Arkansas bashes Texas in College World Series opener

By: Matt Jones
Published: Sunday, June 17, 2018
Arkansas designated hitter Luke Bonfield rounds the bases after hitting a home run during the fifth inning of a College World Series game against Texas on Sunday, June 17, 2018, in Omaha, Neb.
Photo by Ben Goff
Arkansas designated hitter Luke Bonfield rounds the bases after hitting a home run during the fifth inning of a College World Series game against Texas on Sunday, June 17, 2018, in Omaha, Neb.

Arkansas 11, Texas 5 - Final

The Longhorns put a run on the board in the ninth, but Arkansas is in the winner's bracket after a convincing win. The game lasted 3 hours, 55 minutes and had a 2-hour, 49-minute weather delay.

Arkansas plays again at 6 p.m. Tuesday against either Florida or Texas Tech. The Gators and Red Raiders play later tonight in Omaha.

Blaine Knight was the winning pitcher with a five-inning outing today. That gives him 13 wins this season, tying a school record that had been set twice before but not since 1980.

We'll have much more from this game on WholeHogSports.com after interviews.

Arkansas 11, Texas 4 - End 8th Inning

Grant Koch singled with two outs and was stranded when Jax Biggers flied out to center field. Arkansas has 15 hits today, including at least one in every inning.

Cody Scroggins will pitch in the ninth for the Razorbacks.

Arkansas 11, Texas 4 - Middle 8th Inning

Bryce Bonnin gave up a walk to load the bases, but got David Hamilton to pop up to third base on a 3-2 pitch to end the inning. Texas has stranded nine runners today, including the bases loaded twice.

The attendance today was 23,034.

Arkansas 11, Texas 4 - Top 8th Inning

Kole Ramage looked brilliant for the first two batters of the eighth, striking out Kody Clemens and Zach Zubia, but he has allowed four straight runners to reach and Austin Todd's two-run single doubled the Longhorns' run total.

Ramage is being replaced by fellow freshman right-hander Bryce Bonnin, another Texas native. Bonnin will inherit two runners with two outs.

Arkansas 11, Texas 2 - Middle 7th Inning

Texas put two on against Barrett Loseke. After a pitching change, Kole Ramage struck out Duke Ellis to end the inning. The Longhorns have stranded six runners today.

Arkansas 11, Texas 2 - End 6th Inning

Arkansas stranded the bases loaded when Eric Cole grounded out to Kody Clemens, but the Razorbacks scored eight runs in the inning, a season-high allowed by Texas.

Here comes Barrett Loseke to pitch the seventh. Remember he was the Arkansas pitcher before the delay and has thrown 19 pitches, officially.

Arkansas 11, Texas 2 - Bottom 6th Inning

Dominic Fletcher's two-run single scored two more and Carson Shaddy added an RBI single. The Razorbacks have sent 10 to the plate this inning without recording an out.

Arkansas 8, Texas 2 - Bottom 6th Inning

Casey Martin and Heston Kjerstad each have RBI singles in the first two at-bats since the restart. Martin's hit scored one run and Kjerstad's scored two.

The first seven batters in this inning have reached and the Hogs are on the verge of breaking this game wide open.

Arkansas 5, Texas 2 - Bottom 6th Inning

The game is resuming with the bases loaded and no outs. Casey Martin is at the plate for Arkansas. The Razorbacks' first five hitters in this inning reached.

The new Texas pitcher is junior right-hander Chase Shugart, who has a 4.07 ERA and has a team-high 40 walks in 90 innings.

Restart Time, 6:15 p.m.

The game is going to begin at 6:15 p.m. and will be televised by ESPN2. The delay will have been right at 2 hours, 45 minutes at its conclusion.

It looks like Barrett Loseke might be the pitcher for Arkansas when play resumes. It's hard to see who is in the bullpen for Texas.

Weather Delay Update, 5:35 p.m.

It's just a really bizarre delay. The sun has been shining in downtown Omaha for well over an hour, but still no restart time given.

The ground crew is preparing the field for a restart and the players are just sitting around the dugout.

Weather Delay Update, 5:20 p.m.

The ground crew is beginning to pull the tarp, but there is still no official word on a restart time. Both teams have been in their dugouts for nearly 30 minutes, just waiting around.

There is word in the press box that a popup storm a little south of here caused the 30-minute lightning clock to reset a little before 5 p.m.

In other news, a spectator wearing an Arkansas shirt jumped the fence and ran onto the field during the delay. He was tackled hard by a ground crew member and transferred to police waiting by the dugouts.

Weather Delay Update

The last lightning strike at the stadium was around 4:20 p.m. NCAA rules dictate that lightning must be out of an 8-mile radius for at least 30 minutes before the game can begin, then the teams must have time to warm up again.

The tarp is still on the field at 5 p.m., but there is a lot of movement among the ground crew. A restart time has not been given, but it appears to be getting close.

Arkansas 5, Texas 2 - Bottom 6th Inning

We are in a weather delay after Arkansas put the first five base runners on in the sixth inning. This is a lightning delay, meaning it will be at least 30 minutes before a restart, but likely longer.

The Longhorns had walked three straight batters before the delay, including two with the bases loaded. Eric Cole fouled off two 3-2 pitches before getting a high fastball from left-hander Josh Sawyer. That was the last pitch before the delay.

Carson Shaddy and Jared Gates had consecutive singles to start the inning against Texas starter Nolan Kingham. The Longhorns went to the bullpen but Parker Joe Robinson walked the only two batters he faced.

It is impossible to say who this will benefit most. Both teams had already pulled their starting pitchers. The pressure will be on Texas to get outs after the restart and the Diamond Hogs have a golden opportunity to blow the game open.

