do a great job all around. We can hit for some power, have some speed, too."


North Dakota had its own three-run inning in the third. Teague hit Daniel Lockhert with a pitch to start, allowed a single to Zach Heaser, walked Dalton Leuschke and then walked in Lockhert with a free pass to Tyler Lollis. Keaton McKinney came on in relief and immediately an RBI single and sacrifice fly before settling.


North Dakota threatened a final time in the seventh as it put two runners on base down, 6-4. But a couple pitches after getting a visit from pitching coach Dave Jorn, sophomore Cannon Chadwick struck out Dalton Parrott swinging to end the half-inning.


Chadwick, a sophomore transfer, picked up his first win as a Razorbacks player as he struck out three in 1 1/3 innings. Jonah Patten worked the final two innings and struck out five of the eight batters he faced.


Michael Bernal, who had been nursing a strained knee, entered as a defensive replacement in the ninth inning. He was questionable for the series and Van Horn said he was still unsure whether Bernal would start either of the two games today. The Razorbacks and North Dakota play a doubleheader Saturdaybeginning at 11:35 a.m.