June 13, 2009

Game 1 Notes

College World Series Capsules

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Arkansas Scores Early, Often against Cal State Fullerton

By Phil Stanton

CollegeBaseballInsider.com Co-Founder

OMAHA, Neb. – It was a ‘middle’-of-the-road win.


The middle of the batting order provided the big hits and the middle of the infield provided the glove work as Arkansas knocked off No. 2 seed Cal State Fullerton 10-6 in the opening game of the 2009 College World Series in front of 23,549 fans at Rosenblatt Stadium.


The Razorbacks (40-22) will play the winner of the LSU-Virginia contest on Monday at 6 p.m. CT. The Titans (47-15) will meet the loser on Monday at 1 p.m.


“I thought they came out and they play hard, but they seemed really comfortable to me,” Arkansas head coach Dave Van Horn said. “They didn’t seem nervous. They played like they’d been here before and obviously they hadn’t. They picked it up where we had left off the last couple of weekends, just playing hard, coming up with big hits and making pitches.”


Cleanup hitter Andy Wilkins (right) went 2 for 3 with a homer and five RBI for the Razorbacks. He had a sac fly in the first to start the scoring, a three-run homer to cap a five-run fourth, and a run-scoring single in the eighth that made it 10-4. Wilkins has 19 dingers.


No. 3 hitter Scott Lyons had a two-run single in the fourth prior to the Wilkins blast. Fifth-place hitter Zack Cox had an RBI single in the first and a two-run homer in the third, his 13th.


“Well, that didn’t work out as planned,” Fullerton head coach Dave Serrano said. “We just didn’t play Titan baseball today. We gave them too many opportunities early, threw too many pitches early. We didn’t play very good. I don’t want to take that away from Arkansas, how well they played today.”


Second baseman Bo Bigham had two putouts and five assists, including a diving play for a force-out in the third. Shortstop Ben Tschepikow added a pair of putouts and four assists, including a nice backhanded pickup in the sixth. The pair combined for one double play to end the eighth and snuff a Titan rally.


“I thought we played well in the field,” Van Horn said. “The key was the tough plays. Ben made a couple of really nice plays. Bo made a great play. The infield, down the stretch, this is the best we’ve played all year and our fielding percentage has climbed.”


Arkansas starter Dallas Keuchel (8-3) worked six innings with five hits, four runs, three earned runs, one walk and two strikeouts. Mike Bolsinger allowed four hits and two runs in three innings with one walk and two strikeouts for his second save.


Leadoff hitter Christian Colon (3 for 4) (right) and Joey Siddons (2 for 4) both had two runs and one RBI for Fullerton. Gary Brown had two sacrifice flies for the Titans.


It was the first win in the College World Series for Arkansas head coach Dave Van Horn. He had been 0-4 with Nebraska and 0-2 in a previous trip with the Razorbacks. It was also the first win in four tries for Arkansas against Cal State Fullerton.


(Wilkins photo by Jimmy Jones, Colon photo courtesy of Cal State Fullerton Media Relations Office)