Scottie Bordelon is a reporter for WholeHogSports.com. A graduate of the University of Arkansas, Bordelon previously covered high school sports for the Times Record in Fort Smith and the Northwest Arkansas Democrat-Gazette in Springdale. He is a member of the U.S. Basketball Writers Association and Football Writers Association of America and voter for the Biletnikoff Award.
2 and out: Arkansas eliminated by Texas Tech at College World Series
Arkansas catcher Casey Opitz (12) covers his head as he walks off the field following an NCAA College World Series baseball game against Texas Techin Omaha, Neb., Monday, June 17, 2019. Texas Tech won 5-4. (AP Photo/Nati Harnik)
OMAHA, Neb. Arkansas hoped for another two-week stay at the College World Series, but instead the Razorbacks' trip ended after two games.
The last team eliminated from Omaha in 2018, Arkansas became the first eliminated this year with a 5-4 loss to Texas Tech on Monday in front of 19,236 at TD Ameritrade Park.
The Razorbacks' season ended with a 46-20 record.
"Kind of hard to swallow," Arkansas coach Dave Van Horn said. "But overall it was a really good year, getting a part of the (SEC) Western Division championship with a really good Mississippi State team. And getting back here, just proud of them and appreciated the effort they gave us all year."
Like Arkansas' loss to Florida State on Saturday, Texas Tech (45-19) scored the winning run in its final at-bat. Cameron Warren drew a two-out walk against Arkansas reliever Cody Scroggins and scored on an RBI triple five pitches later by Cody Masters.
Scroggins took the loss for Arkansas in both games in Omaha.
"I didn't have many good at-bats before that," Masters said, "and so whenever I was stepping on deck, just kind of took a deep breath, tried to forget everything and tried to come through for the squad that's always come through for me when it mattered."
The Razorbacks had a chance to tie the game or take the lead in the top of the ninth inning after Jacob Nesbit was hit by a pitch and Christian Franklin singled to bring the top of the Arkansas order to the plate. None delivered, though, as Trevor Ezell popped up to the pitcher's mound, Casey Martin struck out and Matt Goodheart flied out to left field to end the game.
Arkansas stranded eight base runners.
The Razorbacks tied the game 4-4 in the top of the eighth inning on a sacrifice fly by Jack Kenley. Dominic Fletcher walked with one out and advanced to third base on a single by Heston Kjerstad.
Kjerstad moved into scoring position later in the inning, but Casey Opitz struck out.
The Razorbacks' led 3-0 before Arkansas pitchers Connor Noland and Kevin Kopps allowed two runs apiece on Texas Tech home runs.
Cameron Warren's two-run home run against Noland pulled Texas Tech within 3-2 in the bottom of the fourth inning. Easton Murrell hit a solo homer against Kopps in the fifth to tie the game 3-3, and the Red Raiders' All-American shortstop Josh Jung hit a solo home run against Kopps to lead off the bottom of the sixth to give Texas Tech a 4-3 lead.
Murrell, a sophomore infielder who transferred from Arkansas prior to the season, hit the first home run of his career, while Warren hit his 18th of the season and Jung hit his 15th. Kopps had allowed one home run this season prior to the game.
"We had a hunch these guys were going to be fun to watch with their backs against the wall," Texas Tech coach Tim Tadlock said.
Arkansas scored first on a solo home run by Kjerstad in the top of the second inning. The Razorbacks added two runs in the third on a two-out RBI triple by Martin and a two-out RBI infield single by Goodheart to go ahead 3-0.
Arkansas scored three runs against Texas Tech starter Caleb Kilian, who took a no-decision in 7 innings. Kilian tied a career-high with 9 strikeouts, allowed 6 hits and walked 1 batter.
Noland took a no-decision for the 11th time this season after allowing 2 runs on 4 hits in 4 innings.
Texas Tech advanced to an elimination game Wednesday against either Michigan or Florida State.
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