If you saw Saturday night’s games, you know that the third and deciding games of a super regional can get wild. The Hogs did everything they could to make sure that didn’t happen. They jumped all over South Carolina early and won 14-4 to punch their ticket to Omaha.
South Carolina had a chance for an early double play, instead Jonah Bride bobbled the ball, decided to go to first with it, and threw it away.
Hogs go up 1-0 on a Kjerstad hit after an error by South Carolina. pic.twitter.com/eMvBpieLCN— Hogtrough (@Hogtrough) June 11, 2018
That proved to be a big table setting moment for the rest of the night. South Carolina was sloppy while the Hogs were locked in and took advantage of every mistake. Just a couple batters later #ShaddyWeek continued, hitting a three run bomb to go up 5-0 in the first.
SHADDY SHOT— NCAA Baseball (@NCAACWS) June 11, 2018
Carson Shaddy absolutely demolishes a 3 run shot over the fence and the hogs are rolling...
Bot 1 | S. Caro 0 | Ark 5 pic.twitter.com/A8G4vSOmlp
That breathing room made things much easier for Isaiah Campbell, who was sharp the first time through the order. He was pulled in the fifth, so Barrett Loseke was the winning pitcher for the night. Campbell proved tough in the most stressful part of the night for the Hogs’ pitching staff. After an unusual wild pitch that appeared to hit the batters foot scored two, Campbell struck out two batters in a row to strand a runner on second and keep the Hogs’ lead at 7-2.
Arkansas’ offense continued to pile on, putting one more on the board in the bottom of the frame. In the fifth, Arkansas had four straight batters reach by HBP or a walk. Then Casey Martin put the nail in the coffin with a two run double to centerfield that made the score 11-2. Arkansas would end the inning up 13-2 and the rest of the game was just getting the outs needed to end it. Matt Cronin would close things out in the ninth with fans calling the Hogs and chanting Omaha.
Picking a player of the game for the night that clinched Arkansas’ ninth all-time CWS appearance is a tough ask. The seniors had a big game, Shaddy was 2-5 with 3 RBI’s and Luke Bonfield had two clutch RBI singles early. Eric Cole was 3-3 with 2 RBI’s and scored all five times he went up to the plate.
Now the Hogs have a game against a familiar foe. Their first game will be against a red hot Texas team. In fact, all of the teams on Arkansas’ half of the bracket will be teams that Arkansas has played. They’re also all teams that Arkansas has beaten.