CWS: Day Two In Pictures
College World Series
This is what is commonly known as the biggest nightmare when us college baseball writers are covering the College World Series, a day full of rain delays that turns into a night that goes nearly to midnight. Egad.
I know, I know, this is just an ugly American with his little first world problems. Children in the Sudan are walking five miles across the desert for water, so I get it. But we got the worst of both worlds today. A two-hour, 49-minute rain delay broke up what ended up being an eight-run sixth inning for the Razorbacks, leading to a rather ugly 11-5 win over Texas. Well, ugly in general, but for the Hog fans in attendance it was a thing of beauty.
The first game lasted three-hours and 55-minutes of game time, but six-hours and 44-minutes of real time. Did I write “Egad” yet?
But Arkansas did not disappoint, that’s for sure. Every radio station I’ve been on in the past few weeks the first thing I say is that one-through-nine, nobody has a deeper batting order than the Razorbacks. And sure enough, eight of the nine starters got hits today and seven of the nine starters got an RBI… or two. This Arkansas offense is the real deal. And it showed tonight.
I’m impressed with the Pigs for sure.
Their opponent for Tuesday night’s winner’s bracket game? Well it’s not the Florida Gators. Nope, as you saw the Texas Tech Red Raiders ruined that All-SEC matchup with a 5-3 win over the defending national champs. And get this, they held that potent UofF batting order to just five freakin’ hits all night. That’s pretty stunning.
So yes, we were all impressed with the Red Raiders as well. Easy to see why they were such a highly ranked team in the preseason. They may be living up to that billing now.
On to today’s views and pics…
The Razorbacks were all business today. They didn’t let the rain, the delay or the Longhorns bother them in their pursuit of a W.
Hogs ace Blaine Knight wasn’t dominant, going just 5.0 innings while giving up two runs on four hits. But he was able to pick up his 13th win against zero losses.
This is where Luke Bonfield’s 5th inning home run landed out in the left field Gen Ad section. Hands up people.
One of the few offensive highlight’s was Tate Shaw’s 3rd inning triple which led to UT’s first run of the game. The good grooves wouldn’t last.
A down-the-line, behind the fair pole look at a play at first as Tate Shaw is called out on a bunt attempt.
Hog runner Dominic Fletcher beats out an infield single just in a nick of time.
Arkansas leadoff man Eric Cole was zeroed in on the ball in this leadoff double to open the game for the Razorbacks. By the way, does that baseball look oblong shaped to you? Weird, right?
The Big Scandinavian swings the steel. Kjerstad went 3-for-5 with three RBI to lead the Razorbacks once again.
Once again the grounds crew was stellar with the tarp pull. But this scene led to a nearly three-hour rain delay. Ugh.
When Arkansas reliever Barrett Loseke was so impressive despite the long rain delay, he caught the eye of ESPN’s Laura Rutledge.
It took a lot of consoling after this game. UT was handled pretty mightily by the Razorbacks, and that included both of the first two starting pitchers.
One tough Shetter. A tour-de-force performance from Tech reliever Ryan Shetter was THE story for the Red Raiders, holding the potent Gator bats to three hits, one run and seven strikeouts in his 4.1 innings of work.
Brooks Robinsonesque. Raider third baseman Josh Jung snagged this scorcher from Nelson Maldonado in the third inning to put the clamps on a multiple base hit.
Jung also got it done at the dish, getting a pair of hits and scoring the Raiders’ first run of the night.
Tech proved it wasn’t intimidated by first round bonus baby Brady Singer, knocking him for nine hits and five runs in his 6.1 innings of work.
The defending national champions weren’t going to make things easy for the Raiders, got a two-run dinger from Nelson Maldonado to pull within 5-3.
The Techsters were led offensively by their terrible two-some of Grant Little (left, and a wee-bit out of focus) and Josh Jung, who combined for five hits on the night.
This was not the kind of CWS opener the Gators were expecting. But credit a really metal tough Tech batting order and some stout pitching, holding the Gators to just five hits.
Far out Farhat. Cody Farhat leaps for joy after scoring an insurance run in the ninth inning. I mean, c’mon, wouldn’t you too?
Done and done! The Red Raiders hop the railing and rush the field after the win over Florida.