Dylan Leach hits for the cycle on April 5, 2022. (Courtesy of Arkansas Athletics)

April 5, 2022: Arkansas’ Dylan Leach hits for the cycle, homers from each side of the plate

This article was written by Madison McEntire

Dylan Leach of the University of Arkansas crosses home plate after hitting for the cycle on April 5, 2022. (Courtesy of Arkansas Athletics)

Baseball fans love to say when they go to the ballpark that there is always a chance that something may happen that they have never seen before. Those among the announced crowd of 9,614 who stayed to the end of the matchup between the University of Arkansas and the University of Central Arkansas on April 5, 2022, witnessed a feat never accomplished in the long history of major league baseball.1 And it came from an unlikely source.

After taking the first two of a three-game series against Southeastern Conference rival Mississippi State to give them a 7-2 record in the rugged SEC, the Razorbacks entered the Tuesday night nonconference contest against Central Arkansas at 21-5. The Bears had a record of 11-15 but were 6-3 in the Atlantic Sun Conference. Despite being located just over two hours apart, the two schools had not met often; after ending a long-standing policy of not playing in-state schools, the University of Arkansas had scheduled UCA in 2021 and beaten them 21-8 in their first meeting since 1948.

Starting at catcher, and batting ninth, for Arkansas was sophomore Dylan Leach, who was giving starter Michael Turner the night off. Leach, a 5-foot-11 switch-hitter from Carthage, Texas, had skipped his senior season of high school to enroll early at Arkansas.

As a freshman in 2021, he appeared in 17 games, hitting .257 in 35 at-bats with one home run and 4 RBIs for the Razorbacks, who were ranked No. 1 in the country for most of the season and finished with a 50-13 record. In a bit of foreshadowing, Leach’s lone home run and his only double in 2021 came in the Razorbacks’ win over Central Arkansas.

Leach entered this game just 1-for-22 for the season, his only hit being an RBI double against Grambling on March 16.

UCA quickly jumped on Razorbacks starter Miller Pleimann, a Fayetteville native making his fourth appearance and first start of the season. Kolby Johnson led off with a double and one out later scored on a double by Hunter Hicks. Andrew Pollum singled Hicks to third; when centerfielder Braydon Webb threw to the plate, Pollum continued to second. Leach attempted to get Pollum at second, but his throwing error allowed Hicks to score from third. AJ Mendolia doubled in Pollum to give the Bears a 3-0 lead.

After Noah Argenta has hit by a pitch, Zack Morris replaced Pleimann; Drew Sturgeon lined to shortstop Jalen Battles, who doubled Mendolia off second to end the threat.

Arkansas got one run back in the bottom of the frame without a hit when Cayden Wallace walked and scored due to two errors by UCA second baseman Reid Bowman.

Arkansas took the lead with a six-run outburst in the second against Bears starter Cade Fenton, a right-hander from nearby Prairie Grove, Arkansas. After Kendall Diggs started the inning with a double, Peyton Stovall was hit by a pitch to bring Leach to the plate. Leach initially squared to bunt the runners up – before pulling the bat back and lining the ball sharply past Bears first baseman Hicks, who had charged, expecting a bunt. The ball traveled to the right-field corner to tie the game, 3-3; Leach chugged into third base with a triple.

“We’re down a couple runs and we tried to sac bunt and gave him the option to slug if they charged him, opened it up,” Arkansas coach Dave Van Horn said afterward. “They ran a wheel-type play, and he drew the bat back and put a really good swing on the ball, and we were off and running.”2

Leach added, “Coach told me, ‘If they charge up and the shortstop pulls over, pull it back and just hit it right down their throat.’ [Fenton] gave me the right pitch, and I did.”3

An RBI single by Wallace and a walk to Webb chased Fenton, and his replacement, Dillian Janak, allowed an RBI double to Robert Moore and a two-run sacrifice fly by Brady Slavens4 to make the score 7-3.

