OMAHA BOUND! Hogs roll into CWS

Hogs pound Rebels for trip to Omaha

The Saline Courier - - FRONT PAGE - By Nate Allen Ra­zor­back Re­port

FAYET­TEVILLE — Dave Van Horn’s quick hook, Cody Scrog­gins’ arm and an Arkansas bat­ting bar­rage rock­eted the Ra­zor­backs by the Ole Miss Rebels 14-1 in Mon­day’s win­ner-take-all Su­per Re­gional fi­nal be­fore 10,093 tick­ets scanned and to­tal paid 11,095 at Baumwalker Sta­dium and on to Omaha and the Col­lege World Se­ries.

It marks the 10th Col­lege World Se­ries in Univer­sity of Arkansas his­tory, the fifth un­der Van Horn’s coach­ing, and fol­low­ing last year’s na­tional run­ner-up the UA’S first con­sec­u­tive CWS trips to Omaha.

“What a great win for our pro­gram, the state, the univer­sity, the fans,” Van Horn said. “For us to get back to Omaha for the sec­ond year in a row. It’s hard enough just to get there once ev­ery now and then. But to get there two years in a row …”

Aris­ing from a postgame on to Omaha dog pile, the Ra­zor­backs, 46-18 and reg­u­lar sea­son SEC West

co-cham­pi­ons be­come Fayet­teville Re­gional cham­pi­ons, and now Su­per Re­gional cham­pi­ons, will play Florida State in their first-round Col­lege World Se­ries at 6 p.m. Satur­day on ESPN at TD Amer­i­trade Sta­dium.

In their four-team dou­blee­l­im­i­na­tion bracket of

Su­per Re­gional win­ners, the Ra­zor­backs are sec­ond round matched ei­ther with Satur­day’s 1 p.m. game win­ner or loser be­tween Texas Tech and Michi­gan.

Bracket 2 starts Sun­day at 1 p.m. on ESPN with Su­per Re­gional cham­pi­ons Van­der­bilt vs. Louisville and 6:30 p.m. with Auburn vs. Mis­sis­sippi State on ESPN2.

Ul­ti­mately, the bracket win­ners play a best 2 out of 3 se­ries for the na­tional cham­pi­onship.

Coach Mike Bianco’s SEC West Rebels fin­ish their sea­son 41-28.

Down to Mon­day’s win­ner-take-all with Arkansas win­ning 11-2 Satur­day be­hind Isa­iah Camp­bell, and Ole Miss win­ning 13-5 jump­ing early on Arkansas fresh­man starter Connor Noland, Van Horn pulled fresh­man lefty starter Patrick Wick­lan­der for ju­nior vet­eran right-han­der Scrog­gins mid-bat­ter only down 1-0 with two outs in the sec­ond, but af­ter a 9-hole hit bats­man on an 0-2 pitch, then a walk and wild pitch.

A reg­u­lar-sea­son game, Van Horn said he would have stuck with Wick­lan­der whom he said he told, “Get ready to pitch next week.”

But he had to go to his bullpen with all on the line against a hard-hit­ting team the Hogs played eight times and fin­ished 4-4 through SEC, SEC Tour­na­ment plus three Su­per Re­gional games.

Strik­ing out No. 2-hole hit­ter Ryan Olenek, Scrog­gins stranded the Rebels who never scored be­yond their first-in­ning run off Wick­lan­der.

“Cody was the MVP of the game,” Van Horn said. “I mean, with­out him we might not win that game.

“I think it re­ally, the dif­fer­ence be­tween down one and maybe three if they get a base hit was huge.”

Upon the sec­ond-in­ning strike­out, Scrog­gins pro­ceeded to pitch 4.1 shutout in­nings al­low­ing just two hits and no walks while strik­ing out eight.

“I knew it was my time,” Scrog­gins said. “I came in the sec­ond in­ning and he just told me the count and said go get ‘em and that’s what I did. I knew I had con­trol of all three pitches both to left­ies and right­ies. I knew it was gonna be re­ally fun for me to­day and that’s what hap­pened.”

Casey Opitz, catch­ing Scrog­gins, and Rebels Cooper John­son and Thomas Dil­lard try­ing to hit against him, all con­firmed Scrog­gins had ev­ery­thing work­ing.

