Arkansas 12, Bryant 3

Arkansas raps out 13 hits and Randall Fant comes through on the mound as the Razorbacks down Bryant 12-3 Sunday afternoon in the NCAA Regional and set up a Sunday night battle with top-seeded and host Kansas State.

Arkansas will get its expected Manhattan Regional match up with Kansas State - just a night later than it had planned.

The second-seeded Razorbacks used 13 hits to down third-seeded Bryant 12-3 Sunday afternoon before 2,467 at Tointon Family Stadium.

"We did what we wanted to do - got the lead and got to relax a little bit," Arkansas head coach Dave Van Horn said. "We didn't have to burn our bullpen and got some guys in and rest some guys a little bit and nobody got hurt.

"Now just anxious to get ready for the second game," Van Horn added. "We are going to start (left-handed pitcher Tyler) Wright and go from there."

Arkansas leadoff hitter Joe Serrano had three hits and reached base all five times and eighth-place batter Brett McAfee added a pair of doubles to pace the attack.

McAfee and Jacob Mahan both had three RBIs while first baseman Eric Fisher and Spoon both had a pair of hits.

Senior lefty pitcher Randall Fant (6-1) went the first 5 2/3 innings to get the win for the Razorbacks (39-21) move on to face the top-seeded Wildcats (45-17) Sunday night at 7 p.m. on ESPNU.

A Kansas State win will give the host team the regional championship while an Arkansas victory will force a Monday night 7 p.m. winner-take-all game.

Bryant had beaten Arkansas 4-1 Friday night, but Kansas State sent the Bulldogs to the loser's bracket with a 7-1 decision on Saturday night in the winners' bracket final.

Spoon's two-run single highlighted a three-run first Bryant off starter Kevin McAvoy (7-3) and gave Arkansas a 3-0 lead it would never relinquish.

McAvoy had to throw 35 pitches in the opening inning.

"Again, we got off to a good start offensively and scored a few runs in the first," Van Horn said. "We did a great job of battling and fouling off a lot of great pitches and got the starter's pitch count up. He was way up there after three innings, maybe even in the 80s."

Fant gave up Kevin Brown's seventh homer of the season to cut it to 3-1 in the bottom of the first.

But that was all the Bulldogs would get against Fant, who threw 94 pitches – 55 for strikes – before exiting in the sixth.

He fanned three and walked a pair in the outing.

Brandon Moore came on to get the final out of the sixth and also pitched the seventh while tossing just nine pitches total.

Landon Simpson pitched the eighth and ninth to finish up.

Arkansas put the game away with four runs in the third and five more in the seventh.

Wright (1-1, 0.00 ERA) has not allowed an earned run in 18.1 innings and 10 appearances this season with three starts. He has allowed four unearned runs with 18 strikeouts while allowing seven hits and walking nine.

"Moore is good," Van Horn said of him pitching in the second game. "Simpson, we just wanted him to finish that game up. His pitch count got up a little bit, but Brandon Moore would be good to go again if we need him.

"We have everybody pretty much available except (starters) Fant and (Barrett) Astin and (Ryne) Stanek," Van Horn added.


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