College World Series Capsules
College World Series Schedule and Game Stories
Razorbacks Rally Past Cavaliers
By Phil Stanton
Neb. – Maybe it's Hogs that have nine
Brett Eibner (left) tied the game with a two-run homer with two
outs in the top of the ninth, Andrew Darr had a double to score
Jarrod McKinney in the 12th with the game-winner as Arkansas
outlasted Virginia 4-3 in an elimination game at the College
World Series Wednesday in front of 21,383 fans at Rosenblatt
The Razorbacks (41-23) will face LSU on Friday at
1 p.m. CT. Arkansas will have to beat the Tigers on both Friday
and Saturday to advance to the championship series. The
Cavaliers finish the season with a 49-15-1 record and their
first trip to the College World Series.
“It was a great ballgame to be a part of as a
coach,” Arkansas skipper Dave Van Horn said, “rollercoaster,
dramatic, a lot of moves, and really tough kids that didn’t want
to lose, didn’t want to go home. It was fun. It’ll be one that
I’ll never forget.”
Virginia held a 3-1 after eight and had its
closer, Kevin Arico, on the hill. With two outs in the top of
the ninth, Zack Cox had a base hit to keep the season alive. On
a 1-1 pitch, Eibner crushed the ball deep into the left field
bleachers to tie the score at 3-3.
“I was looking for an off-speed pitch,” Eibner
said. “I really wasn’t looking for a fastball with a guy on
base. I was looking for that pitch and happened to get it and
put a good swing on it.”
James McCann and Jarrod McKinney followed with
base hits, but Andrew Carraway came on to get Chase Leavitt to
ground into a fielder’s choice to end the inning.
The Cavaliers loaded the bases with one out in
the bottom of the ninth, but a double play ended the threat.
After the Razorbacks went in order in the top of
the 10th, UVa got a runner to third with one out in the bottom
of the 10th, but Dallas Keuchel was able to fan the final two
hitters to keep the game going.
Arkansas again went in order in the 11th. Franco
Valdes had a leadoff single in the bottom of the frame, was
sacrificed to second and moved to third on a two-out walk, but
was stranded as Keuchel got an inning-ending groundout.
The Hogs finally broke through in the 12th.
McKinney had a one-out single and stole second. On the 10th
pitch of his at-bat, Darr doubled down the left field line to
plate McKinney with the go-ahead run.
“I was just trying to have a good at-bat,” Darr
said. “[McKinney] was on second, he can absolutely fly. I just
tried to look for something up in the zone and I got a breaking
ball to hit.”
The Cavs would not go quietly. Steven Proscia
ripped a leadoff double to left. He stole third as Jarrett
Parker struck out swinging. Keuchel fanned John Hicks and Valdes
to end the contest.
Virginia had its leadoff hitter reach in each of
the final four innings, but stranded eight over those final four
“We had an opportunity every inning from the
bottom of the ninth all the way to the end,” Virginia outfielder
Dan Grovatt said. “We just didn’t come up with the big hit and
goose eggs were put up for the first four innings, the scoreless
tie was finally snapped in the bottom of the fifth. Hicks
(right) hit a ball to the left field fence that Chase Leavitt
jumped to catch. The ball landed back in the field and Hicks
stopped at second as Tony Maners, the third base umpire, ruled
the ball still in play. Virginia head coach Brian O’Connor came
out to question the call and, after the umpires conferred, it
was ruled a home run. On the TV replay, it showed that the ball
hit a cap and a glove in the stands and fell back in play, so it
was a homer, the eighth for Hicks.
One out later, John Barr singled to right and
moved to third on a base hit to right by Tyler Cannon, who was
gunned down at second by rightfielder McKinney trying to stretch
it to a double. Danny Hultzen helped his cause with a double to
left, scoring Barr to make it 2-0.
Arkansas finally got on the board in the seventh
as Bo Bigham reached on a one-out error, moved to third on a
double by Zach Cox and touched home on a sac fly by Eibner.
UVa got what looked like a huge insurance run in
the eighth on a two-out homer by Grovatt, his eighth, to make it
Keuchel (9-3) tossed four innings with three
hits, three walk and five strikeouts to earn the win.
“I was telling myself out there that we’ve been
through so much, this whole team, and I wasn’t going to let them
go out like that,” Keuchel said. “I just wanted to make pitches
one pitch at a time. I kept throwing that slider up there and
got some swings and misses.”
Andrew Carraway (9-2) retired the first eight he
faced before Arkansas rallied, going 3.1 innings with three
hits, one run, no walks and three strikeouts.
Eibner finished with three RBI for the
Razorbacks. McCann had three hits for Arkansas.
Hicks and Steven Proscia both had three hits for
“This was an unbelievable ballgame,” Virginia
head coach Brian O’Connor said. “It took everything from
Arkansas, it took everything from Virginia. Unfortunately, we
came out on the short end of the stick. I thought we pitched
really well tonight. We swung the bats, had a lot of
opportunities and didn’t capitalize on them sometimes, but
that’s to credit Arkansas’ pitching. They pitched in the clutch
and made some clutch plays.”
(Eibner photo courtesy of Arkansas
Media Relations Office, Hicks photo by Jimmy Jones)