“I knew he was ready for that kind of mo­ment,” Opitz said. “I could tell from him warm­ing up that he had his stuff and he was gonna be some­thing spe­cial.”

Scrog­gins cer­tainly was but so seemed all the Hogs, Bianco said.

“Ob­vi­ously to­day it was all Arkansas in ev­ery phase of the game,” Bianco said. “Of­fen­sively and Scrog­gins out of the bullpen was tremen­dous and re­ally gave them a lift and we just couldn’t fig­ure him out. It was just their day. I’m cer­tain they will do re­ally well next week in Omaha.”

Scrog­gins, the Ben­tonville na­tive ex-in­fielder be­come Bos­ton Red Sox pitch­ing draft choice be­queathed a 14-1 lead to re­liev­ers

Jacob Kostyshock and Matt Cronin to fin­ish tun­ing up for Omaha af­ter no work the pre­vi­ous two lop­sided games.

For Arkansas’ 12-hit at­tack, He­ston Kjer­stad went 3 for 4 with two dou­bles, a home run and sac­ri­fice fly for four RBIS, and Casey Opitz went 3 for 3 with four RBIS in­clud­ing Arkansas’ first two in the sec­ond in­ning plus a 2-run home run dur­ing a 5-run sixth.

Also se­nior lead­off hit­ter Trevor Ezell of Bryant went 3 for 5 with two RBIS on Mon­day and was 7 of 14 (.500) with three dou­bles, a homer, five runs and four RBIS in the Su­per Re­gional. For the NCAA Tour­ney, Ezell is bat­ting .536 (15 for 28) with six dou­bles, two homers, eight runs and eight RBIS in six games.

Bianco said Ezell’s twostrike, 2-run sin­gle and

Jacob Nes­bit’s two-strike

RBI dou­ble down third in the 4-run sec­ond were the big­gest at bats of the game. Van Horn con­curred.

“Big two-strike hit by Jacob Nes­bit,” Van Horn said. “But then for Trevor Ezell to come through with that re­ally good at-bat, run­ners sec­ond and third. We’ve got a 2-1 lead at the time. Fouled off a cou­ple of pitches, I think the count was 2-2 and he got a changeup down and he slapped it in the four hole. All of a sud­den we’re up 4-1 and man you could just re­ally feel the mo­men­tum switch to us.”

Un­til Texarkana na­tive turned Rebel Zack Phillips re­tired the Ra­zor­backs in the sev­enth and eighth, the Hogs pounded los­ing starter Gun­nar Hoglund, chased dur­ing Arkansas’ 3-run sec­ond, and top re­liev­ers Austin Miller and Parker Caracci to score four in the sec­ond, three in the third, one each in the fourth and fifth and five in the sixth.

“It was just their day,” Bianco said.

And now Omaha is their trip — again.

CRAVEN WHITLOW/SPE­CIAL to The Saline Courier

The Arkansas Ra­zor­backs dog pile af­ter rout­ing the Ole Miss Rebels 14-1 Mon­day at Baum-walker Sta­dium in Fayet­teville. The win puts the Ra­zor­backs in the Col­lege World Se­ries for the sec­ond con­sec­u­tive year and Arkansas will play Florida State on Satur­day in Omaha, Nebraska.

CRAVEN WHITLOW/SPE­CIAL to The Saline Courier

Arkansas ju­nior pitcher Cody Scrog­gins throws a pitch in a 14-1 rout over Ole Miss Mon­day. Scrog­gins earned the win giv­ing up just two hits and no walks, while strik­ing out eight in 4.1 in­nings of score­less re­lief.

CRAVEN WHITLOW/SPE­CIAL to The Saline Courier

Arkansas Ra­zor­backs fans cel­e­brate af­ter He­ston Kjer­stad’s home run in a 14-1 Hogs vic­tory over Ole Miss Mon­day at Baum-walker Sta­dium in the Fayet­teville Su­per Re­gional.

CRAVEN WHITLOW/SPE­CIAL to The Saline Courier

Arkansas catcher Casey Opitz rounds third af­ter hit­ting a home run in a 14-1 rout over the Ole Miss Rebels in the win­ner-take-all Su­per Re­gional game Mon­day at Baum-walker Sta­dium in Fayet­teville.

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