Arkansas Wins Wichita Regional With 11-6 Win O
BY ANDRES FOCIL
WICHITA, KAN. – The Arkansas Razorbacks advanced to the program’s first-ever NCAA Super Regional with an 11-6 victory over the Oral Roberts Golden Eagles Sunday afternoon at Eck Stadium on the campus of Wichita State University.
The Razorbacks (34-26) will travel to Clemson, S.C., to take on the Clemson Tigers in a best-of-three series next weekend, with the winner advancing to the NCAA College World Series in Omaha, Neb.
Arkansas also placed six players on the NCAA Wichita Regional All-Tournament Team. Nick Pitts, Clay Goodwin, Kirk McConnell, Michael Conner, Andrew Wishy and Scott Woods were each named to the team. Pitts was voted the tournament’s Most Outstanding Player after driving in five runs with two home runs and a .548 (7-for-13) average.
Scott Woods pitched four innings in relief of starter Jonathan Richmond, giving up one run, earned, on five hits with four strikeouts to earn the win. Woods upped his record to 6-2 on the year.
David Humen took the loss for ORU, dropping to 5-2. Humen allowed three runs, one earned, on four hits in three and two-thirds innings. ORU’s record fell to 48-19.
Michael Conner put the Hogs on the board with a two-run home run to deep center in the top of the first inning. Conner ripped the first pitch he saw from Dennis Bigley for his 15th home run of the year. Nick Pitts followed with a solo home run on a 1-2 pitch to give the Razorbacks a 3-0 lead. It was Pitts’ fourth home run of the year and second in as many days.
Andrew Wishy then singled, stole second and moved to third on a ground out by Cody Clark. Clay Goodwin pushed the Razorback lead to 4-0 with a single to left that plated Wishy.
ORU put up a run in the bottom of the first inning. Doug Bernier singled and moved to third after a walk to Eric Thornton and Wilton Reynolds was hit by a pitch. Dennis Bigley hit a slow roller to third that plated Bernier for a 4-1 game.
Pitts continued his hot play with a double off the centerfield wall in the third inning that scored Conner (hit by pitch) for a 5-1 Arkansas lead.
ORU pulled within 5-3 in the third inning after Eric Thornton blasted a two-run bomb over the centerfield wall with David Castillo (single) aboard. The Golden Eagles cut it to 5-4 when Billy Joe Richardson drove in Bigley with a single up the middle.
Richardson’s single chased Richmond after two and one-third innings of work. Richmond was relieved by Scott Woods who entered with two on and one out. With the tying run on third, Woods fanned Donaldson and forced Boyle to ground out to short to end the inning and preserve the one-run Razorback lead.
ORU tied the game in the fourth when Reynolds hit an infield single to third that scored Castillo (single). With runners on first and second and one out, Woods forced Bigley to hit into a line drive double play to shortstop to end the inning.
The Razorbacks regained the lead in the fifth. Pitts singled and moved to second when Wishy walked. Clark reached on catcher’s interference to load the bases with no outs. Goodwin then hit a deep fly ball to center that plated Pitts to give the Hogs a 6-5 lead.
With two outs in the inning Jeff Fletcher pinch hit for Hode with runners on first and second. Fletcher hit a soft chopper to third that Thornton fielded, but threw wildly into the stands to allow Wishy to score for a 7-5 Arkansas lead.
Arkansas added to its lead in the seventh inning when Wishy led-off with a single that the left fielder booted allowing Wishy to advance to second. Cody Clark then laced a double to right to score Wishy to give the Razorbacks an 8-5 lead. The Razorbacks then loaded the bases when Goodwin singled and pinch hitter Cliff Crouse was hit by a pitch.
Kirk McConnell then hit a sharp single to left that plated Clark and Goodwin for a 10-5 advantage.
The Golden Eagles made it a four-run game at 10-6 in the eighth inning. With runners on the corners and two outs, Reynolds lofted a single to right field that fell between Crouse and Bridges, allowing Boyle (walk) to score.
Scott Bridges gave the Hogs an 11-6 advantage with a two-out single to center that scored Fletcher (single) in the ninth inning.
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