Two traditional powers returned to Omaha this season. Arkansas is making their ninth appearance in the CWS, while the Longhorns are making their 36th appearance in Omaha.
Dave Van Horn, head coach of the Razorbacks is having a bit of a homecoming, as he was the head coach at Nebraska from 1998 to 2002, guiding the Cornhuskers to their first two College World Series appearances in 2001 and 2002.
The Longhorns were trying to get back on the up and up, having been down for the past couple seasons. David Pierce took over for legendary coach Augie Garrido at the start of last season and has guided the Horns back to Omaha in just his second season at the helm.
Arkansas wasted no time getting on the board in this one. Eric Cole led off the game with a double and came home to score on freshman sensation Heston Kjerstad’s single just two batters later giving the Hogs an early lead.
The Longhorns would even the score up in the third inning. Tate Shaw led off with a triple and came home on a groundout.
The score would stay even until the fifth inning. After back-to-back singles to lead off the inning, David Hamilton hit a sacrifice fly bring home Masen Hibbeler, putting Texas ahead 2-1. The lead would not last long, though. Luke Bonfield would launch a two out, two-run home run into the left field bleachers in the bottom of the inning, making it 3-2 at the halfway mark.
The Hogs would break the game open in the sixth inning thanks to singles by Carson Shaddy and Jared Gates. Grant Koch would walk to load the bases with nobody out. Jax Biggers would also walk, pushing another run across. When it rains, it pours…literally. After the second consecutive bases loaded walk, there was a very lengthy rain delay.
The rain may have stopped falling from the sky, but the rain on the field didn’t stop for Texas. The Razorbacks would put the game away, adding on six more runs, and cruise to an 11-5 win.
Arkansas will now play in the winner’s bracket, playing again Tuesday night against the winner of Texas Tech and Florida. Texas moves to the loser’s bracket, also playing Tuesday afternoon against the loser of Texas Tech and Florida.