FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. – For a team hovering at .500 in early April, Omaha seemed like a world away, but the 2015 edition of Razorback baseball had history in mind as they caught fire and stormed to the program’s eighth College World Series in program history.
For a complete postseason notes packet click here.
Best Plate Appearance
It was 1:30 a.m. in Hoover, Alabama at the SEC Tournament and Arkansas trailed 6th-ranked Florida 6-5 in the ninth inning. For the few fans that stayed awake, they were about to be treated with the best plate appearance of the year. Bobby Wernes stepped in the box with the tying run on first and one out and quickly fell behind in the count 1-2. Wernes earned his nickname #BigGameBob that night, fouling off eight pitches before working a full count and launching the 11th pitch of the at bat over the left field fence to give Arkansas a 7-6 victory in dramatic fashion.
With a one-run lead and 11 outs standing between Arkansas and the College World Series, Zach Jackson went to work on the mound and got filthy. He retired 11 consecutive Missouri State batters, including a strikeout of Tate Matheny with two outs in the ninth inning to send Baum Stadium into hysteria as the Razorbacks advanced to Omaha for the eighth time in program history and the third time in the last seven years.
Best Pitching Performance
We’ll split this one up into regular season and postseason. In the regular season, Trey Killian turned in a brilliant performance on the road at Vanderbilt, tossing 7.0 perfect innings before leaving due to pitch count as he returned from injury. Against the eventual national runner up, Killian faced 21 batters and retired every Commodore, including six strikeouts to stifle one of the most prolific offenses in the country. The postseason nod goes to Jackson Lowery, who made just his third start of the year against St. John’s in the Stillwater Regional Championship. He was dominant for 5.0 innings, giving up just one run on one hit, while striking out three as Arkansas captured the Stillwater Regional Title.
When a comeback spans two days, features a five-run eighth inning and is done on the road against the No. 1 team in the country, it’s called a comeback for the ages. That’s exactly what Arkansas did against the top-ranked Aggies. After dropping the series opener, the Razorbacks found themselves down 8-3 in game two and in danger of dropping the series when the storms rolled into town and suspended the contest. The next morning, Arkansas faced a five-run deficit in the seventh inning, but the Hogs battled back with a run in the seventh and five more in the eighth, highlighted by a bases loaded triple from Joe Serrano to fuel the rally. The Razorbacks went on to win the game and capture the series later in the day to shock the top-ranked Aggies on their home field.
Michael Bernal took home this honor with ease, growing one of the best mustaches in the country. As his hitting streak continued through the end of regular season play and into postseason, the mustache inched along. By the end of his team-best 14-game hitting streak the mustache had filled out and turned into instant greatness.
— Razorback Baseball (@RazorbackBSB) May 30, 2015
Best Walk-up Song
Thanks to SoundsOfBaum, Arkansas fans had a one-stop website to listen to every walk-up song before the season even started. While Carson Shaddy might have won most clicks on the website, Tyler Spoon easily won with crowd engagement for “Where I belong” by Building 429.