Omaha-Bound

Arkansas beat Baylor 1-0 on Monday to advance to the College World Series for the first time since 2009. This story is free courtesy Hog Heaven. Click the banner to learn more.



WACO, Texas - Just call them the Oma-Hogs because Arkansas is heading back to the College World Series.

The Razorbacks' pitching staff flexed their collective mite time and again Monday night, and Jake Wise came through with a two-out RBI single in extra innings as Arkansas beat Baylor 1-0 in 10 innings to win the deciding game of the NCAA Waco Super Regional.

Arkansas will play Kent State in the first round of the College World Series on Saturday at 4 p.m. It will mark the seventh time the Razorbacks have advanced to Omaha, and the third time in nine years under current coach Dave Van Horn.

"We feel very fortunate to get out of here with two wins and have a chance to continue our season," said Van Horn, who will make his fifth trip to Omaha after leading Nebraska there in 2001 and 2002. "At this level, 1-0 in extra innings to go to Omaha, I don't know if it gets any better.

"I know baseball purists probably love this game. As a coach, it was very stressful. Thank goodness it's over."

Five Arkansas pitchers - Randall Fant, Nolan Sanburn, Brandon Moore, Trent Daniel and Colby Suggs - combined to strand 11 Baylor base runners Monday, despite only giving up five hits.

Suggs, a sophomore, worked around a leadoff walk in the ninth and a pair of base runners in the 10th to earn the biggest win of his career.

After Big 12 player of the year Josh Ludy reached on a two-out walk, clean-up hitter Max Muncy singled to keep the crowd of 5,059 on the edge of their seats.

Suggs sent the ones in red into a frenzy as he struck out Dan Evatt to end the game before being dog-piled by teammates on the pitching mound.

"It's a great feeling to have everybody on top of you," Suggs said. "Everybody just celebrating and being so happy together as a team."

Wise's 10th inning hit scored Brian Anderson from second base. Anderson had reached on a single in an eight-pitch at-bat to leadoff the inning.

Wise had entered the game to replace John Clay Reeves behind the plate in the eighth inning. He and Suggs - both native Texans - were the first to land on the home soil.

"You get so excited, and when you're on the bottom you can't breathe, but it's a feeling you've wanted to feel your entire life," Wise said. "I've waited 20 years to be in a dog pile, and that was probably the best feeling of my life."

The Razorbacks (44-20) struggled offensively until the late innings, going 16 consecutive at-bats without a base runner during one stretch from the first through the sixth innings.

Pinch-hitter Joe Serrano reached on a single and Jacob Mahan was hit by a pitch in the ninth, but 3-4 hitters Matt Reynolds and Dominic Ficociello went down in succession to end the threat.

Baylor starting pitcher Tyler Bremer gave up only three hits and struck out eight in nine innings, but suffered a no-decision in the longest outing of his career. The Bears' starters pitched a combined 24 of the 28 innings in the super regional.

Arkansas' bullpen was equally as strong, logging 16 innings in the series.

After a strong first three innings, Fant worked around the bases loaded in the fourth Monday. Fant struck out a career-high tying five batters.

Sanburn also stranded the bases loaded in the fifth, ending the back half of the Bears' two most promising offensive attacks.

Arkansas turned double plays to stymy threats in the sixth and eighth innings.

"We are starting to win the close games," Van Horn said. "The back end of our batting order has done a good job, even it it was just fouling off pitches. They were the guys who got it going for us tonight and they did the job."

The 1-0 win was Arkansas' second in as many weeks, also beating host school Rice by the same final while sweeping through the NCAA Houston Regional last weekend. The Razorbacks have 10 shutouts this season - second-most in school history.

Baylor (49-17) lost for just the sixth time on its home field this season. The No. 4 overall seed in the NCAA Tournament had not been shut out since March.


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