Hogs have short stay at CWS

Hogs fall by 1 to Tech, ending sea­son

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

OMAHA, Neb. — Arkansas led 3-0, trailed

4-3, tied it 4-4 then lost

5-4 its topsy-turvy Col­lege World Se­ries loser’s bracket game to the Texas Tech Raiders Mon­day af­ter­noon at TD Amer­i­trade Park in Omaha, Nebraska.

Mon­day’s loss, cou­pled with Arkansas’ 1-0 CWS first-round loss Satur­day night to the Florida State Semi­noles, ends the sea­son at 46-20 for Coach Dave

Van Horn’s SEC West cocham­pion Ra­zor­backs mak­ing Arkansas’ first back-to­back Col­lege World Se­ries ap­pear­ances among the 10 CWS trips to in UA his­tory.

Cody Mas­ter’s two-out eighth-in­ning triple off the right-field wall scor­ing lum­ber­ing but break­ing on the pitch Red Raider Cameron War­ren off los­ing re­liever Cody Scrog­gins irrevocabl­y broke a 4-4 tie.

Arkansas threat­ened in the ninth. Tech re­liever John Mcmil­lion, the third of four Red Raiders pitch­ers and ul­ti­mately the win­ner, hit 8-hole hit­ter Jacob Nes­bit with a 2-0 pitch lead­ing off.

Texas Tech Coach Tim Tad­lock sum­moned re­liever Tay­lor Floyd. Eschew­ing the ex­pected sac­ri­fice bunt,

fresh­man 9-hole hit­ter Chris­tian Franklin sin­gled to right putting run­ners at first and sec­ond.

Trevor Ezell, Arkansas’ hottest hit­ter dur­ing its Fayet­teville Re­gional and Su­per Re­gional runs ad­vanc­ing the Ra­zor­backs to Omaha, was given the op­por­tu­nity to drive in the ty­ing run rather than sac bunt, but popped up to the short­stop. Casey Mar­tin, tripling home Franklin then scor­ing on Matt Good­heart’s in­field sin­gle in Arkansas’ 2-run third, in the ninth struck out for the third time Mon­day. Good­heart’s fly to left ended it all for a Ra­zor­backs team that was the na­tional run­ner-up in 2018.

“Floyd came in and did a great job,” Van Horn said. “He had an op­por­tu­nity to let that thing slip away and he didn’t. I think they thought we were bunting with Franklin. We weren’t. And I just wanted to see if we could draw them in a lit­tle bit and maybe he could slap the ball by him, and it worked. Then Ezell one of our best hit­ters, had an op­tion to bunt for a hit if they stayed back. If they were up I wanted him to swing. Look­ing back at it, I wish he would have hit the first pitch. It was maybe a ball low but it was prob­a­bly the only fast­ball he got, and the third base­man is way up and (first base­man ) War­ren is way up, and they started back­ing up a lit­tle bit.

But I just didn’t feel good about bunting one of my best hit­ters with first base open, then they’d have an op­tion to ei­ther walk Casey, set up a dou­ble play, or the other thing is there’s a lot of swing-and­miss there in the 2-hole, and I just felt like that the key at-bat was go­ing to be Trevor. Trevor needed to hope­fully ad­vance and maybe drive them in, and he made some re­ally good pitches to Trevor. You know, but it was look­ing good, but you’ve got to get them over and in, and we didn’t.”

Be­hind fresh­man starter Connor Noland of Green­wood the Ra­zor­backs Mon­day built a 3-0 lead through three in­nings against Tech starter Caleb Kil­ian.

Score­less for 23 con­sec­u­tive CWS in­nings dat­ing back to its con­sec­u­tive CWS cham­pi­onship losses to Ore­gon State last year and plus last Satur­day’s

1-0 loss to Florida State, Arkansas snapped the skid on He­ston Kjer­stad’s one-out solo homer run in Mon­day’s sec­ond in­ning.

The Franklin one-out dou­ble in the third fol­lowed by two-out Mar­tin’s drive that Tech left fielder Kurt Wil­son gam­bled and lost as the ball skipped by al­low­ing Mar­tin to go all the way to third then score when Good­heart beat out a sin­gle to deep short.

Kil­ian righted the Tech ship to throw shutout ball his re­main­ing in­nings through the sev­enth with nine strike­outs against a walk and six hits.

“Give credit to Kil­ian,” Van Horn said. “I thought he did a good job of bat­tling and find­ing a way to get through some in­nings. Kept eat­ing up in­nings. I think one time maybe Coach Tad­lock might have been go­ing out there to take him out, at least that’s what it looked like and he promptly got an­other out, and got them through that in­ning and gave his bullpen a chance to rest a lit­tle bit more.”

Mean­while Red Raiders War­ren, Eas­ton Mur­rell, a Ra­zor­back last year trans­ferred last sum­mer to Tech, and Josh Jung would hit three home runs in three con­sec­u­tive in­nings.

Noland, whom Van Horn hoped to get any­thing from three to five in­nings, shut out the Red Raiders for the first three go­ing into Brian Klein lead­ing off the Tech fourth. Jung rapped a pos­si­ble dou­ble­play grounder that short­stop Mar­tin bob­bled com­pelling him to settle for a force out at sec­ond but no time for sec­ond base­man Jack Ken­ley to at­tempt throw­ing on to first.