Arkansas 3, Texas 2 - Middle 6th Inning

Kody Clemens singled to lead off the sixth, but was forced out on a ground ball by Zach Zubia. Jax Biggers rushed the throw and allowed Zubia to reach second on an error, but a fly out and a pop up ended the inning.

Barrett Loseke had good velocity in that inning, working his fastball around 92 mph.

Arkansas 3, Texas 2 - End 5th Inning

Luke Bonfield just took Nolan Kingham deep on a 1-1 pitch with two outs and the Razorbacks have regained the lead. Bonfield crushed the pitch into the left field seats, near the 375-foot marker.

Heston Kjerstad also scored. Kjerstad reached on a two-out miscue by the Longhorns that didn't go down as an error because you can't assume a double play. Texas shortstop David Hamilton threw wide of first and Kjerstad was safe. He gave first baseman Jake McKenzie a little push when he returned to the bag. McKenzie was calling for the ball even after Perry Costello called Kjerstad safe.

Barrett Loseke is the new pitcher for Arkansas. Blaine Knight leaves in line for the win, but without throwing one of his better games. He allowed 2 runs on 4 hits and 1 walk.

Texas 2, Arkansas 1 - Top 5th Inning

Blaine Knight has not been as sharp as usual today and now he is trailing Texas. Knight gave up a pair of singles to start the fifth inning. Masen Hibbeler scored on David Hamilton's sacrifice fly, but Tate Shaw was stranded at third when Knight struck out Duke Ellis.

Knight has allowed five base runners (four hits and a walk) through five innings. He has struck out four.

Arkansas 1, Texas 1 - End 4th Inning

The Razorbacks continue to have scoring chances but to no avail. Jared Gates singled to left field with one out, but never advanced after a Grant Koch fly out and Jax Biggers strikeout looking. Arkansas has out-hit Texas 6-2 but has stranded five runners.

Arkansas 1, Texas 1 - End 3rd Inning

The Razorbacks have had runners in scoring position each inning, but have stranded three at either third or second base. Heston Kjerstad was stranded after a one-out double in the third. Luke Bonfield was called out on a borderline 2-2 pitch away and Dominic Fletcher popped up on the first pitch he saw to end the inning.

Nolan Kingham had a short inning in the third, relative to his first two. His pitch count is 44.

Arkansas 1, Texas 1 - Middle 3rd Inning

David Hamilton added a one-out walk for Texas, but the inning ended when the Longhorns' two- and three-hole hitters, Duke Ellis and Kody Clemens, flied out.

Clemens is now 2-for-10 against Arkansas pitching this year.

Arkansas 1, Texas 1 - Top 3rd Inning

The bottom of the Texas order has put the Longhorns on the board in the third. Tate Shaw led off the inning with a triple and scored on a fielder's choice RBI by nine-hole hitter Ryan Reynolds to tie the game.

Texas has been putting some good swings on Knight early in this game. Shaw's hit went to the wall in center field and probably was able to take an extra bag because center fielder Dominic Fletcher was playing pretty shallow.

Arkansas 1, Texas 0 - End 2nd Inning

Arkansas had a chance to add to its lead, but stranded Jared Gates at third base after he got there with one out. Jax Biggers fouled out down the third base line and Eric Cole struck out to end the inning.

Gates led off with a single, then advanced on a balk and a sacrifice fly. The Razorbacks are out-hitting the Longhorns 4-1.

Arkansas 1, Texas 0 - Middle 2nd Inning

The bigness of TD Ameritrade helped Arkansas in the second when DJ Petrinsky flied out to Heston Kjerstad at the wall in left field. Zach Zubia had reached on a lead off single, so the big fly would have scored two. Instead, Blaine Knight worked around the runner and struck out Masen Hibbeler to end the inning.

Casey Martin had another web gem from third base to rob Jake McKenzie of a one-out hit. He made a diving stop to his left, then two-hopped a throw to Jared Gates at first base.

Arkansas 1, Texas 0 - End 1st Inning

The Razorbacks struck first. Eric Cole doubled to the wall in left field and scored on Heston Kjerstad's one-out single. Dominic Fletcher added a two-out infield hit to put runners on the corners, but the inning ended when Carson Shaddy flied out to left field.

Arkansas is out-hitting Texas 3-0.

Arkansas 0, Texas 0 - Middle 1st Inning

Blaine Knight worked a 1-2-3 first inning with a popup to the infield, a fly out to left and a strikeout of Kody Clemens, the Texas All-American second baseman. Knight fell behind 2-0 to Clemens, but had a couple of called strikes before Clemens swung through an 83 mph breaking ball to end the inning.

Pregame

It is going to be a full stadium today for what is the most anticipated matchup of the weekend here in Omaha. It kind of reminds me of a bowl game with a lot of red in some sections and a lot of orange in others.

It is cloudy - has even sprinkled a little bit - and is in the upper 80s as first pitch approaches. The wind is not nearly as intense today as it has been the past few days here, including yesterday when no home runs were hit and a lot of balls died in the outfield. Arkansas and Texas both hit some balls out in batting practice.

The pitching matchup today is Blaine Knight (12-0, 2.84 ERA) vs. Texas right-hander Nolan Kingham (8-4, 4.34 ERA).

The umpires today are Joe Burleson behind the plate, Perry Costello at first base, Billy Van Raaphorst at second base and Frank Sylvester at third base. Costello is not well remembered by Arkansas fans, as he was the home plate umpire for two losses that ended the seasons of two of the Razorbacks' best teams, in 2010 at Arizona State in the super regional and in 2012 here in Omaha against South Carolina in the national semifinals.

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