Omahogs: Arkansas returning to the College World Series

By: Matt Jones
Published: Monday, June 11, 2018
Arkansas second baseman Carson Shaddy (20) celebrates after hitting a home run during the first inning of an NCAA Tournament game against South Carolina on Monday, June 11, 2018, in Fayetteville.
Photo by J.T. Wampler
Arkansas second baseman Carson Shaddy (20) celebrates after hitting a home run during the first inning of an NCAA Tournament game against South Carolina on Monday, June 11, 2018, in Fayetteville.

Arkansas 14, South Carolina 4 - Final

Arkansas is going back to the College World Series after a dominating win over South Carolina in the final game of the Fayetteville Super Regional. This is Arkansas' ninth trip all-time to Omaha and first since 2015.

The Razorbacks out-hit South Carolina 11-6 and took command with five runs in the first and fifth innings.

Barrett Loseke was the winning pitcher with 2 1/3 innings of relief. Starter Isaiah Campbell had one of his best outings of the season by allowing two runs in four innings.

The offensive stars for Arkansas were Luke Bonfield, who was 3-for-4 with 4 RBI in his final game at Baum Stadium, and Eric Cole, who hit a home run and a double, and scored five times.

Arkansas will play Texas at the College World Series in the opener for both teams.

Arkansas 14, South Carolina 4 - Bottom 8th Inning

Jacob Olson hit his second home run of the game in the top of the eighth. Arkansas is up for what should be its final at-bat of the season.

Arkansas 14, South Carolina 3 - Bottom 7th Inning

Eric Cole's one-out home run into the Arkansas bullpen in left field has chased another South Carolina pitcher. The Gamecocks are on their seventh pitcher of the night.

Arkansas 13, South Carolina 3 - Middle 7th Inning

After a one-out walk, Jake Reindl replaced Barrett Loseke. He ran into some trouble with two walks of his own, but struck out Justin Row swinging at a slider to get out of the bases-loaded jam.

The attendance tonight is 11,217, which is the sixth-largest ever at Baum Stadium. All six of the largest attendances here have come during either the 2015 or 2018 super regional.

Arkansas 13, South Carolina 3 - Top 7th Inning

Jacob Olson's solo home run to lead off the seventh is South Carolina's first runs since the fourth and first against reliever Barrett Loseke, who is in his third inning of work. Jake Reindl caught the home run ball while warming up in the Arkansas bullpen, flipped it to a fan and the fan threw it back on the field.

The Razorbacks went down in order in the sixth, all on strikeouts. That was only the second 1-2-3 inning for Carolina tonight.

Arkansas 13, South Carolina 2 - Middle 6th Inning

Barrett Loseke struck out Hunter Taylor to complete a perfect top of the sixth. He also got a couple of ground outs in the inning.

It would be easy for these fans to leave, but almost every seat is still full. The fans are ready for a postgame party. Really, this whole game has been a big party for the Baum faithful.

Arkansas 13, South Carolina 2 - End 5th Inning

Arkansas tacked one more on in the fifth for its second five-run inning of the game. Luke Bonfield's RBI single scored Casey Martin. Bonfield has 4 RBI tonight - one in each at-bat.

Dominic Fletcher hit into a double play to end the inning.

Barrett Loseke is coming back out for the sixth inning. There are several pitchers available for the Razorbacks.

Arkansas 12, South Carolina 2 - Bottom 5th Inning

The Razorbacks are in the middle of another huge inning. The first five batters reached. Eric Cole walked with the bases loaded, Casey Martin followed with a two-run double and Heston Kjerstad hit a sacrifice fly to score Cole to force South Carolina to the bullpen for the third time this inning. The Razorbacks have only one out in the inning and Martin standing on third.

Arkansas has only eight hits, but has benefitted from six walks and two hit batters.

Arkansas 8, South Carolina 2 - Middle 5th Inning

Isaiah Campbell was replaced by Barrett Loseke after a leadoff walk. Loseke also walked a batter to put two on with no outs, but retired the next three Gamecocks on a pop up to third base, a swinging strikeout and a line out.

Loseke's strikeout of three-hole hitter Madison Stokes was on a pitch high and inside, but Stokes swung through the pitch, which came close to hitting his shoulder. Eric Cole made a sprinting grab in right field for the final out, robbing Jonah Bride of an RBI hit.

Arkansas 8, South Carolina 2 - End 4th Inning

The Razorbacks got a run back in the fourth but could have done more after they loaded the bases with no outs. Eric Cole, who doubled to lead off the inning, scored on Luke Bonfield's sacrifice fly, his third RBI of the game. Dominic Fletcher, who has struggled a lot with runners on third and less than two outs, popped up to the shortstop and Carson Shaddy struck out swinging at a 3-2 slider from Logan Chapman.

Chapman, a freshman right-hander, is facing Arkansas for the third time this season. He started the game at Arkansas on April 12 - a South Carolina win - and the SEC Tournament game in Hoover, Ala., last month. Chapman walked Heston Kjerstad in four pitches to load the bases. Casey Martin had reached on a hit by pitch in the previous at-bat against Graham Lawson.