So Jung was aboard when War­ren swung his 230-plus pounds into a Noland hang­ing curve for a 421-foot 2-run homer over left.

So Van Horn, who has re­lied all sea­son on mid­dle re­liev­ers Kevin Kopps, Jacob Kostyshock and Scrog­gins as buf­fers to closer Matt Cronin, brought Kopps in to start the fifth with a 3-2 lead.

Mur­rell, 1 for 8 as a sel­dom used Ra­zor­backs fresh­man last sea­son, and a re­serve with Tech but start­ing at third base Mon­day with Tad­lock shuf­fling his in­field mi­nus in­jured reg­u­lar short­stop Gabe Holt, hit the first home run of his col­lege ca­reer on a two-out Kopps pitch ty­ing it 3-3 in the fifth.

Jung’s lead­off home run off Kopps gave Tech its first lead, 4-3.

Kil­ian had stranded run­ners at first and sec­ond ending Arkansas’ 2-run third and stranded Mar­tin at sec­ond af­ter Mar­tin’s two-out dou­ble in the fifth and stranded Ra­zor­backs at first in the sixth and sev­enth be­fore turn­ing it over to lefty Dane Have­man start­ing the eighth with left-handed Ra­zor­backs Good­heart, Do­minic Fletcher, Kjer­stad and Jack Ken­ley the next bat­ters.

Good­heart grounded out but Fletcher walked and Kjer­stad sin­gled him to third. Out came Have­man and in came Mcmil­lon and his fast­ball that re­port­edly has been clocked at 100 mph.

Ken­ley, on a nine-pitch at-bat in­clud­ing a foul fly in left that the Red Raiders didn’t catch as Fletcher likely would have tagged and scored, fi­nally was Ken­ley touched for the fair ball sac fly to left tal­ly­ing Fletcher.

Catcher Casey Opitz, 0 for 4 at the plate but su­perb be­hind it gun­ning down both Red Raiders try­ing to steal, struck out strand­ing Kjer­stad who had ad­vanced to sec­ond on a wild pitch.

Scrog­gins, sad­dled with the loss vs. Florida State

in the ninth though not giv­ing up a hit re­liev­ing in Satur­day’s eighth af­ter Satur­day starter Isa­iah Camp­bell’s mag­nif­i­cent seven shutout in­nings, re­lieved Jacob Kostyshock dur­ing Mon­day’s eighth.

Kostyshock had suc­cess­fully re­lieved Kopps with one out and one on in the sev­enth, but was clipped for Brian Klein’s sin­gle lead­ing off the eighth.

Scrog­gins got help from Opitz throw­ing out Klein try­ing to steal then struck out Jung. Scrog­gins pitched care­fully to and ended up walk­ing War­ren who had hit his 18th ear­lier.

Masters, 0 for 3, then hit the triple to right ar­riv­ing at third about as quickly as War­ren with an off and run­ning head start would score the game-win­ner.

“Well, ob­vi­ously it was a tough loss,” Van Horn said. “Pretty well-played game by both teams. For the most part, there re­ally wasn’t too many mis­takes. Just kind of who got the big hit and who didn’t.”

While the Ra­zor­backs’ vow of “unfinished busi­ness” got fin­ished two and through, Van Horn put per­spec­tive on a SEC West co-cham­pion ending the sea­son in Omaha as a No. 5 na­tional seed de­spite los­ing its top two start­ing pitch­ers and re­turn­ing only three reg­u­lar start­ing po­si­tion play­ers from last year’s na­tional run­ner-up.

“It was a good year,”

Van Horn said. “I know there’s a lot of peo­ple back home dis­ap­pointed, but prob­a­bly like me, if they just take a step back and take a breath and kind of re­al­ize what we re­placed and how we did af­ter we re­placed all those play­ers, it was a pretty good year.”

As the Ra­zor­backs’ year end, Texas Tech, beaten by Arkansas dur­ing last year’s CWS, plays on Wed­nes­day night in Omaha vs. the loser of Mon­day night’s win­ner’s bracket game between Florida State and Michi­gan.

Craven WHITLOW/NATE allen Sports Ser­vice

Arkansas fresh­man starter Connor Noland makes a play in a 5-4 loss to Texas Tech Mon­day at TD Amer­i­trade Field in Omaha, Nebraska. The loss elim­i­nates the Hogs from the Col­lege World Se­ries.

Craven WHITLOW/NATE allen Sports Ser­vice

Arkansas fresh­man Chris­tian Franklin slides into a base in a 5-4 loss to Texas Tech Mon­day at TD Amer­i­trade Field in Omaha, Nebraska. The loss elim­i­nates the Hogs from the Col­lege World Se­ries.

CRAVEN WHITLOW/NATE Allen Sports Ser­vice

Arkansas sopho­more He­ston Kjer­stad smacks an op­po­site-field home run to help the Hogs to a 3-0 lead, but the Ra­zor­backs ul­ti­mately fell 5-4 to the Texas Tech Red Raiders to get elim­i­nated from the Col­lege World Se­ries in Omaha, Nebraska.

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