It's probably easy to figure out that Graveman outpitched Stanek, the UA ace, on Saturday in a 4-1 victory at Baum Stadium that set up a rubber match on Sunday.
Graveman limited the Hogs to five hits in a complete-game victory. Stanek, who had gone the distance last Saturday against South Carolina, didn't make it out of the fifth inning this time.
Stanek gave up three runs, two unearned runs in the fourth that gave the Bulldogs the lead. Second baseman Dominic Ficociello committed an error to start the Bulldogs on their winning rally.
Ficocielo was at the center of the story in the ninth after Tyler Spoon and Brian Anderson reached with one-out singles. Graveman struck out Ficociello on three pitches, all changeups down and probably out of the strike zone. Ficociello missed badly with big, loopy cuts, probably swinging for a tying home run.
Arkansas coach Dave Van Horn sounded frustrated afterwards with Ficociello, noting his surprise when the switch-hitter went to bat lefty for the first time in the game. He has been relegated to righty swings all year after a rib injury in preseason. He did go to bat once lefty Friday night, but took a pitch on his right heel to start the at bat.
"I guess I could have yelled at him to turn around," Van Horn said. "I don't know why he went up there lefthanded. He got three change-ups and it was over."
Graveman sparkled all day. He threw 64 of his 99 pitches for strikes. He got the righthanders with a sinking fast ball under their hands and dazzled lefty hitters with the change-up.
"Obviously, the complete game by Graveman was the difference," Van Horn said. "He did a tremendous job. He had a sinking fast ball and the change-up. Stanek was wild in the fourth inning and his pitch count was in the 80s by then. He looked pretty good for three innings, but the bottom line is we didn't do much offensively."
Brian Anderson gave the Hogs their only run when he drove home Tyler Spoon with a single in the first. Anderson and Spoon each had two hits to account for almost all of the UA offense.
Still, Van Horn was frustrated by the fourth inning when State got on the board. Ficociello's error was followed by Hunter Renfroe single. Wes Rea singled to left to score the tying run when Matt Vinson's throw was up the line to third. Stanek would eventually walk in the tying run after starting an at bat with a 1-2 count.
"We gave them four outs there," Van Horn said. "Ficociello just rushed it when he bobbled it. He still had time. Just slow down. Then, he had him 1-2 and he started fouling off pitches. After he walked in the lead run, Graveman took over."
Arkansas (20-8 5-3) will go with Randall Fant in the finale. State (23-7, 3-5) has not announced a starter.
"It's set up to be a good game," Van Horn said. "I hope we play well tomorrow. We didn't play that well last night and we didn't play well today."
Dominic Ficociello puts the bat on the baseball in the early innings.
Dominic Ficociello had an error in the fourth that led the way to two unearned runs by the Bulldogs.
Photos by Marc F. Henning, Hawgs Illustrated