FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. – The University of Arkansas baseball team used three first-inning runs and stellar pitching to knock off No. 8 national seed Missouri State 3-2 at Baum Stadium and advance to the College World series for the third time in the last seven years and the eighth time in program history.
The Arkansas lineup came to life in the top of the first inning with three runs. After Joe Serrano flew out to start the game, Bobby Wernes singled and Andrew Benintendi walked. Junior outfielder Tyler Spoon then singled past the shortstop, scoring Wernes and moving Benintendi to third. After a sacrifice fly by Rick Nomura plated Benintendi, Brett McAfee singled through the left side to plate Spoon for the third run of the inning.
That would be all the runs the Razorbacks would need as the James Teague, Lance Phillips and Zach Jackson combined to allow just two runs, one earned, on eight hits the rest of the way. Jackson, who entered the game with one out in the bottom of the fifth inning and gave up a run on a hard grounder to the first batter he faced, then went on to lock up his ninth save of the year by retiring the next 11 batters, including six by strikeout. In total, Arkansas struck out 12 Missouri State batters in the game. Phillips earned his second win of the season.
Missouri State chipped away at the Arkansas lead by scoring single runs in the third and sixth innings.
The attendance for Sunday’s finale of the Super Regional drew 11,694, bringing the three-game total to 35,730, the largest three-game weekend total in Baum Stadium history.
The NCAA College World Series opens up play Saturday, June 13 in Omaha, Nebraska at TD Ameritrade Park.
The University of Arkansas received a limited amount of tickets and will not be able to take orders from the public. For those wishing to purchase single-game tickets please visit www.NCAA.com/CWS for more information.
• The Razorbacks have clinched a spot in their eighth College World Series in program history.
• Arkansas is one of seven teams in the country to advance to the College World Series three times in the last seven years.
• The Razorbacks have advanced to the College World Series in four of their six Super Regional appearances.
• Arkansas has advanced to Omaha in both Super Regionals at Baum Stadium.
• The Razorbacks have reached the 40-win plateau for the sixth time in the last seven seasons.
• Arkansas improves to 71-59 in the NCAA tournament and has 17 tournament wins in the last four years.
• Head coach Dave Van Horn makes his sixth College World Series appearance overall, the most by any head coach in the SEC.