May 29, 2009
NORMAN, Okla. - Arkansas scored nine times in the bottom of the eighth inning to defeat Washington State 10-3 in the opening game of the 2009 NCAA Division I Baseball Norman Regional for both schools, Friday at L. Dale Mitchell Park.
The second-seeded and 21st-ranked Razorbacks (35-22) trailed 3-1 entering the bottom of the eighth inning before handing the third-seeded and 24th-ranked Cougars (31-24) just their third loss of the season when leading after seven innings.
Way, a senior left-hander, struck out 10 in six innings and limited Arkansas to one run on three hits. He broke Aaron Sele's single-season strikeout record at WSU and has 124 this season.
WSU trailed 1-0 in third when it pushed across two runs. With one out, sophomores Garry Kuykendall and Shea Vucinich singled. Senior Greg Lagreid bounced a single up the middle to tie the game and senior Jared Prince smashed a single through the left side to put the Cougars on top 2-1.
In the seventh, WSU added a run on a triple by Vucinich to open the inning and a sacrifice fly by Lagreid. The Cougars loaded the bases with two outs and junior Matt Fanelli drilled a ball to right field. Arkansas right fielder Jarrod McKinney made a diving catch on the warning track with his back to the infield to keep the Razorbacks' deficit at two runs.
In the eighth, Ben Tschepikow chopped a double over Fanelli's head at first off freshman Adam Conley, who had worked a perfect seventh inning. A fly out moved Tschepikow to third and Andy Wilkins collected a base hit to trim the WSU lead to 3-2. Another single put runners at the corners before McKinney executed a safety squeeze to tie the game 3-3. A throwing error by Vucinich at shortstop allowed the go-ahead run to score and led to six unearned runs in the frame.
The Cougars will play either Wichita State or Oklahoma, Saturday at 11 a.m., Pacific in an elimination game.
Senior Matt Way pitched at least six innings for the 14th-straight start and recorded his sixth double-digit strikeout game...freshman Adam Conley tied the freshman school record held by Rob Nichols (1987) with his 23rd appearance.