Stranding Runners

Arkansas junior left-hander Dallas Keuchel and junior right-hander Mike Bolsinger combined to strand 14 Florida State runners.

Keuchel got himself in and out of jams right away. The first FSU batter of the game, Tyler Holt, smacked Keuchel's first pitch off the fence in right-center field.

"Me and (pitching) coach (Dave) Jorn talked before the game about Holt taking a lot of pitches, so we were going to throw a fastball down the middle," Keuchel said. "He put a good swing on it. ... I've gotten pretty lucky lately, but I'll take it."

Arkansas coach Dave Van Horn didn't think there was anything lucky about Keuchel and Bolsinger working out of trouble. Bolsinger entered the game in the fifth — after Friday's last rain delay — with no outs and two runners on base. He gave up one run but got FSU to leave the bases loaded.

Florida State left one runner on in the sixth, two in the seventh and eighth and one in the ninth against Bolsinger, who improved to 6-4.

"They were making the coaches awful nervous over there in the dugout," Van Horn said with a laugh. "I thought they did a great job. That's a sign of a good pitcher. Usually the really good pitchers pitch better with runners in scoring position and runners on base. Those are the guys you can go to. Good teams are going to get on base."



Delay Details

Arkansas and Florida State endured three rain delays Friday, totaling 6 hours, 7 minutes.

Play was halted for the first time at 12:17 p.m. Eastern time, only 12 minutes after the contest began. Lightning was spotted in the area, forcing umpires to suspend the game until the potential for severe weather abated.

That first delay lasted 48 minutes. The situation facing Keuchel in the first when play was stopped: Mike McGee, FSU's top hitter, had a full count with one out and Holt on second. Keuchel walked McGee, but escaped unscathed by inducing a Jason Stidham groundout and a Stuart Tapley flyout to deep center.

"Definitely the weirdest start of my career," Keuchel said. "But I felt pretty good, even after warming up and sitting down."

Friday's second delay began at 1:52 p.m. EDT, at an ideal time for Florida State and left-hander Sean Gilmartin. The Razorbacks put their first three batters on base in the fourth off Gilmartin. Ben Tschepikow lined a 1-2 Gilmartin pitch into right field for a leadoff single, Scott Lyons chopped a single into left and Andy Wilkins' singled hard to right loaded the bases.

A downpour then ensued, bringing the grounds crew out again.

The second delay lasted 57 minutes, and Gilmartin came out to face Bo Bigham with no outs and the bases loaded. On his second pitch, Gilmartin got Bigham to ground into a double play, which scored Tschepikow to put Arkansas up 2-1 but gave the Hogs two outs.

Gilmartin, who entered Friday's game with a 12-3 record, struck out Zack Cox looking on a fastball on the outside corner to end the inning. Florida State coach Mike Martin came away impressed with Gilmartin's ability to pitch after resting during the delay.

"Sean Gilmartin is one of those kind of competitors you just feel comfortable with," Martin said. "The whole time he was out there he was in total control, and it's unfortunate the weather man didn't cooperate."

Friday's third delay started at 3:08 p.m. EDT, this time as a benefit to the Razorbacks. As ‘The Animals' in Section B at Dick Howser Stadium sang "O' Canada," Holt led off the fifth with an infield single. Stephen Cardullo then smacked a solid single to left off Keuchel when heavy rain began falling again.

The tarp was so heavy from previous rain that Florida State's players had to come out and assist the grounds crew. About an hour later, Arkansas' coaches and players decided to pack up and head back to their team hotel, located about a 25-minute drive from the stadium.

Play finally resumed at 7:30 p.m. — after a 4-hour, 22-minute delay — and Bolsinger relieved Keuchel to face McGee. Play had been halted with McGee at the plate, no outs and runners on first and second.

McGee bunted Bolsinger's first pitch and moved the runners up a base on the sacrifice. Bolsinger hit Stidham with an 0-2 pitch to load the bases before Tapley's short fly ball fell for an RBI single to tie the game at 2.

It looked like Bigham had a chance to catch the ball, but right fielder Chase Leavitt called him off. Leavitt dove for the ball and just missed. Bolsinger minimized the damage by striking out Tommy Oravetz swinging and getting pinch hitter Ohmed Danesh to bounce back to the mound.

"Mike pitched really well all game in a tough spot," Van Horn said.



Eibner's Catch

Arkansas center fielder Brett Eibner kept Florida State from taking a 2-1 lead in the third with a leaping catch at the fence to end the inning. With two outs and Tapley on first, Oravetz lifted a deep fly ball directly over Eibner's head.

Eibner sprinted back, spun himself around once and then crashed into the fence as he squeezed his glove. He lost his hat, staggered away and limped a bit, but he eventually jogged into the Arkansas dugout. Eibner never came out of the game, and Van Horn said he'd make his pitching start as scheduled today.

"He should be fine," Van Horn said. "We were worried about his knee, but he ran into the wall and hit his hip a little bit. It was a great catch. It was real important. Who knows where we're at if he doesn't make that catch?"



Cox Sets Record

With his solo home run in the second, Cox put the Razorbacks up 1-0 and set Arkansas' single-season home run record for freshmen. Cox belted a 1-0 Gilmartin fastball to deep center, clearing a tree behind the fence.

His 12th homer this season broke the record set by Ryan Kirby in 1998. Cox also slugged an RBI double in the eighth, making him the only Razorback to record two hits.



Short Hops

For the first time this season, freshman catcher James McCann was behind the plate with Keuchel pitching instead of senior Ryan Cisterna. ... Gilmartin lasted five innings and gave up two runs on four hits while striking out two. ... From first pitch to last pitch, 9 hours and 9 minutes passed. Actual game action took 3 hours and 2 minutes to play.





INSIDE PITCH

NO. 16 ARKANSAS VS. NO. 8 FLORIDA STATE

WHEN: 11 a.m.

WHERE: Dick Howser Stadium, Tallahassee, Fla.

TV: ESPN2.

ON THE AIR: KFAY-AM 1030; KURM-AM 790, FM 100.3; FM 103.1; KYNG-AM 1590; KHGG-AM 1580

RECORDS: Arkansas Razorbacks, 38-22; Florida State Seminoles, 45-17.

SERIES RECORD: Arkansas leads 4-0.

LAST MEETING: Arkansas beat Florida State 7-2 Friday in Tallahassee in game one of Super Regional action.

TODAY'S PROBABLE STARTERS: Arkansas, RHP Brett Eibner (5-4, 4.25); Florida State, LHP Brian Busch (6-2, 4.04).

Hawgs Daily Top Stories