For the first time since 1979, Arkansas has advanced to play in the College World Series Finals. The Razorbacks defeated Florida 5-2 on Friday night, eliminating the defending National Champions.
Arkansas senior, Luke Bonfield, put the Razorbacks on the board in the top of the first with an RBI single after fouling off five pitches.
Then Isaiah Campbell came in to the game, looking for redemption after a very poor showing against Florida earlier this season. He started off strong this time around though and sent the Gators down in order. He also got Jonathan India to go down swinging for the final out of the first inning. India hit a grand slam off Campbell in his previous outing.
The Hogs offense stayed strong in the second inning when Dominic Fletcher came to the plate with two on and one out. The sophomore swung on the first pitch for a RBI single to give Arkansas a 2-0 lead.
Casey Martin extended Arkansas' lead in the 5th by bolting home after a groundout by Bonfield. Fletcher then came to the plate and smashed a solo home run, marking his 10th long ball of the season. Those two runs put Arkansas up 4-0.
Florida didn't get its first hit until the bottom of the 5th. Campbell put the next batter on base after hitting Blake Reese. Brady Smith followed that up with a two out single to right to score Reese. Then Florida tacked on another run after a wild pitch to make it a two run game.
Dave Van Horn left Campbell in though, and he closed out the inning by striking out Nick Horvath. That strike out marked his 8th of the game, tying his career high, and setting a new record for most by an Arkansas pitcher in the College World Series. Campbell went 5.1 innings, his longest outing since April 21st, and gave up 2 hits and 2 runs.
The Razorbacks responded quickly in the top of the 6th. Martin came to the plate with two on and two out and hit a RBI single on a 1-2 count. That run gave Arkansas a 5-2 lead over Florida.
Matt Cronin took the mound in the 8th inning to finish things off. He would give up just one hit and strikeout two batters to help Arkansas win 5-2.
With the save, Cronin ties former Razorback, and current volunteer coach, Colby Suggs' program record 13 saves.
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