Fayetteville, Ark. – Drew Moffitt’s solo home run in the top of the 11th inning propelled Wichita State to a 4-3 victory over the Arkansas Razorbacks in game four of the NCAA Fayetteville Regional.Arkansas now faces Missouri in an elimination game with the winner playing the Shockers at 2 p.m. Sunday.
Arkansas fell to 40-22 with the loss, while Wichita State improved to 49-14 with the victory.
Trey Holloway (2-2) took the loss for Arkansas. Tommy Hottovy (9-3) earned the victory for Wichita State in relief.
Wichita State plated the first run of the game in the top of the third inning. Joe Muich singled and moved to second on a sacrifice bunt by Shawn Smarsh.
Nick Blasi drove Muich home with a single to center for a 1-0 lead for the Shockers. Blasi moved to third on a ground out and scored on an infield single by Logan Sorensen to give Wichita State a 2-0 lead.
The Shockers increased their lead to 3-0 in the top of the fourth when Smarsh doubled home Brandon Green with two outs. Muich was thrown out at home attempting to score on the play to end the inning with the Shockers holding a three run lead.
Clay Goodwin led off the bottom of the fourth with a double to left field. Scott Hode moved Goodwin to third with a ground out to second base. The Razorbacks were unable to take advantage of the runner in scoring position as Haas Pratt struck out swinging and Danny Hamblin ground out to third.
The Razorbacks got the leadoff man on to open the bottom of the seventh when Hamblin drew a walk. Blake Parker followed with a single to center to move Hamblin to second. Parker was thrown out at third on a fielder’s choice bunt by Brady Toops.
Scott Bridges was put in to run for Parker and promptly turned a double steal along with Toops to put runners at second and third. With two outs, Jake Dugger singled up the middle to score both Bridges and Toops and cut the deficit to a run.
The Shockers ended the Arkansas rally when Casey Rowlett was called out for strike three with Dugger at first base.
For the second straight inning the Razorbacks drew a leadoff walk, this Goodwin had the honors. A sac bunt by Hode moved Goodwin to third for Pratt who struck out swinging for out two. Wichita State appeared to have the inning ended when Hamblin hit a ground ball to second.
But, the Shockers second baseman stumbled and was unable to make the play allowing Goodwin to move to third. Bubbs Merrill then tied the game with a pinch-hit infield single to short that brought Goodwin home.
Stephen Robison opened the bottom of the ninth off with a single to center. A sac bunt by Dugger moved Robison to second for Rowlett. On the first pitch to Rowlett, Hottovy’s pitch home was low and mishandled by Muich. Robison broke for third but was thrown out easily for the second out of the inning.
With Goodwin at the plate, Rowlett stole second and advanced to third when Muich’s throw was wild to second base. Goodwin was unable to drove Rowlett home, however, as he grounded out to short to end the inning.
The Shockers took a 4-3 lead in the top of the 11th on Drew Moffitt’s 26th home run of the season. It came on 1-2 pitch and sailed over the wall in left.
Green followed with a single, but moved to second on a poor relay throw by Dugger on a fly out by Mark Johnson. Green would not score, however, as relief pitcher Caton Hall shut the Shockers down.
In the bottom of the 11th, Hottovy got Merrill and Toops to ground out for the first two outs of the inning and Robison to fly out to center to end the game.