The Razorbacks beat Charlotte 11-3 Sunday afternoon to advance to the NCAA Tempe Regional championship against the host Sun Devils tonight at Packard Stadium. The first pitch is scheduled for 8 p.m., Central.
Arkansas (40-21) jumped on the 49ers early and got a second quality start in as many games on the mound from freshman Ryne Stanek. The right-hander threw a complete game, allowing just three runs on six hits.
Stanek followed up an impressive 7 2/3-inning performance last week against Alabama in the SEC Tournament.
"I was able to keep the ball down in the zone and throwing everything for a strike," Stanek said. "I was able to keep us in the game and give us a chance to win.
"I've solidified some things in my mechanics and calmed some things down. I've simplified some things in my delivery and that has helped to keep me calm throughout the game, instead of going too fast and getting out of control."
"We have a lot of good arms," Stanek said. "We're going to need them all to win these next two games."
Arkansas jumped on Charlotte early, scoring four runs with two outs in the top of the first inning to give Stanek a four-run cushion before he ever threw a pitch.
The Razorbacks recorded 13 hits off the 49ers (43-16), which had lost to Arizona State 16-1 last night to be sent into an elimination game.
"That was nice," Stanek said. "It definitely helps to have a pretty big lead. With our staff and our bullpen, four runs should win us most games."
Arkansas extended its lead to 7-0 on three runs in the fifth inning. James McCann added a two-run hit in the sixth and Bo Bigham a two-run lead in the seventh to assure the 49ers wouldn't be able to stage a comeback.
Charlotte beat Arkansas 3-2 in the first game of the regional Friday to send the Razorbacks into the losers' bracket.
Arkansas will start freshman right-hander Barrett Astin against Arizona State. Astin pitched 1 2/3 innings in relief Friday against Charlotte. The Forrest City native is 5-1 this season with a 2.38 earned run average.
Arizona State (41-16) will counter with left-hander Mitchell Lambson (5-3, 4.32 ERA). Lambson, who was drafted in the second round of the MLB Draft last summer, pitched twice against the Razorbacks last season in the NCAA Tempe Super Regional.
The Sun Devils beat Arkansas in both of those games to advance to the College World Series. The meeting between the two teams tonight will mark the fourth consecutive season they have played at least one game.