Arkansas Was Calling The Hogs In Omaha After Destroying Stanford 17-2 In College World Series

It’s no secret that Arkansas has been playing at at different level during this NCAA Tournament run, but if we continue to seeing this type of defense from the Hogs, their stay in Omaha will be an extended one. After a huge fifth inning, Arkansas broke away from Stanford, winning 9-1 in their College World Series opener.

A pitchers duel broke out at Charles Schwab Stadium with Alex Williams and Connor Noland taming both offenses, until the Hogs broke it open in the 5th. Everything seemed to be going right for the Cardinals, even after giving up a run in the first inning, with Williams showing great command of the baseball. It didn’t take Stanford to tie things up, with Brock Jones hitting a solo blast off Arkansas pitcher Connor Noland. But this seemed like a wakeup call that the Cardinals weren’t expecting from Noland.

There had to be over 10,000 Arkansas fans at the stadium on Saturday, creating a home field advantage for the Hogs. Though they didn’t have much to cheer about during four innings, that was about to change, so was the demeanor of basketball coach Eric Musselman, who was in attendance on Saturday. One thing that Dave Van Horn wanted the basketball coach to change was his attire.

“Did he have his uni on?” “No.” “Then I’m gonna have to talk to him about that.”

After pitching so well for four innings, the Razorbacks finally broke Stanford pitcher Alex Williams. The Hogs put two runners on base and then it was Chris Lanzilli who hit a 3-run bomb, giving Arkansas a 4-1 lead and never looking back. After going four full innings with two combined runs, the Razorbacks broke open the dam in the 5th, brining home five funs and totally changing the game. It shouldn’t go unnoticed that the Hogs did a a lot of damage with two outs on the board.

Another impressive stat to come out of this beatdown was every Arkansas starter having multiple hits, as the 9th inning rolled on.

But the story of this game on both sides was the pitching from Connor Noland and Arkansas defense. It was more of a showcase for Noland, who had only thrown 41 pitches as Stanford was coming to bat in the bottom sixth. It was a dominant outing, with Connor controlling the game and finding a strike zone that was tight all afternoon. Noland was able to keep Dave Van Horn from having to dip into the bullpen earlier than expected, keeping arms fresh for the Monday matchup.

Courtesy of Arkansas Baseball

Noland threw a bunch of superb fastballs and only needed 67 pitches to get through seven innings. This was the fewest pitches thrown in the College World Series with at least seven innings pitched since 1999. Noland finished the day throwing 79 pitches through 7.2 innings, with 1 strikeout and gave only gave up 6 hits.

Head coach Dave Van Horn was very appreciative of Noland not making the staff have to use much of the bullpen, keeping arms rested.

“He set the tone for the whole weekend. For him to pitch like that in game one and allow us to rest the rest of our guys, it’s big.”

Arkansas had hit .274 during the halfway point of the regular season, before hitting their stride and finding more offensive success. The Hogs have averaged 9 runs per game during the NCAA Tournament, which incredible, especially with the pitching to go with it. Michael Turner was 3-5 on the day, while the Hogs already had 14 hits through the 7th inning.

The 21 hits from Arkansas broke Stanford’s record for the most hits in a College World Series game.

Now comes the real challenge, which is backing up the solid performance. The Razorbacks will now wait for the winner of Auburn and Ole Miss, with the Hogs playing on Monday and Stanford playing the loser. We’ve seen the Dave Van Horn used the back end of his bullpen, which has paid off this season. They were extremely lucky to have Noland go eight innings today.

So the Razorbacks will next face an SEC foe, which should make for an interesting atmosphere on Monday evening in Omaha.

Written by Trey Wallace

3 Comments

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  1. I watched Stanford play against Texas State at home in the super and they didn’t impress me at all. They have a few good hitters but the staff is very pedestrian for a top 5 ranked school. They’re going to have issues against squads in Omaha if they can only put up 2 runs.

    Meanwhile, Arkansas and Notre Dame are, hands down IMO, playing the best baseball of anyone right now. I think that is lining up to be your title game match.

  2. Does anyone read this article for typos before you post it? I know you’re a big Tenner guy but come on, I can hardly read this article about my Hogs because of all the mistakes. Please be better- for me the subscribed reader.

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