Top-seeded Texas hammered No. 2 Arkansas 19-8 Sunday to force a winner-take-all championship game of the NCAA Austin Regional at 1 p.m. today at Disch-Falk Field.
Today's winner will advance to the Super Regionals and
face Ole Miss in Oxford for a best-of-three series
beginning on Friday. The Rebels took care of business
Sunday by beating Oklahoma in their regional
The Razorbacks (39-21) entered Sunday in the driver's
seat for a trip to Oxford since they had yet to lose
in the double-elimination regional.
"We were getting whipped pretty good after about three
innings, but we kept playing hard," said Arkansas
coach Dave Van Horn. "I know in our players minds,
they probably knew pretty early that we weren't going
to win the game, but you couldn't tell it by looking
around the dugout or the way the acted on the field or
at the plate.
"We kept competing and that makes me feel pretty good
about (today's) game."
Texas (48-15) entered the day needing three straight
wins to stay alive and took the first two steps in
that direction with the win against Arkansas and a
12-5 win earlier Sunday to eliminate Miami (Ohio).
Texas coach Augie Garrido pointed out Saturday night
that there's always a few teams that come out of the
loser's bracket to win regionals and said during the
postgame press conference that, "It might as well be
Apparently, he got the point across to his team as
well as the 4,881 fans in attendance had plenty to
cheer about since Texas put up more runs (19) and more
hits (21) than any other Razorbacks' opponent this
It was the most runs Arkansas has allowed since 2000.
"When you're facing elimination like that, if you
think about losing and being eliminated, you're not
going to play well," said Texas shortstop Scott
Johnston, who was 3-for-6 with 6 runs batted in. "You
also can't think about the next game or the game after
that ... But when you get those early runs, it really
The Longhorns' took a Texas-sized lead (9-1 after
three innings) by lighting up Hogs starting pitcher
Shaun Seibert, a freshman making his first appearance
in three weeks since suffering an elbow injury.
After giving up an RBI single to Chance Wheeless in
the first, Seibert (5-3) lost command of his breaking
ball and it turned into a six-run inning (it lasted 27
minutes) for the Longhorns. The big hit was a
three-run triple by Johnston off James Gilbert, who
relieved Seibert with two outs in the inning.
"(Seibert) was out there pitching kind of
intimidated," said Arkansas pitching coach Dave Jorn.
"He was trying to guide his pitches up there and
wasn't being aggressive.
"You can't pitch like that."
Texas received a gallant effort from starter Randy
Boone, a right-hander who needed IVs to replenish his
body's fluids after suffering from a stomach illness
Saturday night. He lasted 6 1/3 innings and allowed
seven earned runs on nine hits while striking out six.
"I take my hat off to Arkansas," Boone said. "When I
made mistakes, they hit them, but our defense played
well and our offense came out and threw up so many
runs early that it took the pressure off of me."
Arkansas finally got on the scoreboard in the bottom
of the second when Jake Dugger doubled off the
left-field wall to start the inning. Two batters
later, Clay Goodwin hit a sacrifice fly to left to
make it 7-1.
But Texas added two more runs in the third to extend
the lead before the Razorbacks combined for three runs
in the fourth and fifth innings (Dugger hit a
sacrifice fly in the fourth while Brian Walker hit
solo homer and Ben Tschepikow hit an RBI double in the
fifth) to cut the deficit to 9-3.
The six-run deficit was as close as the Hogs would get
as Texas continued its offensive onslaught late. It
put up four runs in the sixth, two more in the seventh
and four in the eighth to take a commanding 19-7 lead.
Arkansas did push a run across with two outs in the
sixth when Brock Bond lined an RBI single up the
middle. Seniors Clay Goodwin and Scott Hode each drove
in a run in the seventh and Tschepikow plated another
run in the eighth.
It was the third straight game the Hogs have put up
eight runs or more as all nine starters recorded at
least one hit.
"I felt that offensively, we did a good job," Van Horn
said. "We did a good job swinging the bats and we hit
the ball right at them several times pretty hard.
"We put together some decent innings and maybe in a
normal game, we're right there in it."
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