COLLEGE WORLD SERIES REPORT:

Crooked numbers pad Hogs

By: Matt Jones , Tom Murphy
Published: Tuesday, June 19, 2018
Carson Shaddy, Arkansas second baseman, hits a single in the 6th inning vs Texas Sunday, June 17, 2018, during game three of the NCAA Men's College World Series at TD Ameritrade Park in Omaha.
Photo by Ben Goff
Carson Shaddy, Arkansas second baseman, hits a single in the 6th inning vs Texas Sunday, June 17, 2018, during game three of the NCAA Men's College World Series at TD Ameritrade Park in Omaha.

OMAHA, Neb. -- The Arkansas Razorbacks have proven adept at breaking open games with big innings, as evidenced by the Hogs' eight-run sixth inning against Texas on Sunday.

The outburst, which included 10 consecutive batters reaching base, turned a 3-2 game into a runaway.

ADVERTISEMENT

More headlines

In 22 of their 45 victories, the Razorbacks have scored more runs in one inning than their opponent scored in the entire game, and they've had an inning that tied their opponent's total in five other games.

"We've put together some really big innings, and at this time of the year that's really hard to do with the pitching you're facing," Arkansas Coach Dave Van Horn said. "I kind of kid our coaches that we deserve it.

"If you go back and look at all the one- and two- and three-run games we've played throughout the year, I bet there were 30 of them. It's nice to be on the winning side and win by four or five runs, and go into the eighth or ninth inning feeling like you're in pretty good shape and not having to sweat it."

The Razorbacks had a big-blast inning in both of their victories over South Carolina in the super regional, with a four-run inning in a 9-3 decision in the opener, and a pair of five-run outbursts in the 14-4 rout in the finale.

Arkansas also outscored their opponents in one inning twice in their regional, with a four-run sixth in a 10-2 victory over Oral Roberts, and a seven-run second in a 10-2 victory over Southern Mississippi.

The Razorbacks already had scored two runs and had the bases loaded during a weather delay of 2 hours, 49 minutes in the CWS opener. Casey Martin's RBI single, followed by Heston Kjerstad's two-run single, triggered six more runs before the Longhorns' nightmare ended.

"It's just like a knockout punch. We feel it," Arkansas pitching coach Wes Johnson said. "We were in that locker room and as coaches you don't want to say anything, but we're like, 'Man, we're about to blow this open when we come back.' "

Luke Bonfield was hit by a pitch, Dominic Fletcher hit a two-run single, and Carson Shaddy added another RBI single before Texas could register an out.

"That just shows the momentum we get from one guy getting a hit to the next guy," Martin said. "It's like a big train."

Loseke lasts

University of Arkansas, Fayetteville junior Barrett Loseke pitched one inning on one side of the long weather delay Sunday and got two more outs on the other side. The right-hander threw 38 pitches in the game, and dozens more on the side to stay warm during the 169-minute delay.

"I've never had an experience like that before, so I wasn't really sure how to handle it or how it was going to go," Loseke said Monday after the Razorbacks' workout at Bellevue East High School. "On a big stage like the College World Series, it's easy to get the adrenaline going. So I came back out, I felt good, but after a couple of batters, I realized ... I had been throwing pretty much the whole time.

"It kind of felt like I was in the seventh inning of a start, like pretty fatigued toward the end. I was throwing a lot of pitches. Even though I hadn't thrown a ton in the game, I had thrown a ton on the side."

Pitching coach Wes Johnson said Loseke got up and threw some pitches in the tunnel about every 15 minutes during the delay.

"I thought he did outstanding," Johnson said. "We don't know what's going to happen after the delay. If we fast forward and knew we were gonna ... get to 11 [runs], we probably don't send him back out. But we had him moving every 15 minutes. I thought he did phenomenal. He just got tired. We had to get him."

