Matt Jones is the editor of the Hawgs Sports Network. He is a member of the Football Writers Association of America and National Collegiate Baseball Writers Association, and voter for the Heisman Trophy. He has a bachelor's and master's degree in journalism from the University of Arkansas.
Razorbacks beat Santa Clara, get rematch with TCU in regional championship round
Arkansas right fielder Jace Bohrofen (8) celebrates after hitting an RBI double, Sunday, June 4, 2023, during the first inning against the Santa Clara Broncos in an elimination game of the NCAA Fayetteville Regional at Baum-Walker Stadium in Fayetteville.
FAYETTEVILLE — Hours after TCU handed Arkansas its most lopsided loss ever in a postseason game, the Razorbacks earned a rematch with the Horned Frogs.
Arkansas defeated Santa Clara 6-4 in an elimination game Sunday night at Baum-Walker Stadium to extend its season by at least one more day.
The Razorbacks (43-17) must beat TCU (39-22) twice Monday to win the NCAA Fayetteville Regional. The Horned Frogs only need to win once to advance to play Indiana State in the super regional round.
Monday's first game will start at 2 p.m. If Arkansas wins that game, the teams will play a winner-take-all game beginning at 8 p.m.
More from WholeHogSports: How to watch, listen to Arkansas-TCU
The Razorbacks got a strong 5 2/3-inning start from sophomore right-hander Brady Tygart to eliminate Santa Clara (36-20). Tygart allowed 3 runs (2 earned) on 3 hits and 3 walks in his longest collegiate outing. He threw 65 of 99 pitches for strikes and struck out 6.
Because Arkansas was the designated home team and batted in the top of each inning, Tygart never pitched without the lead. Jace Bohrofen hit an RBI double to score Tavian Josenberger, and Bohrofen scored on a sacrifice fly by Ben McLaughlin to give the Razorbacks a 2-0 lead in the top of the first inning.
Arkansas went ahead 3-0 on Jared Wegner’s solo home run in the third inning, and took a 4-0 advantage when Parker Rowland singled up the middle to score Kendall Diggs in the fourth.
Tygart ran into trouble in the sixth inning when Dawson Brigman singled and Michael O’Hara walked with no outs. Eamonn Lance doubled to score both runners with two outs and cut the Razorbacks’ lead to 4-2.
That hit prompted a pitching change and appeared to be the source of a heated exchange between Arkansas coach Dave Van Horn and first base umpire Billy Van Raaphorst as Van Horn walked back to the dugout. Van Raaphorst ruled check swing on appeal after the first pitch off Lance’s at-bat, to the dismay of the Razorbacks’ dugout and most of the announced 10,395 in attendance.
Replay appeared to show Lance swung at the pitch. It was a potentially crucial call because his RBI hit came with two strikes.
Will McEntire replaced Tygart and induced a ground ball by Malcolm Williams, but a throwing error by the third baseman McLaughlin allowed Lance to score and cut the Arkansas lead to 4-3. Thomas Ferroggiaro grounded out to end the inning and strand a base runner.
McEntire struck out the Broncos’ Nos. 3, 4 and 5 hitters in the bottom of the seventh inning. Arkansas added insurance with a two-run home run by Diggs in the top of the eighth inning that bounced off the video scoreboard in right-center field. Diggs’ 12th home run gave him a team-high 63 RBI.
Pitching a couple of days after he threw 81 pitches in relief during a 13-6 victory over Santa Clara, McEntire threw 2 2/3 innings in 57 pitches before giving way to Hunter Hollan, the Game 1 starter against the Broncos.
McEntire retired eight in a row before a one-out single by Williams in the ninth inning. Williams advanced to second base on a balk and scored on Ferroggiaro’s one-out RBI single.
Hollan induced a shortstop-to-second base-to-first base double play by Ben Steck to end the game.
Arkansas lost 20-5 to TCU earlier Sunday in a game that was postponed the night before. The Horned Frogs have won both games against the Razorbacks this season by a combined score of 38-11.
TCU won its eighth consecutive game and for the 17th time in 19 games.
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