The Arkansas Razorbacks are advancing to the second round of the 2012 College World Series after sliding past Kent State in an 8-1 victory in front of 23,980 at Omaha’s TD Ameritrade Park on Saturday.
The Hogs finished the night with 10 hits, half of which came from the bottom four hitters of the order.
Sophomore catcher Jake Wise led the Hogs in the win with a career-tying performance of two hits, including his second home run of the season, and three RBI. Wise also scored a pair of runs.
“My 3 and 4 holers didn’t get a hit today and we scored eight runs. Somebody got it going,” Arkansas coach Dave Van Horn said to ESPN. “That’s a good sign.”
Freshman Joe Serrano added three hits while senior second baseman Bo Bigham and freshman Brian Anderson each had two hits.
The Hogs (45-20) were on base early after Kent State walked three Arkansas batters to load the bases. After, a single plated freshman Brian Anderson to put the Hogs on the board 1-0.
“I thought it was a very clean game,” Van Horn told ESPN. “Both teams played very good defense. We got off to a good start offensively. We had a good plan against (David) Starn. I was proud of our hitters.”
In the second inning, the Razorback’s scored another run with a solo home run from Wise.
“When I hit it (the home run), I thought it was a double,” Wise said to ESPN. “The wind was blowing out so that helped it get out. I was ahead 1-0 and was looking for something elevated against him. He left it over the plate and I was able to square it up.”
Serrano hit a RBI single in the bottom of the fifth to send Wise home and extend the Hogs’ lead to 3-0.
Kent State’s only run came in the sixth when Jimmy Rider hit a solo home run to cut Arkansas’ lead to 3-1. Rider’s hit was only the second hit off of right-handed starting pitcher DJ Baxendale.
Arkansas’ offense continued strong as the Razorbacks put up the fourth and fifth runs on junior Matt Vinson’s two-run double in the bottom of the sixth.
Anderson advanced home in the eighth after a wild pitch to score the Razorback’s final run and lead 6-1. The evening’s six runs are the most the hogs have scored this postseason.
Wise was up to bat again in the eighth when he hit a two-run single to stretch Arkansas’ lead to 8-1.
On the mound, Baxendale (8-5) recorded the win after striking out five in 6.1 innings while allowing one run on three hits. Sophomore Brandon Moore relieved Baxendale and threw for 2.2 scoreless innings.
Arkansas will face South Carolina in the next round Monday night at 8 p.m. on ESPN2.
- Martha Swearingen