Austin, Texas — John Allen’s two-out single in the bottom of the 11th inning drove in the game-winning run to lift Lamar to a 7-6 victory over Arkansas to eliminate the Razorbacks from the NCAA Regional.The loss ended the Razorbacks season with a record of 35-22 overall. Lamar improved to 39-17 and advanced to Sunday’s championship game against Texas.
. Jay Sawatski took the loss to even his record at 3-3. Sawatski pitched one inning and gave up one run, unearned, on two hits with one strikeout. Sawatski was the fourth Arkansas pitcher of the night. Starter Josh Merryman went four innings, allowing three runs, all earned, on six hits.
Josh Gray pitched the final two and one-third innings to earn the win. Gray moved to 8-6 on the season. Gray allowed two hits in his appearance.
Lamar jumped out to a 2-0 lead in the bottom of the second inning on back-to-back home runs. Shaun Stanton hit a one-out blast over the wall in left for the first run of the game. Matt Gowan then followed the ensuing pitch with a solo shot to left for the two-run advantage.
The Razorbacks got on the scoreboard in the third without getting a hit. With two outs, Delage walked Haas Pratt and Andrew Wishy before hitting Clay Goodwin to load the bases. On a 3-2 pitch, Delage walked Brady Toops to plate Pratt and cut the deficit to 2-1.
Lamar increased its lead in the fourth when Ryan Finan doubled home John Allen (single) with two outs. The RBI double gave Lamar a 3-1 lead.
The Cardinal added two more runs in the fifth inning. With Jon Richmond on the mound in relief of Merryman, Rocky Craigen walked and moved to third on a double by Blake Justice. Jeremy Gray plated both runners with a sharp single up the middle to push the lead to 5-1.
The Razorbacks cut into the Lamar lead in the sixth. Scott Bridges walked and moved to third on a single by Scott Hode. Nick Pitts brought Bridges home with a sacrifice fly to deep right to make it a 5-2 game.
Kirk McConnell moved Hode to third with an infield single deep to second base to put runners on the corners with two outs. Wishy plated Hode with a single to left to make it a 5-3 game. Wishy advanced to second on the relay throw, while McConnell moved to third.
Lamar quickly answered the Razorback rally in the bottom of the sixth when Gowan smacked his second solo home run of the game. The solo bomb gave the Cardinal a 6-3 cushion over the Razorbacks and was the third home run of the game.
The Razorbacks mounted a rally in the top of the ninth. Wishy began the inning with a double to center and scored on a triple to center by Goodwin. Wishy’s run narrowed the gap to 6-4 with no outs.
After Toops fouled out to left, Fox was hit by a pitch to put runners on the corners with one out. Bridges then laced a single to right to score Goodwin and cut the deficit to 6-5. Lamar lifted David Talamantez from the game and put Kevin Smiley on the mound to face pinch-hitter Jason Pyle.
Pyle hit a ground ball to Finan at third, who tagged the bag to get Fox. But, in his attempt to double-off Pyle at first, Finan threw wild allowing Bridges to score from second and tie the game at 6-6.
With the go ahead run at second, the Cardinal put Gray on the mound in relief of Smiley. McConnell fouled to left to end the inning with the game tied.
Lamar got a pair of hits and used an Arkansas fielding error to load the bases with two outs in the 11th inning. On a 1-2 count, Allen laced a single down the left field line that landed just out of the reach of an outstretched McConnell to plate the winning run.