WACO, Texas – Sophomore Jake Wise
delivered a run-scoring single in the top of the 10th inning for the University of Arkansas baseball team as the Razorbacks defeated No. 4 Baylor, 1-0, in 10 innings to advance to the College World Series.
The Razorbacks (44-20) are making their seventh appearance at the College World Series and their first since 2009. The College World Series is the third for the Razorbacks under 10th-year head coach Dave Van Horn
. Baylor (49-17) dropped their first three-game series of the year at home on Monday night. Arkansas will open play at the College World Series on Saturday, June 16, at 4 p.m., when it faces Kent State, which won the Eugene Super Regional with a 3-2 win on Monday night. For College World Series ticket information, please click here.
“What a great game,” Arkansas head coach Dave Van Horn
said. “Congratulations to Baylor on such a great season with their winning streak in the Big 12 and the overall Big 12 Championship. I feel very fortunate to get out of here with two wins and have a chance to continue our season. It was just a great baseball game. At this leve, one to nothing and extra innings to go to Omaha – I do not know if it gets any better. I know baseball purists probably love this game. As a coach, it was very stressful and thank goodness it is over.”
A scoreless game through nine innings in a tough pitcher’s duel, the Razorbacks were finally able to sneak a run across the plate in the top of the 10th to break the tie. Brian Anderson
led off the inning with a single to left field and advanced to second on a sacrifice bunt by Bo Bigham
. A strikeout later, Wise, who entered the game as a defensive replacement at catcher in the ninth inning, stepped into the box for his first plate appearance of the day and took the first pitch he saw through the hole between third and short and into left field. Running on the swing with two outs, Anderson scored easily ahead of the throw by the Baylor left fielder to give Arkansas the only run it needed.
“The feeling has not set in yet,” Wise said. “Words cannot explain how I feel. I did not get to start today, but I was ok with that because I knew Reeves was going to do a great job like he has done all year. They called my name in the eighth so I went in there and had a job to do.”
Despite the lead, Arkansas’ bottom of the 10th inning was tenuous as Baylor had the top of the order at the plate and put a pair of runners on. After a pair of line outs to the outfield, Colby Suggs
walked the Big 12 Player of the Year Josh Ludy. A single by the No. 4 hitter Max Muncy put runners on first and second, but Suggs buckled down to strike out Dan Evatt swinging and Wise completed the strike out with a throw to first allowing Arkansas to celebrate on Baylor’s infield.
“I was just trying to pound the strike zone,” Suggs said. “As a reliever, you are taught to come in and pound the strike zone and get hitters out as quickly as possible. At that point, it was still 0-0 and I was just trying to locate my fast ball and off speed (pitches). I was able to locate the off speed a little bit better than the fastball. I was just trying to do a job. We have confidence in every single person out of our pin. We love our pitching staff and it is a great feeling.”
Arkansas’ pitching was brilliant in the win as five players combined to throw 10 shutout innings, allowing just five hits while walking eight and striking out eight. Randall Fant
started things off and threw four very good innings. He gave way to Nolan Sanburn
who threw one inning, followed by Brandon Moore
who went 1 2/3, Trent Daniel
followed with 1 1/3 innings and Suggs closed it out with two scoreless. It is Arkansas’ 10th shutout of the season, the second most shutouts in a season in school history.
Suggs (7-0) earned his seventh win of the season after striking out two and allowing just one hit in his two shutout frames.
Baylor starting pitcher Tyler Bremer was masterful over nine innings on the mound. Bremer threw nine scoreless innings, allowing just three hits and striking out eight.
Baylor relief pitcher Dillon Newman (4-4) entered in the 10th and took the loss. Newman allowed a run on two hits and had a strikeout in his one inning.
Wise had the biggest hit of the night and finished the game 1-for-1 with a RBI. Anderson, Tim Carver
, Jacob Mahan
and Joe Serrano
each had a hit in the win.
Muncy had a pair of hits to lead Baylor at the plate. Jake Miller, Nathan Orf and Logan Vick also had one hit each.
Baylor had the first scoring chance in the bottom of the fourth, but came up empty. Vick led off the inning with a single to left field and advanced to second on a passed ball. Ludy then drew a walk and a passed ball on ball four to Ludy allowed Vick to advance to third. After a foul out by Muncy and a strikeout by Evatt, Cal Towey drew a walk to load the bases with two outs. Fant then got Lawton Langford to strike out swinging to end the inning and keep the game scoreless.
The Bears again loaded the bases with two outs in the fifth, but again were unable to score. With two outs, Orf reached on an infield single and back-to-back walks to Vick and Ludy loaded the bases. Muncy then hit a sharp grounder that appeared destined for right field, but Bigham made a great diving stop and threw to first to end the inning.
Arkansas had a chance to break the scoreless tie in the bottom of the sixth. With two out, Tim Carver
reached on an infield single to second and then advanced to second when the throw to first was wild. However, Jacob Mahan
grounded out to short to end the threat.
Neither team was able to generate any scoring threats in the final three innings, sending the game to extra innings and setting the stage for Wise’s heroics in the 10th.