FAYETTEVILLE – Arkansas (43-17) held off Santa Clara (36-20), 6-4, in an elimination game on Sunday night at Baum-Walker Stadium to extend its season for at least one more day.
Arkansas must now defeat TCU (39-22) twice on Monday, June 5, to win the NCAA Fayetteville Regional and advance to play Indiana State (45-15) in the super regional round. First pitch in Monday’s first game is scheduled for 2 p.m. on ESPNU. If the Razorbacks win, they must then play a winner-take-all game against the Horned Frogs at 8 p.m.
Arkansas began Sunday with its most lopsided loss ever in a postseason game, suffering a 20-5 setback at the hands of TCU. The Hogs hammered four home runs, including a pair of blasts by Tavian Josenberger, but could not keep up with the Horned Frogs’ explosive offense, which was paced by Tre Richardson’s three-homer, 11-RBI performance.
Josenberger finished the game 2-for-4 with a team-leading three RBI. The Razorback centerfielder swatted a leadoff home run in the bottom half of the first before connecting on a two-run shot – his second dinger of the day – in the fifth.
Jace Bohrofen and Harold Coll also chipped in with a pair of solo home runs against TCU. The game also included a pair of lightning delays midway between the third and eighth innings that combined to total nearly two hours.
The Razorbacks’ second game of the day, however, turned out much better. Right-hander Brady Tygart started on the mound against Santa Clara with Arkansas’ season on the line and delivered one of the best performances of his career.
Tygart went a career-long 5 2/3 innings and allowed just two earned runs while striking out six, one shy of his career high. He departed Sunday night’s ballgame with Arkansas ahead, 4-3, thanks to the Razorback offense’s early run production, which included Bohrofen’s first-inning RBI double as well as Jared Wegner’s 14th home run of the season.
After the Hogs came out and scored a pair of runs in the top of the first inning, Wegner hammered a solo home run in the top half of the third to give Arkansas a 3-0 advantage. Parker Rowland would then push the Razorbacks’ lead to four with a two-out RBI single back up the middle in the fourth.
Santa Clara threatened with a three-run sixth, but Will McEntire, who earned the win in Friday’s game against the Broncos, emerged from the bullpen in relief of Tygart and escaped without further damage. The veteran right-hander spun 2 2/3 innings of one-run ball and struck out five, setting the table for Kendall Diggs’ clutch eighth-inning homer.
The Razorback designated hitter socked a two-run blast off the scoreboard in right center to put Arkansas up, 6-3. Diggs’ home run was his 12th of the season, and his two runs batted in raised his season total to a team-leading 63.
McEntire started the bottom of the ninth, but he was relieved by Hunter Hollan with one out and a run in. The left-hander faced just one batter and induced a ground ball to turn a game-ending double play, sealing Arkansas’ 6-4 win to stave off elimination.
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Note to Our Readers: The previous story was sourced directly and in its entirety from the University of Arkansas Office of Communications, Oliver Grigg.