Arkansas 7, South Carolina 2 - Middle 4th Inning

South Carolina is on the board, but not without some more displeasure with the home plate umpire. Isaiah Campbell bounced a pitch that appeared to glance off the leg of LT Tolbert, but home plate umpire Billy Haze said it didn't and two Carolina runners came home while Arkansas catcher Grant Koch stood at the plate.

Dave Van Horn argued the call intensely on two separate occasions - once before a conference between umpires and once after. Tolbert also doubled and was stranded on a punch out of Jacob Olson. Campbell has four strikeouts looking today.

Arkansas 7, South Carolina 0 - End 3rd Inning

Jared Gates, Grant Koch and Jax Biggers went down quickly in the third for Arkansas. That was just the second half inning tonight in which neither team had a base runner.

Arkansas 7, South Carolina 0 - Middle 3rd Inning

South Carolina's first hit came on Danny Blair's bloop single over the head of Carson Shaddy at second base, but he was stranded when Carlos Cortes flied out to the warning track in left-center field.

Isaiah Campbell has given Arkansas three strong innings so far.

Arkansas 7, South Carolina 0 - End 2nd Inning

Dominic Fletcher's sacrifice fly scored Heston Kjerstad from third base before Carson Shaddy hit into an inning-ending ground out.

Credit South Carolina for a couple of great defensive plays that prevented further damage. Shortstop LT Tolbert made a snow cone grab falling down on a pop up that the left fielder lost in the sun for the first out, and center fielder Danny Blair made a diving catch on Fletcher's sac fly.

Arkansas 6, South Carolina 0 - Bottom 2nd Inning

Arkansas is putting pressure on South Carolina's pitching staff tonight. Eric Cole singled, Heston Kjerstad walked and Luke Bonfield had his second RBI single of the game with one out.

There are runners on the corners when Dominic Fletcher coming to the plate.

Arkansas 5, South Carolina 0 - Middle 2nd Inning

Isaiah Campbell was perfect in the second inning with a punch out, a ground out and a fly out.

South Carolina is already going to the bullpen. Right-hander Graham Lawson, who had some command issues yesterday, will face the top of the Arkansas order in the second.

Arkansas 5, South Carolina 0 - End 1st Inning

Grant Koch had a two-out single to left field and the inning ended when Jax Biggers flied out to right.

Arkansas sent all nine batters to the plate in the inning and had four hits, a walk and reached on an error. That gives Isaiah Campbell some breathing room as he comes back for the second inning.

Arkansas 5, South Carolina 0 - Bottom 1st Inning

Carson Shaddy just cleared the bases with a three-run home run to deep left field. That broke the Razorbacks' single-season record for home runs, their 93rd this season. The previous record was 92 in 2010 before the bat modifications.

The crowd is really into this one.

Arkansas 2, South Carolina 0 - Bottom 1st Inning

Arkansas could not have asked for a better start. Eric Cole walked, Casey Martin singled and Heston Kjerstad reached on a throwing error by the South Carolina third baseman Jonah Bride, which allowed Cole to score and Martin to go to third.

Luke Bonfield followed with an RBI single to score Martin and move Kjerstad to third. No outs.

The Gamecocks are already throwing in their bullpen and this place is ready to explode; lots of energy in Baum tonight.

Arkansas 0, South Carolina 0 - Middle 1st Inning

Isaiah Campbell looked pretty sharp during the first inning, working around a one-out walk to Carlos Cortes with a long fly out from Madison Stokes and a punch-out of clean-up hitter Jonah Bride.

Campbell threw right at about 20 pitches in the inning. The pitch counts aren't available in the box until the second inning.

Pregame

Arkansas and South Carolina are almost ready to take the field with a trip to the College World Series on the line. The game will begin at 6 p.m., and has been moved to ESPN2.

Arkansas will throw redshirt sophomore right-hander Isaiah Campbell (4-6, 4.17 ERA) and will be countered by South Carolina freshman right-hander Carmen Mlodzinski (3-5, 4.85 ERA). Campbell pitched five scoreless innings in his appearance against the Gamecocks earlier this year. The Razorbacks have not faced Mlodzinski.

The home plate umpire tonight is Billy Haze, who is the crew chief. Haze works for several conferences, including the Pac-12, on the West Coast. Mike Morris, the home plate umpire from yesterday, is at third base tonight.

It is hot in Fayetteville and will be in the 90s and 80s throughout the game. There is a pretty stiff breeze blowing in right now from the south that could knock some balls down in the outfield. There is a slight chance of a shower.

Arkansas' lineup remains the same with one exception: Grant Koch and Jared Gates have swapped spots in the lineup, moving Gates to seventh and Koch to eighth.

Matt Williams, who did not play yesterday, is back at first base tonight for South Carolina and will bat ninth.

Arkansas is the home team tonight and is wearing its cream jerseys with red hats. South Carolina is in its road grays with red hats.

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