FAYETTEVILLE — No. 1 Arkansas defeated No. 19 Nebraska 6-2 to advance to this weekend’s super regional in Fayetteville’s Baum-Walker Stadium.
Arkansas got to Nebraska’s relief pitchers in the bottom of the eighth. With two outs and no one on base, Christian Franklin walked as did Robert Moore. Casey Opitz then walked to load the bases. A wild pitch by Jake Bunz allowed Franklin to score and now runners on second and third with two outs. Charlie Welch pinch hit for Cullen Smith and hit a no-doubt home run over the fence in left field that added three more runs to the total.’
Kevin Kopps worked 7.0 innings to move his record to 12-0 on the season. He only allowed three hits and struck out nine.
Nebraska got off to the fastest start in the game. In the top of the second, first baseman Luke Roskam hit a solo shot off Jaxon Wiggins for a 1-0 lead.
In the top of the third, Wiggins walked the No. 8 and No. 9 hitters in the order to start the inning. That was when Dave Van Horn pulled him and brought in Kopps. A sacrifice bunt moved the runners over and then Mojo Hagge scored on a ground out for a 2-0 lead.
Opitz hit a shot over the fence in left field in the bottom of the fifth. In the bottom of the sixth Moore hit a solo shot over the fence in right field to tie the game at 2.
Wiggins worked two innings for the Hogs. He allowed one hit, two runs (both earned), walked two and struck out a pair. He faced nine hitters, threw 37 pitches with 20 being strikes.
Arkansas (49-11) will now host a super regional this weekend. North Carolina State will be the opponent.