In a game that lasted four hours and 53 minutes, every second of Saturday’s winner’s bracket game between Arkansas and Oklahoma State was just as exciting as it was important.
Through six innings of the game, Oklahoma State seemed to have complete control with a 10-5 lead. However, Arkansas would score 15 runs over the final three frames to grab a 20-12 win over the host Cowboys, and to move one step closer to the Super Regional round.
The Cowboys added to their comfortable lead in the bottom of the 6th inning by scoring three runs. Two on RBI singles, and one run scoring from third base on a ground out, to give them the 10-5 advantage.
Arkansas began chipping away in the top of the 7th inning. The Razorbacks began the inning with two quick outs, but a solo home run by Michael Turner would keep Arkansas in the inning, trimming down the Oklahoma State lead to 10-6. That home run was enough to give the Razorbacks a spark, as Chris Lanzilli would double in the next at-bat, then came home on a two-run home run byRobert Moore, cutting the Cowboy lead to 10-8.
Momentum stayed with Arkansas into the 8th inning, as the Razorbacks took the lead by scoring eight runs on three hits. The first three batters of the game reached, which set up four runs on three bases-loaded walks, and a hit by pitch.
Once Arkansas grabbed the lead, they would pour on four more runs with one swing of the bat. Jalen Battles stepped to the plate, and with full confidence, smashed the first pitch of the at-bat over the left field fence to blow the game open for Arkansas.
Oklahoma State grabbed two runs in the bottom of the 8th, but Arkansas never waivered. To add insurance, Arkansas added four more runs in the top of the 9th inning. With one down and two on, Lanzilli clubbed a three-run shot down the left field line.
The home run would be Lanzilli’s 50th of his career, and it would extend Arkansas’ lead to 19-12. The final run of the game came on an infield single by Peyton Stovall that involved a throwing error, scoring Moore and to seal the game.
Five Razorbacks grabbed multiple hits in the game, with Chris Lanzilli, Robert Moore, Michael Turner, and Jalen Battles all sending four runs across the plate.
In a game that saw seven pitchers used, freshman Brady Tygart would get the win for Arkansas. Tygart allowed one hit and two earned runs in 1.2 innings of work. Starter Hagen Smith went just 1.1 innings, allowing two hits, two earned runs and issuing four walks in his first start since May 14 vs. Vanderbilt at Baum-Walker Stadium.
Arkansas is just one win away from winning the Stillwater Regional. The only thing standing in their way is the winner of Oklahoma State/Missouri State game that will begin at noon CDT. The Razorbacks will meet the winner of that game on Sunday evening at 6 p.m. CDT.