Fayetteville, AR Story and photos by Mike Price
The Arkansas Razorbacks, #5 national seed, played as the road team vs TCU Saturday evening at Baum Walker Stadium before 10,967 fans. Arkansas started their ace pitcher, Isaiah Campbell, while TCU started their top pitcher, Nick Lodolo. Both pitchers started out efficiently in the first inning, both going 3 up, 3 down. Arkansas did get a 2 out single in the 2nd from Jack Kenley but Christian Franklin grounded out in the next at bat.
In the 3rd inning, first basemen Trevor Ezell got another 2 out single but that was followed up by Casey Martin striking out to end the inning. In the 4th the Hogs stranded 3 after loading the bases on 2 walks and a hit batter when Jacob Nesbit struck out looking.
In the top of the 6th inning, the Hogs finally starting putting something together. Heston Kjerstad started things off with a single. TCU went to their bullpen at this point and brought in Haylen Green. Kenley reached on a fielder’s choice while Kjerstad was initially called out at 2nd but the play was reviewed and reversed. After Franklin fouled out, Nesbit singled to left, loading the bases. Casey Opitz hit a single back up the middle driving in 2 runs. Opitz stole second and then was brought home by a double by Ezell to right field.
TCU would add a run in the bottom of the 7th after Austin Henry hit a double, then advanced to 3rd on a single by Johnny Rizer. Zac Humphreys hit a sacrifice fly to center to score Henry.
Isaiah Campbell got out of the 7th inning and closed out the 8th inning with 2 strikeouts and a pop out before turning the 9th inning over to Matt Cronin. Cronin came in and sat TCU down 1-2-3 to close out the game. Campbell ended up with 8 innings pitched, 8 strikeouts, 4 hits and 1 earned run while earning the win. Nick Lodolo picked up the loss for TCU while Cronin earned the save. Arkansas finished with 9 hits while holding TCU to 4 hits.
Arkansas faces the winner of TCU/Central Connecticut State Sunday evening at 8 PM CST.