Arkansas 8, Oral Roberts 6

Arkansas scored four runs in the sixth inning and rallied to beat Oral Roberts 8-6 Friday in the NCAA regional opener at Reynolds Stadium.

STILLWATER, Okla. - Arkansas scored four runs in the sixth inning and rallied to beat Oral Roberts 8-6 Friday in the NCAA regional opener at Reynolds Stadium.

Andrew Benintendi, Tyler Spoon and Rick Nomura all had RBI hits in the inning. Benintendi's two-run double gave the Razorbacks the lead. Spoon followed with a double to plate Benintendi and scored on Nomura's bloop single to make it 6-3 Arkansas.



"That was a huge inning for us," Arkansas coach Dave Van Horn said. "We felt like that was the time for us to get going. We had the top of the lineup third time up, you have a chance to see a guy and maybe you can figure it out a little bit. He was really going to a lot of off-speed pitches after the second inning.

"After that he started changing speeds, throwing a lot of change-ups and got behind in the count a little bit. I think it gave us a chance to be a little more patient and get a pitch."

Joe Serrano and Bobby Wernes each had singles to start the inning and chase ORU starting pitcher Guillermo Trujillo. Arkansas had four hits before the Golden Eagles recorded the first out of the inning on Clark Eagan's sacrifice bunt.

Eagan added insurance runs on a two-run triple in the eighth inning, scoring Benintendi and Spoon.

That ended up being a big triple and it gave us a nice cushion there where we felt like we could go to the bullpen," Van Horn said.

Oral Roberts pulled within 8-6 on Anthony Sequeira's three-run home run with two outs in the ninth inning. Josh Alberius struck out the next batter, Audie Afenir, to end the game.

The Razorbacks (36-22) advanced to the winner's bracket in the regional. Arkansas will play either Oklahoma State or St. John's on Saturday at 6 p.m.

ORU led the Razorbacks 3-1 after the top of the fifth inning. The Golden Eagles recorded eight hits against Arkansas starter Trey Killian, who was pulled before the sixth inning.

Killian struck out five batters in a no-decision.

ORU scored two runs in the top of the first inning on Sequeira's RBI double and Afenir's sacrifice fly. "I thought Trey got better after the first inning," Van Horn said. "He was just missing some pitches. He kind of regained his confidence out there a little bit and got us through five innings."

The Razorbacks pulled within 2-1 on Tucker Pennell's single in the bottom of the third inning, but ORU went up 3-1 on Matt Brandy's single to score Matt Whatley in the top of the fifth.

Michael Bernal had an RBI single to score Nomura in the bottom of the fifth inning to cut Golden Eagles' lead to 3-2.

Jackson Lowery pitched two innings of scoreless relief for the Razorbacks, leaving the game after Sequeira singled to leadoff the eighth inning. Zach Jackson worked around two runners in the eighth inning and Lance Phillips recorded two outs in the ninth before allowing Sequeira's home run.

Arkansas' pitchers combined to strike out 10 batters.

"Their guys made some big pitches in big moments," Oral Roberts coach Ryan Folmar said. "Second, I thought we had a couple really good swings with men on base that Benintendi made some really good plays on in center field, too. I think those are those kind of swing plays."

Trujillio allowed four runs on six hits in five innings for ORU (41-15). The Golden Eagles will play an elimination game Saturday at noon.

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