Tom Murphy is a reporter for the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette. A graduate of Louisiana Tech University, he is a member of the Football Writers Association of America, and voter for the Heisman Trophy and AP Top 25 football poll. Murphy was the 2017 Arkansas Sportswriter of the Year.
This week in Razorback history
Arkansas first baseman Chad Spanberger hits a home run during a game against Auburn on Thursday, May 25, 2017, at the SEC Tournament in Hoover, Ala.
Chad Spanberger became the 10th Arkansas player to hit three home runs in a game on the same day Dominic Taccolini, Matt Cronin and Josh Alberius combined for the 13th no-hitter in school history in the Razorbacks’ 12-0 victory over Auburn in seven innings at the SEC Tournament in Hoover, Ala.
Stacy Lewis birdied five consecutive holes on the back nine en route to a final-round 66 to win the NCAA championship in Daytona Beach, Fla.
Lewis, in third place entering the final round, fired seven birdies to edge Purdue’s Christel Boejion by two strokes for the individual title. Lewis became the first women’s golfer playing as an individual to win NCAA medalist honors in a decade, since Heather Bowie of Texas in 1997.
A four-time All-American at Arkansas, Lewis has gone on to claim 12 titles on the LPGA Tour, including two majors, and was named Rolex Player of the Year in 2012 and 2014.
Lewis, whose career winnings are just shy of $13 million, is still on the LPGA Tour and raising her daughter Chesnee with husband, Gerrod Chadwell, head women’s golf coach at the University of Houston. Lewis served as a volunteer assistant for Coach Shauna Taylor and the Razorbacks in 2019.
The Arkansas men’s golf team finished with a final-round 292 in tough conditions to win its first and only NCAA regional title. The Razorbacks finished at 5-under par in the Central Regional at Hillcrest Country Club in Bartlesville, Okla.
Three Razorbacks placed in the top 10, with brothers Brenden and Deane Pappas tying for second place at 4-under par behind Wisconsin’s Ron Wuesche, and Razorback David White tying for sixth place at 3-under par.
Razorback R.H. Sikes teamed with B.J. Patton to beat a pair of golfers from Great Britain 1 up to help the United States win the Walker Cup 12-8 at Royal Turnberry in Scotland.
Sikes, who also won medalist honors at the 1963 NCAA Championships, went 1-2 at the Walker Cup, losing another paired match with Patton and dropping an individual singles match.
The Razorbacks softball team fell 9-0 at No. 4 Oklahoma in the NCAA Norman Super Regional to be eliminated from the postseason.
Under third-year Coach Courtney Deifel, the Razorbacks advanced to their first super regional before finishing the season 42-17.
The season included a 9-0 start and a 16-1 record prior to the opening of SEC play. The Razorbacks also won league series over two ranked teams — No. 20 Mississippi State (in a sweep) and No. 15 Alabama — and also swept Ole Miss.
The Razorbacks finished off a 4-0 run at the NCAA East Regional in Tallahassee, Fla., with a 4-3 victory over Delaware to advance to the program’s first College World Series under Coach Norm De-Briyn.
Arkansas had opened the regional with a hard-fought 12-11 win over George Washington to reach the winner’s bracket. The Razorbacks thumped Florida 9-1 the following day, then topped Delaware 8-6 later in the day.
The Blue Hens eliminated Florida 7-5 in the early game on Sunday before Arkansas took the regional.
Freshman Daryl Maday combined with junior Trey Holloway to fire a six-hitter as the Razorbacks beat Tennessee 4-1 at the SEC Tournament in Hoover, Ala.
Arkansas advanced to the bracket final against South Carolina with the clutch pitching effort. Maday, who entered with a 5.35 ERA, threw four scoreless innings, and the lefty Holloway (2-1) picked up the victory after allowing four hits in the final five innings, his longest stint of the season.
The Razorbacks flashed their defense, with center fielder Casey Rowlett making a diving catch and left fielder Jake Dugger contributing two good grabs, one while crashing into the wall.
Dugger, Devin Day and Blake Parker had two hits each for Arkansas. Dugger led off the game with a triple and scored on a Rowlett ground ball. Day tripled to open the seventh inning and scored on Rowlett’s single. Parker added an RBI double to make it 4-1.
The Razorbacks were eliminated the following day with a 3-2 loss to South Carolina.
Freshman Mason Overstreet, playing as an individual, finished second at the NCAA Championships in Sugar Grove, Ill.
Overstreet, of Kingfisher, Okla., played four consistent rounds, all between 4-under 68 and even-par 72 to edge three golfers by a stroke for second place, four shots behind medalist Braden Thorn-berry of Ole Miss.
Nicolas Echavarria shot a second-round 6-under 64, the lowest-scoring round in Arkansas’ program history at the NCAA championship.
Echavarria wound up tied for 13th place with a final score of 4-under 206 at the Capital City Club in Atlanta.
The Razorbacks, playing two games on the final day of an NCAA regional, edged Arizona State 1-0 and LeMoyne 6-5 to advance to their fourth College World Series. Coach Norm DeBriyn posted his 700th career victory in the regional final over the LeMoyne Dolphins, based in Syracuse, N.Y.