After UCA rallied for two runs with a two-out single by Sturgeon in the top of the third, Arkansas answered with four in the bottom half. As in the previous frame, Diggs led off with a hit; he moved to second when Stovall was again plunked. On this occasion, Leach did bunt. He hustled down the first-base line and was credited with a single when Janak could not come up with the ball cleanly. After Wallace popped out, Webb followed with a grand slam to increase the Hogs’ lead to 11-5.5

In the fourth, Jace Bohrofen, who had transferred from the University of Oklahoma prior to the season, led off with his first home run as a Razorback; two outs later Stovall homered to give Arkansas a 13-5 lead. Leach followed with a line-drive double to the wall in right on a two-strike pitch but was left stranded; it was his only at-bat in the game in which he did not come around to score.

An inning later Arkansas scored for the fifth inning in a row when Webb singled, took third on Slavens’ double, and scored on a groundout by Bohrofen.

In the sixth Stovall singled with one out. Needing a homer for the cycle, Leach stepped in the box against right-hander Spencer Nelson and ripped a line drive to right that barely cleared the top of the wall. Leach sprinted around the bases, smiling broadly, and was greeted by a mob of excited teammates in front of the Razorbacks dugout.

“I was thinking double out of the box because I didn’t think I hit it high enough,” Leach told reporters later. “So I was trying to hustle out of the box and get a double. And then I saw people in the bullpen go crazy and I knew. My mind went blank that I just did that.”6

Leach’s cycle was just the third in the 100 seasons of Arkansas Razorbacks baseball – two of which had come against the Bears: His teammate Moore had pulled it off in the previous season’s game against Central Arkansas.7

After Leach’s homer, Arkansas added two more runs to lead 18-8 when Wallace was hit by a pitch and Moore and Slavens smacked back-to-back RBI triples.

UCA plated four runs in the top of the seventh, all charged to Arkansas reliever Nick Moten, who allowed a homer to Connor Emmet, a single to Hicks, and two walks before being relieved by Issac Bracken. Sturgeon scored Hicks on a sacrifice fly and Tanner Leonard and RJ Pearson collected RBI singles before Bracken ended the inning with a strikeout of Johnson.

Battles led off the bottom of the seventh inning with a home run to make the score 19-9. Two outs later, just an inning after completing his cycle, Leach was at bat again. Facing UCA left-hander Brady Walker and batting from the right side for the first time in the game, Leach launched a 2-and-1 pitch deep to left field. This time there was no doubt as the ball easily cleared the wall and visiting bullpen, landing deep on the left-field general admission berm known as the Hogpen,8 to make the score 20-9.9

With Leach not due up in the eighth, the only drama left was to see if the Razorbacks could score in every inning – which they did when Bohrofen slammed his second homer of the game, and the team’s seventh, with two outs for Arkansas’ final run.

In the Razorbacks’ postgame huddle, Leach received a hug from his head coach. “He had never done that before with me,” Leach said. “He asked me how old he was. I said, ‘Coach, I don’t know.’ He said, ‘Well, in all my years of coaching,10 I’ve never seen that before.’ Then he hugged me.”11

“Just proud of him,” Van Horn said. “He works as hard as anybody on the team, and he hasn’t had a lot of opportunity and he took full advantage of it.”12

“Obviously Dylan Leach had the game of his life,” the coach added. “It’d be hard to ever duplicate that. Just really happy for him. Tonight, he let it all hang out, man. Had an unbelievable night and I think everybody on the bench was super excited about it, including me.”13

“Baseball is a tough sport,” Leach said. “You fail more than you succeed. I got off to a tough start, but my [teammates] believed in me. My coaches believed in me, and so I just kept pushing every day.”14

Leach finished the year batting .224 in 58 at-bats with 3 doubles, 1 triple, and 4 homers. After the season, he transferred to the University of Missouri, where he hit .193 in 114 at-bats with 4 homers in 2023 before moving to Missouri State for the 2024 season.

