In a slugfest last night that saw a pitcher's duel become a 9-8 game 3 innings later, the #8 Arkansas Razorbacks defeated the #3 Texas Tech Red Raiders 13-9 in Game 3 of the State Farm Showdown.
It was a pitcher's duel until the fourth inning in a game that many think could be a preview for the CWS Finals in four months. It still could be, but a pitcher's duel turned into a slugfest as the Hammerin' Hogs and the Rippin' Raiders came out, turning it from a 0-0 contest in the fourth to a 6-5 contest in the 6th.
Scoring for Arkansas was kicked off by an RBI on a bases-loaded walk that saw Red Raiders pitcher Brandon Birdsell almost get out of a bases-loaded jam with a nasty breaking ball to get Christian Franklin looking, only to walk in Jacob Nesbit a batter later.
The Red Raider offense came out to play in the bottom of the fifth, starting with a Cal Conley single that scored Kurt Wilson and Brayden Runion. Dylan Neuse then singled in Dru Baker, followed by Conley scoring on a wild pitch and Jace Jung hitting in Conley.
Not to be outdone, the Razorbacks responded with five runs of their own, starting with Jalen Battles doubling in Casey Opitz and Brady Slavens. After Cayden Wallace scored on a wild pitch, Battles scored on a Robert Moore sac fly to knot things up at five apiece, before the Raiders took the lead back with a Conley fielder's choice that sent home Wilson.
The Texas Tug-o-War continued in the seventh, as the Hogs scored three on a balk, a wild pitch, and a scoring error. Texas Tech responded with three of their own in the bottom of the seventh as a Braxton Fulford three-run homer scored Easton Murrell and Cole Stilwell to give them a 9-8 lead.
All was calm, and all was bright until the top of the ninth, when Arkansas' bats again came alive for five more runs. A Battles single into right scored Opitz, and then a wild pitch by Andrew Devine brought Wallace in for a 10-9 Razorback lead. Another wild pitch scored Battles, and then the last two runs of the night came on a Braydon Webb two-run single into right Smith and Moore. Despite efforts, Texas Tech went down quietly in the top of the ninth.
Elijah Trest(1-0) got the win for Arkansas, giving up one run in three innings with a walk, two hits, and four strikeouts.
Andrew Devine(0-1) took the loss for Texas Tech, giving up five in two-thirds of an inning with four hits, two walks, and a strikeout.
#8 Arkansas(1-0) plays again today against #9 Texas (0-1) at 7pm.
#3 Texas Tech(0-1) plays again today against #6 Ole Miss(1-0) at 3pm.