Texas Tech will have to beat the defending national champions a second time, if they hope to move on in the College World Series.
On Wednesday night, SEC power Arkansas defeated the Texas Tech Raiders by a score of 7 to 4. The Raiders will face Florida Thursday night in an elimination game. The game will be a rematch of last Sunday night, when Texas Tech shocked Omaha with a 6-3 win over the Gators.
“Arkansas has a really nice club… we’ll put this one behind us,” said Texas Tech Head Coach Tim Tadlock.
“We were gonna pitch to our strengths… both home runs were mistakes,” mentioned Raiders pitcher Davis Martin.
“On our side, (pitcher) Casey Murphy got us off to a good start,” said Arkansas Head Coach Dave Van Horn. Texas Tech was held scoreless until the bottom of the 5th inning.
Arkansas opened up the scoring in the top of the first inning when Dominic Fletcher doubled to right center, bringing in Casey Martin and Eric Cole. Center Fielder Cody Farhat and Right Fielder Gabe Holt collided in the outfield while attempting to make the catch.
“Game 48… We put a guy on 2nd base that played right field; we put a guy in right field that played 2nd base,” said Head Coach Tim Tadlock. “I take full responsibility for that.”
“You have to be a little bit lucky (in Omaha),” added coach Van Horn.
In the very next inning, Razorback Jared Gates hit a home run to right field. Coach Van Horn mentioned Gates’ history with a hamstring injury this last spring. “Once we got to the SEC tournament, that’s when I had a talk with him… (saying) ‘I’m gonna play you the rest of the year,” Van Horn added.
Arkansas scored two more runs in the fourth inning, with a home run by Dominic Fletcher and an RBI single from the bat of Jax Biggers (driving in Carson Shaddy). Finally, Arkansas added two more runs on two RBI singles in the bottom of the 8th, courtesy of Dominic Fletcher and Carson Shaddy, respectively.
With this victory, Arkansas is one win away (with two chances to achieve it) from the final 3-game series that will decide the NCAA national champion.
But as far as Coach Van Horn is concerned, being one win away from the championship series doesn’t matter.
“Been here before; it didn’t go very good. We haven’t really done anything yet… other than that, it’s like being in a regional, going 2-0. You haven’t won anything yet.”