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 three times.
This week in Razorback history
Arkansas senior golfer Maria Fassi reacts after making the final putt during the NCAA Women's Golf Championships on Monday, May 20, 2019, at Blessings Golf Club in Fayetteville.
The Razorback men’s golf team advanced to the NCAA championships with a second-place finish at Blessings Golf Club in Fayetteville.
Arkansas entered the final round with a one-shot lead over Illinois, fell behind by as many as seven strokes but rallied back within one shot of the Illini. The Razorbacks were led by senior Austin Cook, junior Sebastian Cappelen, freshmen Taylor Moore and Nicolas Echavarria and sophomore Thomas Sorensen. Cook finished one shot behind medalist Mario Clemens of SMU.
“We advanced to the NCAA Championship and that is the most important thing from this week,” Arkansas Coach Brad McMakin said. “Over the three days we never counted a score above 74, which is nearly impossible to do on this course. Illinois deserved to win the team title because they also had a great tournament and made big shots down the stretch.”
Former Razorback Eric Hinske, a rookie for Toronto, hit a three-run home run to lead the Blue Jays to a 6-3 victory over the Oakland Athletics.
“It’s definitely good to beat your old team,” said Hinske, who was traded by Oakland to Toronto. “You want to show them what they lost.”
The Lady Razorbacks stunned No. 1 California 3-2 in a winner’s bracket game at the NCAA Berkeley Regional.
Kimmy Beasley (11-9) and Chelsea Cohen (2nd save) combined on a five-hitter as the Razorbacks outhit the hosts 8-5.
Arkansas scored all of its runs in the first inning on consecutive hits by Clarisa Navarro, Sierra Bronkey and Jennifer Rambo, capped by Rambo’s ninth home run of the season off Valerie Arioto (20-3).
The Golden Bears would go on to beat Arkansas twice to win the regional and eventually advance to the Women’s College World Series, where they were eliminated by Alabama.
Arkansas’ men’s track and field team scored 149 points to win the SEC outdoor championships in Knoxville, Tenn.
It was the Razorbacks’ first conference outdoor title since 2001 — ending Tennessee’s two-year reign at the top. The Vols were second with 111 1/2 points.
Arkansas’ Daniel Lincoln scored 26 points by winning the 3,000-meter steeplechase and taking second in the 10,000 and 5,000.
“It feels good to bring the outdoor title back to Fayetteville,” Razorbacks Coach John McDonnell said. “We had never lost three in a row in the SEC or the Southwest Conference, and I’m glad we kept the string alive.
“When you lose something, it’s always nice to gain it back. It makes it even more special to win right here in Tennessee’s back yard.”
The Razorbacks dropped a 3-1 decision to Auburn at the SEC West Tournament in Oxford, Miss. What was only the fourth meeting between the teams is in the record books because the 17-inning affair is the longest game in terms of innings in Arkansas history.
Left-hander Barry Lunney Jr. started for the Razorbacks, and the sophomore allowed 1 run in 8 1/3 innings, with 6 strikeouts and 7 walks. Todd Abbott (4-5) had nine strikeouts in eight innings but picked up the loss.
Both teams scored in the ninth inning to break a scoreless deadlock. Catcher Robert Lewis doubled to open the ninth inning for Auburn and scored on a wild pitch. In the Razorbacks’ ninth, third baseman Doyle Preston singled with two outs. Pinch-runner Chris Clark stole second, advanced to third on a wild pitch and scored on an error.
Arkansas first baseman Kenderick Moore went 5 for 8 to post half of the Hogs’ hits. Auburn had 15 hits, led by Shawn McNally, who went 4 for 5.
Senior Maria Fassi fulfilled a vision she had pictured many times by walking down the 18th fairway with Coach Shauna Taylor en route to the NCAA individual title.
Fassi finished off a round of 5-under-par 68 by calmly sinking a par putt on No. 18 after helping call the Hogs to hold off Florida’s Sierra Brooks by four shots at Blessings Golf Club to win medalist honors at the NCAAs on her home course.
“I told Shauna I don’t know how many times that we would walk down 18 holding hands and I’d be national champion,” Fassi said. “I dreamed it, but this was so much better, way better than what I dreamed.”
