Texas Tech defeated Hogs 5-4 inside TD Ameritrade Park.
Courtesy: University of Arkansas Atheltics
Photos: Crant Osborne
The fifth-seeded Arkansas Razorbacks fell victim to the home run ball on Monday as they were eliminated from the College World Series by eight-seed Texas Tech, 5-4, inside TD Ameritrade Park.
The Razorbacks’ appearance in the College World Series caps the program’s 10th trip to Omaha, and its sixth under head coach Dave Van Horn. Arkansas ends the season with a 46-20 record, tying for the second-most wins in a season under Van Horn.
Sophomore Heston Kjerstad jumpstarted the Hog offense with a solo opposite-field home run in the second inning, giving the Razorbacks their first run of this year’s CWS. Kjerstad now has 17 home runs this year, which ties him for 10th most in a single season in Arkansas history. Kjerstad now has 31 home runs in his two-year Razorback career, just two shy of the top-10 of the Arkansas all-time list.
Casey Martin also put together his third multi-hit performance in his last five games, going 2-for-5 with a double and a triple. He helped put together the two-run third inning with an RBI triple, his fourth three-bagger of the year, and later scored on an RBI single by Matt Goodheart.
The Razorbacks got a solid start from Connor Noland, as he worked four innings with just four hits allowed and one walk, but the two-run home run by Warren were the only runs he allowed. It was Noland’s fifth outing in his last six that he pitched four or more innings and 14th where he walked one or less.
After taking a 3-0 lead after three innings and starting pitcher Connor Noland rolling through his first three frames, the Red Raiders started to chip away, starting with a two-run home run by Cameron Warren in the fourth inning. That was followed by solo home runs by Easton Murrell and Josh Jung, marking the sixth time this year the Arkansas pitching staff has given up three or more home runs in a game.
Arkansas tied the game in the top of the eighth thanks to a sacrifice fly from Jack Kenley. Dominic Fletcher worked a full-count walk, then ended up on third behind a single from Kjerstad. After five pitches fouled off, Kenley lifted a fly ball to left field and Fletcher raced home to knot the game up at four.
Texas Tech starter Caleb Kilian seemed to handcuff the Arkansas lineup, giving up just three earned runs in seven innings and striking out nine, tying a career high. He gave way to lefthander Dane Haveman in the eighth, who gave up the tying run.
However, in the bottom half of the inning, Tech countered with a two-out walk to Warren and a triple to the gap in right-center field from Cody Masters, pushing the Red Raiders back on top, 5-4. The Razorbacks threatened in the ninth, as Jacob Nesbit was hit by the third pitch he saw, then a single from Christian Franklin put two on with nobody out. Unfortunately, the Red Raiders were able to leave the duo stranded on the bases to put an end to Arkansas’ run in the College World Series.