Diamond Hogs meet Oregon State for the first time since 2018 CWS

Arkansas fans can still hear the low, muffled sounds of baseballs thumping the warning track of Charles Schwab Field in their nightmares. On Friday, those same fans could have their faux trauma partially healed… or it could mean they’re stuck holding their breaths on every time an opponent hits a pop-up, foul ball.

For the first time since the 2018 College World Series, Arkansas will meet No. 7 Oregon State on the diamond during the Kubota College Baseball Series. Heading into the game, the Beavers are perfect, boasting a 5-0 record over New Mexico, Minnesota (twice), CSU Bakersfield, and Texas Tech.

Oregon will be a great early test for Arkansas’ Bullpen. They outscored their foes 52-17 and scored at least 10 runs in 3 of their 5 games. The team averages a .339 batting average and .412 on-base percentage. Whatever weakness the Hogs have on the mound, the Beavers have the talent to find it.

Second baseman and leadoff hitter Travis Bazzana has been a bull at the plate. So far this season, he has recorded 12 RBIs on 16 hits and 5 home runs. Although he doesn’t have the RBIs like Bazzana, nine-hole hitter Trent Caraway likes to get on base with 18 hits and an OBP of .526 in his first five games.

The Beavers are led by former Oregon State player and two-time National Champion Coach Mitch Canham. Canham has led Oregon State to the postseason every year since his move to Corvallis in 2019, making just one super regional in 2022. If the name sounds familiar to some in Fayetteville, Canham had a small stint as a Northwest Arkansas Natural in 2013

The two ball clubs are dead even in their all-time record, 3-3. One of those wins by Oregon is a game that all Hog fans remember vividly.

In 2018, Arkansas played Oregon State in the CWS finals. The Razorbacks won the first game 4-1, but in the second, Arkansas dropped a championship-clinching, gimme fly ball in foul territory in the bottom of the ninth with two out. OSU came back to win 5-3 and took game 3, winning the CWS.

So this begs the question, will Friday night in heartbreak again? Or will the Diamond Hogs have their long-awaited revenge?

Story originally appeared on Razorbacks Wire