Hog Tied. Hog won. The Razorbacks charge the field after the final out of the 4-1.

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CWS: Day Ten In Pictures

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The Osmond Brothers, led by their heartthrob youngest son Donnie Osmond, once sang “One bad apple don’t spoil the whole bunch girl.” 

Well those Mormon brothers sure as hell weren’t singing about baseball. Because tonight, it was one bad inning. And I mean one BAAAAAAD inning, that spoiled the whole bunch for Oregon State. After the Beavers took a 1-0 lead in the second inning, they seemed to be cruising. Of course, the lead could have been 2-0 in the fourth but a pretty nasty runner’s interference call on Adley Rutschman while trying to avoid a throw to first, took a sure run off the board. 

Either way, the fifth inning was the crusher. That’s the inning that made me quote the terrible boy band song from the early 70s. Credit the Razorbacks for supplying the pressure, but also credit the Beavers for having a one-inning implosion which led to the UofA win tonight. In that fateful frame, the Razorbacks were the recipients of… 

Two walks.
Two hit batters.
Two hits.
One error.
Four runs.

One of those walks and one of those hit batsmen were with the bases loaded. In other words, two free runs for Arkansas. That was enough runs to win this game tonight. Ouch. 

“We put together one good inning,” head Hog Dave Van Horn said. “I feel pretty fortunate to win that game. Baseball is a little different game sometimes. Sometimes you score in just one inning but you get good pitching and you get good defense and you can win a game like that.”

As expected, the Razorbacks also had the large portion of the crowd at TD Ameritrade Park as well. The crowd was probably 80-20 in favor of the Hogs, mainly because a lot of fans made the drive up from the Natural State but also some residual love from the locals for coach Van Horn who led Nebraska to two appearances here at the CWS in the early 2000s. 

“It was kind of exciting to play in front of all these Razorback fans,” said freshman Heston Kjerstad. “It felt like Baum Stadium, just a whole lot bigger with 25,000 fans in the stands.” 

The Hogs were out-hit nine-to-five, but two of those hits coming from catcher Grant Koch who cracked an RBI single in that fateful four-run fifth inning. 

Arkansas All American starting pitcher Blaine Knight finishes his junior season with a UofA record 14 wins against zero losses. He gave up seven hits to the Beavers but only one run in his 97-pitch effort. 

By the way, that whole Osmond Brothers thing at the top of this column… just mentioning the fact that I know that song makes me want to punch myself.

Here is how things looked through our lenses…

Arkansas starter Blaine Knight was dialed in tonight, going 6.0 innings and giving up just one run.

 

This was the third straight start here in Omaha where Luke Heimlich just wasn’t at his sharpest, going 4.1 innings and giving up all four runs.

 

Ay Caramba! Arkansas nine-hole hitter Jax Biggers takes a dose from Heimlich’s wild pitch in that fateful fourth inning.

 

The only offensive star of the night: Grant Koch. The Razorback catcher went two-for-three with a walk to lead the Hog offense. Here, he smacks the only RBI single of the night for UofA, as you can see the ball just now leaving his bat.

 

Love the crowd reactions to Jared Gates and his #SCTop10 catch on the first base warning track.

 

Oregon State still seemed to be out of sorts on even some routine plays, like this collision between Adley Rutschman and Michael Gretler, who had this play go awry because neither of them called off the other to make this catch.

 

… and this is the aftermath.

 

Proof positive that this IS a game of inches. Amid the taunts of the Razorback fans, Oregon State’s Trevor Larnach can’t quite catch up to Dominic Fletcher’s double off the wall.

 

OSU’s Michael Gretler makes a mid-air throw to get Luke Bonfield out on a grounder in the seventh inning.

 

Bad choice. Zak Taylor tried stretching a single into a double with one out in the seventh inning, but got thrown out by a good amount thanks to a rocket throw from left fielder Heston Kjerstad.

 

As I alluded to on a tweet during the game, you can’t blame Christian Chamberlain for this loss. The freshman reliever went 4.2 innings, giving up just two hits and throwing a career-high 11 strikeouts to keep OSU in the game.

 

Arkansas wild man Matt Cronin picked up his 14th save of the season, a new Arkansas record, by throwing the final inning of the game.

 

Hog Tied. Hog won. The Razorbacks charge the field after the final out of the 4-1 win over Oregon State.

 

TDA P.A. SONG OF THE NIGHT:
When all else fails, go with the voice of the late Chris Cornell. The Soundgarden front man had a voice for the ages and the p.a. at the stadium played this gem from his other band from the early 2000s, Audio Slave, right before the national anthem was about to be sung. This was one hard-rockin’ band, with members of Rage Against The Machine joining Cornell. Enjoy to the fullest… 

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