Arkansas gained revenge on LeMoyne, which had defeated the Razorbacks 7-5 four days earlier at the NCAA Waterbury (Conn.) Regional. The Razorbacks made it to the championship game by beating Illinois 9-2 and Arizona State 1-0.
Trailing twice by two runs, the Arkansas baseball team rallied to knock out Oklahoma State ace Michael Freeman (10-3) in a five-run eighth to secure a winner’s bracket victory over the Cowboys at the Stillwater Regional at Reynolds Stadium.
Arkansas trailed 4-2 after seven innings. Pinch hitter Carson Shaddy opened the critical eighth with a nine-pitch walk against the 6-8 lefty Freeman, whom the Cowboys held out of their regional opener so he could face the Razorbacks. After Joe Serrano’s single to right field, Freeman threw wildly to first base on Bobby Wernes’ sacrifice bunt to allow Shaddy to score, and the floodgates opened from there on the error-prone Cowboys.
Serrano scored on a wild pitch to tie the game 4-4, then Andrew Benintendi drew a walk to finish Freeman’s night. Relief pitcher Remey Reed threw wildly on a pickoff attempt, allowing Wernes to score the go-ahead run. Rick Nomura and Michael Bernal had RBI singles to cap the big inning and make a winner out of James Teague (5-4), who relieved Keaton McKinney in the fifth. Zach Jackson struck out five batters in two innings to post his seventh save.
After Oklahoma State jumped on top 2-0 in the second inning, Tyler Spoon hit a two-run single to even the game in the top of the third.
Serrano had a double for the Razorbacks’ only extra-base hit and had a game-high three of Arkansas’ eight hits.
The Razorbacks would defeat St. John’s 4-3 the following day to advance to the super regional round against national No. 8 seed Missouri State played at Baum Stadium in Fayetteville.
The Arkansas men’s golf team fell 3-2 to Texas A&M in the match-play final of the NCAA Championships at the Inverness Club in Toledo, Ohio. Arkansas’ No. 1 player Andrew Landry made up a four-hole deficit to even his match with Bronson Burgoon heading to No. 18, when Burgoon slashed his approach from the rough to within inches of the cup, leading to his match-winning birdie.
Arkansas stalwarts Landry and David Lingmerth, who have gone on to post victories on the PGA tour, helped the Razorbacks to match-play victories over Washington (3-2) and Georgia (3-1-1) for Coach Brad McMakin, in his third season with the Razorbacks.
Drew Smyly fired a one-hitter into the ninth inning, and Arkansas ripped Oklahoma 11-0 at Mitchell Field to win the Norman Regional and advance to the super regional in Tallahassee, Fla.
The left-hander Smyly (3-1) struck out 12 Sooners over 81/3 innings, and Stephen Richards finished the game with two more strikeouts as the Razorbacks polished off a dominating performance at the regional.
First baseman Andy Wilkins went 5 for 5 with 2 home runs, 2 doubles, 5 RBI and 4 runs scored to lead the Hogs’ 15-hit attack. Chase Leavitt, Ben Tschepikow, Zack Cox and Bo Bigham all had two hits each. Tschepikow and Cox both homered and drove in three runs apiece.
The Razorbacks unleashed a powerful offense at the regional, going 45 for 119 at the plate (.378) and scoring double-figure runs in winning all three games. Wilkins was 12 for 16 (.750) with seven extra-base hits.
Arkansas pounded the Sooners twice, including a 17-6 rout in the second game, after thumping Washington State 10-3 to open the regional.
Coach Norm DeBriyn’s Razorbacks capped a spectacular month with a 1-0 victory in 14 innings over South Carolina in the opening game of the College World Series in Omaha, Neb.
Keith Kerns, who had whiffed on a suicide squeeze bunt with the bases loaded and no outs, causing Jeff King to be tagged out in a rundown, delivered the game-winning hit one pitch later. His looping single to right field brought home Norm Roberts from second with the winning run in what was then the second-longest scoreless game in CWS history.
Howard Hilton, Tim Deitz and Fred Farwell limited the Gamecocks to six hits.
“It was real frustrating for us out there today,” said South Carolina’s Joe Datin, who had one of the Gamecocks’ hits. “We just couldn’t get anything off them.”
Arkansas opened the month with a 13-1 win over Mississippi State in Little Rock, flipping the tables on a 16-2 loss to the Bulldogs in Greenville, Miss., the day before.
The Razorbacks reeled off a 17-0 record in the month, their only unbeaten May in school history. The long winning streak included two victories over Texas to capture the SWC Tournament in Fayetteville, and a 4-0 mark at the Tallahassee (Fla.) Regional that featured a 7-6 win over the Seminoles and a 7-5 victory over Georgia Tech in the championship game.
In the 1-0 squeaker over South Carolina at Rosenblatt Stadium, King drew a walk and moved to third on Roberts’ second double of the game. Mark Jackson drew a walk to load the bases and set up Kerns’ game winner.
Mississippi State ended the Hogs’ long winning streak with a 5-4 decision in a winner’s bracket game, and Arkansas went on to a third-place finish in Omaha.
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