Arkansas beats Texas Tech to advance to College World Series semifinals

By: Matt Jones
Published: Wednesday, June 20, 2018
Arkansas outfielder Dominic Fletcher hits a home run during the fourth inning of a College World Series game against Texas Tech on Wednesday, June 20, 2018, in Omaha, Neb.
Photo by Ben Goff
Arkansas outfielder Dominic Fletcher hits a home run during the fourth inning of a College World Series game against Texas Tech on Wednesday, June 20, 2018, in Omaha, Neb.

— Arkansas is one win away from playing for a national championship.

The Razorbacks defeated Texas Tech 7-4 on Wednesday in front of 13,637 at TD Ameritrade Park to move into the driver's seat in their bracket. Arkansas (46-19) will play either Florida or Texas Tech on Friday at 7 p.m., needing one win to advance to the best-of-three final round.

Florida and Texas Tech will play in an elimination game Thursday at 7 p.m.

The Red Raiders made it interesting in the ninth inning when their first three batters reached against Arkansas closer Matt Cronin. Two runs scored on Cody Farhat's single down the right field line. Cronin, who recorded the final four outs, retired the next three batters to strand a runner at third base.

Arkansas scored five runs over the first four innings to take command against the Red Raiders (45-19). The Razorbacks out-hit Texas Tech 12-6 and Arkansas pitchers struck out 14 batters.

Eric Cole and Casey Martin had consecutive hits to lead off the first inning, and both scored when Texas Tech outfielders Gabe Holt and Cody Farhat collided trying to field a two-out fly ball by Dominic Fletcher.

Jared Gates added a solo home run to lead off the second inning and Fletcher added a solo home run to lead off the fourth. Carson Shaddy walked in the fourth and scored on Jax Biggers' RBI single to give the Razorbacks a 5-0 lead.

Texas Tech didn't score until the fifth inning when Brian Klein doubled with two outs to plate two runs. That hit chased Arkansas starter Kacey Murphy, who pitched 4 2/3 innings and struck out seven.

Barrett Loseke pitched three innings in relief and and struck out five to earn his fourth win. Loseke pitched 4 1/3 innings and struck out 10 Red Raiders during a 5-1 Arkansas win over Texas Tech on April 24 in Fayetteville.

Arkansas added two runs in the eighth on RBI hits by Fletcher and Shaddy. Fletcher finished 4-for-4 with 4 RBI.

The Razorbacks are in the national semifinals for the third time since 2009.

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