Arkansas Beats Sooners In NCAA Opener
BY ANDRES FOCIL
WICHITA, KAN. – The Arkansas Razorbacks got three runs batted in from Ryan Fox and six and one-third innings of solid work from starting pitcher Charlie Isaacson to take an 8-5 victory over the Oklahoma Sooners in the first round of the NCAA Regional Friday afternoon.
The third-seeded Razorbacks improved to 32-26 with the victory and will play the winner of the No. 1 Wichita State- No. 4 Oral Roberts game at 3 p.m. Saturday. Second-seed Oklahoma dropped to 35-26 and will take on the loser of State-ORU game in an elimination game at 11 a.m. Saturday.
Isaacson went six and one-third innings allowing four runs, all earned, on 11 hits. Isaacson fanned three and walked three on 96 pitches and improved his record to 6-7. Scott Roehl worked two and two-thirds innings allowing one run, unearned, on one hit with four strikeouts to earn his fourth save of the season.
Starter Mark Roberts took the loss for the Sooners after giving up eight runs, five earned, on 10 hits in three and two-thirds innings of work. Roberts dropped to 7-4 with the loss.
The Razorbacks jumped on the scoreboard in the first inning when Andrew Wishy singled to left with the bases loaded to score Kirk McConnell (hit by pitch) and Scott Bridges (single). Ryan Fox then plated Nick Pitts (fielder’s choice) with a single to shallow left to give the Razorbacks a 3-0 advantage.
The Sooners rallied for three runs in the bottom of the second inning. Oklahoma got four consecutive hits to knot the game at 3-3. Matt Fisher drove in the first run with a double that scored Matt Bose (single). Reggie Willits singled to left to score Luke Alexander (single) to make it a 3-2 game. With one out, Eddie Cornejo hit a sacrifice fly to left to plate Fisher to even the game.
The Razorbacks regained the lead in the top of the third when Scott Hode singled to left to score Fox (single). The Razorbacks then loaded the bases and took a 5-3 lead when Bridges was hit by a pitch to score Clay Goodwin (single). Still with the bases loaded, Michael Conner hit a deep fly ball to centerfield that Spencer Wyman caught at the base of the wall. Hode scored on the play to give the Razorbacks a 6-3 lead.
Arkansas increased its lead in the fourth inning. Cody Clark walked and Andrew Wishy doubled to left to put runners on second and third with no outs. Fox then singled to center to score both runners and give the Hogs an 8-3 lead.
Oklahoma cut into the Arkansas lead in the bottom of the seventh inning. Eddie Cornejo walked and came around to score on Chris Jakubauskas’ single to left to make it an 8-4 game. Jakubauskas’ single chased Isaacson after six and one-third innings of work. Roehl came in and retired the next two batters to strand two Sooners on base and end the inning.
The Sooners continued to chip away at the Razorback lead, as the took advantage of a pair of Arkansas errors to plate one run in the eighth. Matt Fisher reached on a throwing error by Roehl and Willits reached on a fielding error by third baseman Clay Goodwin. Cornejo brought Fisher in with a ground ball down the first base line to make it an 8-5 game.
Roehl worked out of the jam and forced a game-ending double-play in the ninth to secure the Razorback victory.
Ryan Fox finished the game going 3-for-5, while Andrew Wishy had a pair of hits and two RBI.
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