PALO ALTO, Calif. - For the second day in a row, Arkansas wasted too many chances. And now, the Razorbacks' opportunities are all used up.
After failing to produce the big hit in their opening round game, the Diamond Hogs again were betrayed by the bats Saturday. Stranding 13 men on base, Arkansas could never punch home the runs it needed and fell short against Stanford, 5-1 on Saturday in the loser's bracket of the NCAA Stanford Regional in front of 2,005 at Sunken Diamond.
With the loss, the third-seeded Razorbacks (34-23) were eliminated from the regional and also watched their season come to an end.
"Really the difference in the game was Stanford drove in runs and we didn't," Arkansas coach Dave Van Horn said. "Probably the biggest play of the game was by (Stanford pitcher Austin) Yount himself on the line drive that Andy (Wilkins) hit up the middle. I couldn't believe he fielded it and it just kind of ended up in his glove. He just kind of looked up and fielded it and if that ball gets by there, we're tied 3-3 and feeling pretty good about things.
"Instead we're still down 3-1 and we never recovered."
With Yount (5-3) holding Arkansas in check early, the Cardinal was able to build a 3-0 lead through four innings. But in the bottom of the fifth, the Razorbacks finally scraped across a run when Logan Forsythe came through with a two-out single to score Chase Leavitt.
Then with two on and two out, Arkansas had its chance to climb back in the game. But on an 0-1 pitch, Wilkins sent a shot back to toward the mound that was somehow fielded by Yount.
"If that ball gets by we get two runs, it's going to be 3-3 and it changes the whole complexion of the ballgame," Wilkins said. "But when the guy snagged it, that's kind of a momentum killer. So it was real frustrating."
Even more frustrating was Arkansas' overall performance in the clutch. Especially in the late innings, where the Razorbacks left seven runners on base in the seventh, eighth and ninth without scoring a run.
"I think in postseason play that's what it is all about," Stanford coach Mark Marquess said. "(Friday) night Cal-Davis came up with some timely hitting against us and (Saturday) we did, and Arkansas didn't get the big hit when they could have. Unfortunately that's what happens sometimes. Or sometimes you hit a ball hard but it's right at somebody."
After starter Dallas Keuchel (4-3) allowed three runs in four innings, Justin Wells entered and shut down the Stanford lineup over the next three innings. But in the top of the eighth, the Cardinal (34-22-2) was finally able to break through again, scoring two insurance runs.
"Nine innings (Saturday), (gave) up five runs and that's going to give you a shot in Game Two in just about any league," Van Horn said. "And it was the same (Friday), we gave up four runs. So the pitching was fine.
"We just didn't get the big hit or they made a big play on us. I mean give the other team's pitching credit. When runners are in scoring position, it's harder to hit because they bear down and they pitch us. And I think that's what went on a little bit as well."
Stanford 5, Arkansas 1
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