Fassi, a native of Mexico, joined Stacy Lewis as the Razorbacks’ individual champions. She became the first NCAA champion to win on her home course since New Mexico’s Caroline Keggi in 1987.
She passed on a chance of turning pro earlier in the year just to play the NCAAs at Blessings.
“Stacy helped put us on the map, but Maria Fassi put on the exclamation point,” Taylor said.
The Razorback softball team rallied past Wichita State 6-4 in the championship round of the first NCAA Fayetteville Regional before a crowd of 2,142, the third-largest in Bogle Park history, to advance to their first NCAA Super Regional under third-year Coach Courtney Deifel.
H a n n a h M cE w e n ’s two-run home r u n i n t h e fourth inning put the Razorbacks ahead for good. McEwen and Autumn Buczek had two hits each to lead Arkansas.
Right-hander Mary Haff worked 4 2/3 scoreless innings in relief to pick up her third victory of the regional.
Arkansas went 3-0 in its first home regional with a 2-0 blanking of DePaul followed by consecutive wins over the Shockers.
The Razorbacks fell 9-4 at Mississippi State to put an end to their only losing season under Coach Dave Van Horn with their 13th consecutive loss.
Arkansas dropped its final 11 SEC games to Western Division rivals Texas A&M, LSU, Alabama and Mississippi State, while also falling in a pair of nonconference games against Missouri State.
The Razorbacks finished 26-29 overall, 7-23 in the SEC, which is still the program’s only losing season since 2001.
No. 23 Arkansas swept a doubleheader from Ole Miss by the scores of 2-0 and 5-3 on the final day of the regular season to clinch the SEC West in what was a bizarre run on both sides of the SEC standings.
The Razorbacks won the division with a 15-15 mark, one game ahead of the trio of Alabama, Auburn and Mississippi State. Every team in the SEC West finished within two games of the division lead, as LSU and Ole Miss were both 13-17.
On the eastern side, Florida, South Carolina and Vanderbilt tied for the division title with 22-8 records, 15 games ahead of Tennessee and 14 games clear of Kentucky.
Arkansas went from possibly being left out of the eight-team SEC Tournament to winning the division and snaring the No. 2 seed for the tourney in the span of an inning. The Razorbacks advanced by scoring three runs in the bottom of the sixth inning in what was predetermined to be a seven-inning contest in Game 2.
Matt Vinson drew a walk and Jarrod McKinney was hit by a pitch to open the Arkansas sixth. After a balk, Tim Carver and Bo Bigham hit back-to-back run-scoring singles and Collin Kuhn, who had previously homered, hit a sacrifice fly.
Freshman Zack Cox homered during a decisive five-run fourth and pitched two hitless innings for his first career save as the No. 20 Razorbacks eliminated No. 9 Florida from the SEC Tournament with a 10-7 decision at Regions Stadium in Hoover, Ala.
Arkansas trailed the Gators 3-2 entering the bottom of the fourth, but with one out Jarrod McKinney was hit by a pitch and Cox followed with a go-ahead home run. Tim Carver and James Mc-Cann hit back-to-back singles before leadoff man Chase Leavitt provided an RBI double. Collin Kuhn drew a walk, then the Gators committed a throwing error that allowed the Hogs to break it open.
Cox added an RBI single and Carver got an RBI sacrifice bunt in Arkansas’ two-run seventh inning after Florida pulled within 8-7.
Sam Murphy (3-1) picked up the victory after throwing 31/3 innings with no earned runs allowed. Cox struck out one and needed just 24 pitches to record the final six outs.
Arkansas’ men’s tennis team made its first trip to the NCAA Tournament Sweet 16 since 1986, where the No. 27-ranked Razorbacks lost 4-1 to No. 4 Southern California in Tulsa.
The Arkansas board of trustees unanimously approved naming the men’s basketball team’s practice facility in honor of Eddie Sutton, who led the Razorbacks to a 260-75 record in 11 seasons from 1973-74 through 1984-85, including nine NCAA Tournament appearances highlighted by the 1978 Final Four.
The resolution the university presented to trustees states that trustees express their “high regard for and lasting gratitude to” Sutton.
