Matt Jones is the online sports director for the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette. A double graduate of the University of Arkansas, he is a member of the Football Writers Association of America and National Collegiate Baseball Writers Association, and voter for the Heisman Trophy.
Leach walks off Texas, greeted with Hog Calls and CWS ring
Missouri catcher Dylan Leach (shirtless) waves to the crowd after hitting a game-winning double during a game against Texas on Saturday, Feb. 18, 2023, in Arlington, Texas. (Courtesy Ben Warski, Mizzou Athletics)
ARLINGTON, Texas — Dylan Leach celebrated a game-winning hit against Texas on Saturday night with two teams.
The Missouri catcher who played at Arkansas the previous two seasons was mobbed by his Mizzou teammates after he lined a one-out double to the left-field corner in the ninth inning. It scored Hank Zeisler from first base to give the Tigers a 6-5 victory.
When the Mizzou celebration settled down, Leach was congratulated by his former coaches and teammates at Arkansas, who watched the hit from a holding area just down from the Tigers' first-base dugout. During the interaction Leach was presented with his 2022 College World Series ring.
“To walk off and then get handed your College World Series ring, you can’t ask for anything better,” said Leach, who was playing about 180 miles from his hometown of Carthage, Texas.
Thousands of Arkansas fans had made their way into the ballpark by the time Leach hit his game winner. He was greeted with a Hog Call as he walked to the plate and with another as he celebrated.
“I really appreciate y’all,” Leach said of the Arkansas fans. “That was unbelievable. I still love y’all and I really appreciate the support.”
Leach was one of two former Razorbacks on the field for the Missouri-Texas game. Heston Tole, a right-handed pitcher who was a freshman with Leach at Arkansas in 2021, made his debut for the Longhorns and pitched one scoreless inning.
Tole inherited two base runners — including Leach — with one out in the seventh inning, but escaped the jam by striking out Justin Colon.
Leach played in 24 games and started 16 times for the Razorbacks last season. He made history last April when he hit for the cycle and homered from both sides of the plate during a 21-9 victory over Central Arkansas at Baum-Walker Stadium.
Leach finished Saturday's game 2 for 5. He said he has bonded well with his new teammates at Missouri.
“It’s been a good transition for me," Leach said.
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