The Arkansas Razorbacks baseball team defeated the Nebraska Cornhuskers 6-2 on Monday, advancing the Hogs to a Super Regional in dramatic fashion.
It was a nail-biting night for Razorback fans on Monday. Nebraska defeated the Hogs 5-3 Sunday to force the elimination game in the Fayetteville Regional, and the Cornhuskers took a 2-0 lead early in the final and held it for most of the game. Freshman pitcher Jaxon Wiggins started the game for Arkansas, but only made it two innings after allowing two runs.
That was the only damage Nebraska would make on the scoreboard. Kevin Kopps, who was recently named Collegiate Baseball’s National Player of the Year, replaced Wiggins in the third inning and stymied the Cornhuskers for the remainder of the night. Kopps finished the game on the mound, which became his longest outing of the season.
It would take a while for the Hogs to give Kopps some support at the plate, however. Casey Opitz hit a solo home run in the fifth inning and Robert Moore matched him in the sixth to knot it up at 2-2. In the bottom of the eighth, Nebraska walked three straight Arkansas batters with two outs, and then a wild pitch scored the go-ahead run for Arkansas. Then pinch hitter Charlie Welch cleaned up the bases with a three-run home run, putting the Hogs up 6-2 going into the ninth.
Kopps closed it out, netting his 12th win of the season. He allowed only three hits in seven scoreless innings.
Seven Arkansas players were selected to the All-Regional Team, and Kopps was named Tournament MVP.
The Hogs move on to host a Super Regional matchup versus North Carolina State this weekend, with the winner of the best-of-three series earning a spot in the College World Series.
NCAA Super Regional
Arkansas Razorbacks vs. NC State Wolfpack
Friday, June 11
Time: 5 p.m.
Saturday, June 12
Time: 2 p.m.
Sunday, June 13 (if necessary)
Time: 5 p.m.
TV: ESPN2 or ESPNU
Photo courtesy of University of Arkansas Athletics