Hagen Smith records 17 strikeouts in Diamond Hogs victory over Oregon State

What. A. Game.

Arkansas wins a thriller against No. 7 Oregon State, 5-4. Tonight’s game was the first time the two teams have met since the 2018 College World Series final, where Arkansas infamously dropped a championship-clinching foul ball.

After a bad start against James Madison just a week ago, Diamond Hogs ace Hagen Smith had the game of his career. The left-hander threw 15 straight strikeouts against one of the best batting lineups in the country, including the No. 3 draft prospect Travis Bazzana. The second baseman from Sydney, Australia, went 0-3 against Smith.

After 6 innings, Smith was pulled, but not before tying the Arkansas record for most strikeouts by a pitcher at 17. He threw 78 pitches for 59 strikes.

In that time, Arkansas gained a 4-0 lead on a double from Ben McLaughlin in the top of the 5th, and another run in the 6th, but in the most poetic fashion. Lead off hitter Ryder Helfrick reached first on a dropped pop-up by third baseman Trent Caraway. Subsequently, he was brought home on a single from the next batter Jayson Jones.

After Smith’s exit, Oregon State began to wake up, scoring 4 unanswered runs in the 7th and 8th innings. By the 9th inning, the Beavers were trying to repeat 2018’s game 2 comeback and in a puzzling decision, Coach Dave Van Horn calls Jake Faherty to close the game.

The hard-throwing, righty has had the power to be a closer but lacked the control to get himself on the mound. However, tonight he certainly earned playing time. Faherty closed the game with 10 pitches and two strikeouts, bringing the total team strikeouts to 23, an Arkansas record.

Arkansas will take Globe Life Field again tomorrow to play Oklahoma State at 7:00 PM.

Story originally appeared on Razorbacks Wire