For the first time in back-to-back seasons, Arkansas is heading to the College World Series.
The Razorbacks routed Ole Miss 14-1 in game 3 of the Fayetteville Regional to punch their ticket to Omaha.
However, this was just not a good day for Arkansas pitcher, Patrick Wicklander. Ole Miss got on the board quick with a two out RBI single from Cooper Johnson in the top of the 1st inning. Wicklander continued to struggle in the 2nd inning, hitting a batter and throwing a wild pitch. Dave Van Horn wasn’t taking any chances and decided to pull the freshman from the mound. Wicklander faced 10 batters in 1.2 innings, hit 2 and gave up 1 run on 2 hits.
Cody Scroggins took over on the mound and got Ryan Olenek to go down swinging and get Arkansas out of a jam. He would go on to give a lights out performance. Scroggins pitched 4.1 innings and only allowed 2 hits while striking out 8 batters.
Heston Kjerstad got Arkansas’ first hit of the day with a double out to left in the 2nd inning. Jack Kenley was then hit by a pitch which set up Casey Opitz for an RBI single to the gap in right center field, tying up the game 1-1. Jacob Nesbit kept things rolling with an RBI double down the left field line, giving Arkansas a 2-1 lead.
Then Trevor Ezell came up big for Arkansas with a two out 2 RBI single to give Arkansas a 4-1 lead over Ole Miss through 2 innings.
Matt Goodheart began the bottom of the 3rd with a leadoff single. Ole Miss pitcher, Gunnar Hoglund, then walked Dominic Fletcher and the Rebels head coach, Mike Bianco, made a march to the mound for a pitching change. But the Razorbacks just kept rolling. Kjerstad drilled a 2 RBI double down the right field line to put Arkansas up 6-1 and Opitz hit an RBI single down the right field like to make it 7-1.
Arkansas quickly put runners on the corners in the 4th with a walk from Christian Franklin and a single to right by Ezell. Franklin then jogged home after a passed ball, putting the Razorbacks up 8-1.
Kjerstad started off the 5th with a bang, literally. The sophomore hit a no-doubter way over the right field wall for his 16th home run of the year, increasing Arkansas’ lead to 8.
The Razorbacks loaded the bases in the 6th with no outs. Then Fletcher came to the plate and smoked a 2-run RBI double to give the Hogs an 11-1 lead. Arkansas scored yet another run after a sac fly from Kjerstad to make it 12-1. The bats stayed hot though. Opitz hit a 2-run homer off the scoreboard to put Arkansas up 14-1.
The College World Series begins June 15th at TD Ameritrade Park in Omaha, Nebraska. Arkansas will face Florida State in the first round.