Knight moves

Arkansas ace Blaine Knight picked up the win over Texas to become one of 11 Division I pitchers in the past 29 seasons to notch 13 victories in a season without losing a game. He is the first pitcher to go 13-0 since Mississippi State's Ross Mitchell did it in 2013.

If the Bryant native gets one more victory in Omaha, he would be one of seven pitchers to be 14-0 in the same span.

Long delays

The Washington vs. Oregon State game had a delay of 4 hours and 29 minutes in the sixth inning Monday, one day after the Arkansas-Texas game had a delay of 2 hours, 49 minutes.

The length of the Razorbacks-Longhorns delay was five minutes longer than the total time of Mississippi State's 1-0 victory over Washington on Saturday night.

Because of the length of the rain delay Monday, the NCAA moved the start of the North-Carolina vs. Mississippi State winner's bracket game to today at 10 a.m. The times of the other two games today, including Arkansas' 6 p.m. start, remain the same, though having three games in the same day is likely to push back both first pitches.

Gates is back

Arkansas first baseman Jared Gates had singles in his first three at-bats of the College World Series and finished 3 for 5 with a run scored in the Hogs' 11-5 victory.

Three years ago, Gates was playing across the Missouri River from Omaha for Iowa Western College in Council Bluffs, Iowa, the same school that sent Sebastian Tretola to the Arkansas football team.

"It's a dream come true because I've been to this tournament a couple of times as a spectator, but I always wanted to play in it," Gates said.

Several of his friends from Omaha who went to Iowa Western were at the game Sunday.

Gates hit a single that ate up Texas second baseman Kody Clemens, caroming off his right hand, to lead off the second inning. He singled in the fourth, then singled and scored as part of Arkansas' eight-run sixth inning.

Snoozing

Arkansas left-hander Kacey Murphy used the 2-hour, 49-minute rain delay in the middle of the Razorbacks' 11-5 rout of Texas on Sunday in an interesting manner.

"Well, I took a little nap," Murphy said. "I knew it was gonna be probably a longer outing because there were going to be some pitching changes, so I tried to relax."

While the Arkansas hitters were pumped up, knowing they had a 5-2 lead and the bases loaded, Murphy laid down on the floor, put his cap over his face and rested.

Have a ball

The relievers for Arkansas and Texas combined to walk 10 batters in seven innings Sunday.

Two of the six Longhorns who drew walks eventually scored, while four of the Razorbacks who had bases on balls came around to score.

Holt up

Texas Tech leadoff hitter Gabe Holt will take a 15-game hitting streak into today's game against Arkansas.

Holt had a go-ahead, two-run single in the Red Raiders' two-run fifth inning against Florida's Brady Singer on Sunday.

Blues Singer

Both of Florida ace Brady Singer's losses have come against teams in the Gators' portion of the bracket at the CWS.

Arkansas beat him 6-3 behind Blaine Knight in Gainesville, Fla., on March 23. Texas Tech downed Singer and the Gators by the same score Sunday night at TD Ameritrade Park.

Horizontal nab

Texas Tech left fielder Grant Little laid out horizontally to make one of the best defensive plays in Omaha. Little robbed Florida leadoff batter Deacon Liput of extra bases.

Little, who was taken with pick No. 74 by the San Diego Padres in the MLB Draft, went 3 for 3 with an RBI and a run scored in the Red Raiders' 6-3 victory over Florida.

Perry at the plate

Umpire Perry Costello worked home plate for Monday's elimination game between Oregon State and Washington, assuring that he won't work that spot again for the Razorbacks' winner's bracket game against Texas Tech tonight.

Costello, who was on first base for the Hogs' 11-5 victory over Texas on Sunday, is one of eight umpires at the CWS. He is notorious among Razorback fans for his tight strike zone during DJ Baxendale's start during an Arkansas loss to South Carolina at the 2012 CWS.

If the rotation holds, he'll work third base in the afternoon elimination game today.

Sports on 06/19/2018

Discussion

Have a comment on this story? Join the discussion or start a new one on the Forums.