Despite his limited playing time at Arkansas, Leach’s historic night will be remembered forever by Arkansas fans as he accomplished a feat that no major league player had ever done.15


Author’s Note

The author attended this game with a couple of fellow Razorbacks fans. The author’s son, Will McEntire, was a pitcher on the 2022 Arkansas team, although he was not among the nine Razorbacks pitchers who appeared in this contest.

April 5, 2022 game ticket (Courtesy of Madison McEntire)



This article was fact-checked by Tom Brown and copy-edited by Len Levin. Arkansas Athletics provided the action photo of Dylan Leach.



In addition to the references cited in the Notes, the author consulted the ESPN SEC Network broadcast highlights of the game, which can be seen here:




1 Carl Yastrzemski, Joe DiMaggio (who did it twice), Gil Hodges, Ralph Kiner, George Brett, Greg Colbrunn, and Ed Lennox are the only players in National League, American League, or Federal League history to hit for the cycle while hitting two home runs. None of these players was a switch-hitter.

2 Bob Holt, “RE-Cycle: Leach Is 2nd Razorback to Accomplish Feat against UCA,” Whole Hog Sports, April 6, 2022, https://www.wholehogsports.com/news/2022/apr/06/re-cycle-leach-is-2nd-razorback-to-accomplish-feat-against-uca/.

3 Holt.

4 Central Arkansas center fielder Sturgeon made a running catch at the wall in left-center but collided with left fielder Emmet, allowing both Webb and Moore to tag and score.

5 It was Webb’s second grand slam of the season. After starting the year 0-for-23, he ended his slump with a grand slam in a 14-1 victory over Grambling State on March 15.

6 Pete D’Alessandro, Hawgbeat, “Key Takeaways, Box Score from Arkansas’s Midweek Win over Central Arkansas,” April 5, 2022, https://arkansas.rivals.com/news/key-takeaways-box-score-from-arkansas-midweek-win-over-central-arkansas.

7 Moore was the first Razorback to hit for the cycle since Kyle Harris against Tennessee in 1994. Bob Holt, “Cycling Through: Leach Leads Razorbacks’ Scoring Barrage over Bears,” Arkansas Democrat-Gazette (Little Rock), April 6, 2021: C1.

8 Leach’s home run was measured at 429 feet. The Hogpen is a favorite of Razorbacks fans because fans in the Hogpen are allowed to bring their own chairs, food, and beverages to the game.

9 Leach’s cycle can be seen here: Stewhog, “Hit for Cycle AND Homer From Both Sides of Plate,” April 6, 2022, YouTube video, 3:41, https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1d7DJMiPDMQ.

10 At the time of the game, Van Horn was 61 years old and was in his 28th year as a Division I college baseball head coach, the last 20 of those at Arkansas.

11 D’Alessandro.

12 Holt. “RE-Cycle: Leach Is 2nd Razorback to Accomplish Feat against UCA.”

13 “RE-Cycle: Leach Is 2nd Razorback to Accomplish Feat against UCA.”

14 “RE-Cycle: Leach Is 2nd Razorback to Accomplish Feat against UCA.”

15 On March 4, 2023, North Carolina State catcher Cannon Peebles came close to matching Leach’s feat. In the Wolfpack’s 21-2 win over New Jersey Institute of Technology (NJIT), Peebles had already singled, doubled twice, and homered from each side of the plate when he stepped to the plate for the final time. He lined a ball down the right-field line and hustled out of the box but was thrown out at third base. He finished the game 6-for-6 with 10 RBIs. “Peebles’ Historic Day Powers Pack to 21-2 Win over NJIT,” GoPack.com, March 4, 2023, https://gopack.com/news/2023/3/4/baseball-peebles-historic-day-powers-pack9-to-21-2-win-over-njit.

Additional Stats

Arkansas Razorbacks 21
Central Arkansas Bears 9

Baum-Walker Stadium
Fayetteville, AR

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