STILLWATER, Okla. - Arkansas is one win from the super regional round of the NCAA Tournament.
The Razorbacks scored five runs in the eighth inning and rallied to beat Oklahoma State 7-5 Saturday at Reynolds Stadium. Arkansas will play for the regional championship Sunday night against either the Cowboys or St. John's.
Oklahoma State led 4-2 entering the eighth inning, but Big 12 pitcher of the year Michael Freeman lost command, allowing the Razorbacks to record an improbable comeback. After issuing a 9-pitch walk to pinch-hitter Carson Shaddy to leadoff the inning, Freeman gave up a single to Joe Serrano.
The wheels fell off from there. The left-handed pitcher overthrew his first baseman on a sacrifice bunt attempt by Bobby Wernes, allowing Shaddy to score.
Then Freeman threw a wild pitch while trying to intentionally walk Andrew Benintendi, scoring Serrano to tie the game. Freeman had retired 13 consecutive batters entering the inning.
After Oklahoma State made a pitching change, Cowboys reliever Remey Reed overthrew his third baseman on a pickoff attempt, allowing Wernes to score and give Arkansas a 5-4 lead.
The Razorbacks scored two more runs in the inning on RBI hits by Rick Nomura and Michael Bernal to take a 7-4 lead.
Oklahoma State pulled within 7-5 on a passed ball, wild pitch and throwing error in the bottom of the eighth inning. Arkansas reliever Zach Jackson walked three in the inning, but struck out Gage Green to end the inning and strand two base runners.
Jackson allowed another base runner in the ninth inning, but struck out Dustin Williams and Tim Arakawa - Oklahoma State's 4 and 5 hitters in the lineup - to end the game. Jackson struck out five batters in two innings.
The eighth inning erased a strong performance by the Cowboys until that point. Oklahoma State took a 4-2 lead in the bottom of the sixth inning when Arkansas reliever James Teague issued consecutive two-out walks with the bases loaded.
Oklahoma State (38-19) scored two runs in the bottom of the second inning to take a 2-0 lead. Arakawa hit a solo home run off Arkansas starter Keaton McKinney and Garrett McCain added an RBI double.
Pitching with an injured hip, McKinney allowed two runs on four hits in four innings.
The Razorbacks tied the game in the top of the third inning on Tyler Spoon's two-run single with two outs in the inning, but Arkansas didn't have another base runner until the eighth inning rally.
Oklahoma State will play St. John's in an elimination game Sunday at noon and Arkansas will play the winner at 6 p.m. If the Razorbacks lose Sunday, there will be a winner-take-all game Monday.
Arkansas 7, Oklahoma State 5
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