Trailing 6-0 after three innings, Arkansas rallied for an 8-7 victory over Ole Miss to advance to the finals at the SEC Tournament in Hoover, Ala.
The Razorbacks scored three runs each in the fourth and fifth innings to forge a tie. After the Rebels reclaimed a 7-6 lead in the seventh inning the Razorbacks rallied for single runs in the eighth and ninth. Joe Serrano doubled to lead off the top of the ninth, advanced on a sacrifice bunt, then scored the winning run on Brian Anderson’s sacrifice fly.
Serrano and Eric Fisher had two hits each among the Razorbacks’ 10 hits, while Ole Miss third baseman Austin Anderson went 3 for 5 for a quarter of his team’s 12 hits.
Lefty Michael Gunn (4-2) notched five outs and picked up the victory, and Jacob Stone struck out two in the ninth to post his third save.
The Razorbacks wrapped up a series win over Auburn and a surprising run to an SEC co-championship with Georgia with a 15-3 rout of the Tigers at Baum Stadium.
Casey Rowlett went 4 for 5 to lead the Razorbacks’ 16-hit attack, while Scott Hode, Haas Pratt and Brady Toops had two hits each, and Jake Dugger scored four runs.
Arkansas put the game away with four runs in both the fourth and sixth innings, followed by a 5-run seventh.
Jay Sawatski (8-3) notched the victory with one run allowed over 5 innings, then Charley Boyce and Caton Hall worked two innings apiece.
Former Razorback Kit Pellow, playing for the Colorado Rockies, hit a two-out double in the eighth inning to break up a no-hit bid by New York Mets pitcher Tom Glavine.
Glavine, 38, finished with a one-hitter in the Mets’ 4-0 victory.
Arkansas junior tennis player Aurelija Miseviciute advanced to the semifinals of the NCAA Tournament by beating UCLA senior Riza Zalameda 6-2, 6-3 in Tulsa.
Miseviciute improved to 52-5 in the fall and became the first Lady Razorback ever to advance to the NCAA semifinals. Maria Pavlidou (1999) is the only other Arkansas player to advance as far as the quarterfinals.
Jess Todd had 17 strikeouts to set Arkansas and SEC Tournament records as the Razorbacks beat South Carolina 6-0 in Hoover, Ala.
“ We we re j u s t ove r - matched,” Gamecocks Coach Ray Tanner said.
Todd allowed two hits in eight innings before Travis Hill replaced him and pitched a scoreless ninth. Todd struck out South Carolina’s first nine batters.
“It was the most dominating to start a game I’ve seen,” Arkansas Coach Dave Van Horn said. “I’ve never been a part of a game when a pitcher strikes out the side three times. I had never seen that.”
Todd struck out his 17th batter in the seventh inning to break the Arkansas record of 16, which was set by Warren Herm in 1976 and tied by David Walling in 1998.
Todd broke the SEC Tournament record of 15 set by Florida’s Rob Bonanno in 1994.
The Razorbacks polished off Clemson 4-2 to finish off a 4-0 run at the NCAA South Regional in Huntsville, Ala., and qualify for their third College World Series appearance.
Arkansas had edged the Tigers 6-5 in 10 innings on the previous day to gain the upper hand in the double-elimination bracket. The Razorbacks opened the regional with a 10-7 win over Middle Tennessee State and stayed in the winner’s bracket with a 7-2 thumping of West Virginia.
Arkansas had never played either the Blue Raiders or the Mountaineers before and they haven’t since.
Arkansas tennis players Peter Doohan and Pat Serret won the NCAA Tournament doubles title by beating Georgia’s Allen Miller and Ola Malmqvist 7-5 (7-5), 5-7, 6-2 on the Bulldogs’ home court in Athens, Ga.
The national title for Doohan and Serret — a junior and sophomore respectively and both Australians — came a year after they lost in the finals to TCU’s David Pate and Karl Richter in three sets.
“Pat and Peter really dug down deep in the third set,” Arkansas Coach Tom Pucci said. “They wanted it so bad. They could have let the crowd get to them, but they didn’t.”
The match was played indoors due to heavy rain that drenched Georgia’s outdoor courts.
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