Bob Holt is a reporter for the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette. A graduate of the University of Missouri, he is a member of the Football Writers Association of America, and a voter for the Heisman Trophy and AP Top 25 basketball poll. Holt has been awarded Arkansas Sportswriter of the Year twice.
Hogs' ace manages 5 innings
Arkansas pitcher Isaiah Campbell (55), catcher Casey Opitz and pitching coach Matt Hobbs talk during an SEC Tournament game against Georgia on Thursday, May 23, 2019, in Hoover, Ala.
HOOVER, Ala. -- University of Arkansas junior right-hander Isaiah Campbell had a shutout going against Georgia on Thursday night, but the Razorbacks' ace came out of the game after five innings.
Had it been a regular-season game, Campbell would have gone another inning or two. But the NCAA regionals begin next weekend and the No. 5 Razorbacks need Campbell to be fresh.
After Campbell came out, the No. 6 Bulldogs rallied to beat the Razorbacks 3-1 at Hoover Metropolitan Stadium in an SEC Tournament matchup.
"I'm a competitor and having a pitch count, it sucks," Campbell said. "But it's baseball. Hopefully, we still have a long journey ahead of us to get to Omaha [for the College World Series], so that's a couple more weeks."
Campbell threw 71 pitches, including 44 strikes, before being replaced by Kole Ramage in the sixth inning.
"It's good for my arm," Campbell said of not running his pitch count up. "But at the same time, I wanted to get out there and keep competing for the team and help us win."
Campbell held the Bulldogs to 2 hits -- both infield singles -- but he issued 3 walks. Coming into the game, he had just 15 walks in 90 innings.
"All in all, I didn't have my best stuff at all," Campbell said. "But just competed, got out of some jams."
The Bulldogs, who played Arkansas for the first time this season, said they were impressed by Campbell.
"Campbell is really talented," Georgia first baseman Patrick Sullivan said. "He threw really well. He kind of kept us off-balance. I felt like we kept plugging along, though, and we were able to finally break through after they took him out of the game."
With the game tied 1-1, it looked as if Trevor Ezell was going to lead off the top of the eighth inning with an extra-base hit on a drive to left field.
But Riley King made a diving catch and Casey Martin and Matt Goodheart followed with strikeouts against Ryan Webb.
"I saw it was hit well, so I was on my horse back there," King said." It was right before the warning truck and I heard [center fielder Tucker Maxwel] communicating and he said, 'You've got room, you've got room.'
"So when he said that, I was like, 'I'm laying out for it,' and a good thing happened."
Arkansas will play Ole Miss for the fifth time this season when the teams face each other in an elimination game at 3 p.m. today.
The Rebels took two of three games at Arkansas during the regular season, then the Razorbacks beat them 5-3 Wednesday.
"I think we're just more focused on us," Arkansas center fielder Dominic Fletcher said of taking on Ole Miss. 'If we come out there and play our game and our offense does what it can do, it doesn't really matter who we're playing."
Arkansas will start freshman right-hander Connor Noland (2-4, 3.86 ERA). Ole Miss will start freshman right-hander Gunnar Hoglund (2-2, 5.13 ERA).
Sports on 05/24/2019
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