Arkansas and Oregon State will battle it out one last time for a National Championship on Thursday. The game will begin at 5:30 p.m. and air on ESPN.
Full Game Recap:
Oregon State came out swinging in game 3.
The Beavers put two runners on base but couldn’t capitalize as Kacey Murphy got Michael Gretler to go down swinging for the final out. However, the Hogs couldn’t get anything going in the first inning either.
Arkansas did make two great defensive plays in the top of the second though.
First, Heston Kjerstad caught a fly ball out in left-center and made a long throw to keep the runner on first. Shortly after, Grant Koch picked off that same runner trying to steal second for the final out.
The Hogs really got things going after that. Thanks to some help from Oregon State pitcher, Bryce Fehmel.
The Beavers starting pitcher gave up a single to Carson Shaddy, hit Jared Gates and walked Jax Biggers to load the bases with two outs. He then threw a wild pitch allowing a run to score, giving Arkansas a 1-0 lead. Fehmel kept giving the Hogs opportunities by walking Eric Cole to load the bases,yet again, but the runners were all left stranded.
Fehmel was pulled after giving up a leadoff walk to Kjerstad in the bottom of the 3rd. Brandon Eisert came in and picked up three straight K’s to close out the inning.
The OSU offense started doing their part after that.
Adley Rutschman lifted one high to left field in the 4th inning to tie the game at 1, marking his 9th homer of the season.
Murphy’s day was done after that.
Jake Reindl replaced Murphy on the mound but his outing, was a short one. Reindl threw four straight balls to load the bases. Cadyn Grenier then laid down a bunt to score another run and give OSU a 2-1 lead. After just 7 pitches, Dave Van Horn called on Kole Ramage. The freshman came in and started dealing. Ramage got one batter to go down swinging then forced a groundout to get Arkansas out of the jam.
Razorback freshman, Casey Martin, was previously 0-7 in the Finals. But he broke out of his Finals slump with a single in the 5th inning. Kjerstad followed that up with a high ball to left that dropped in just fair. Luke Bonfield then hit what looked to be a fly out to center but the outfielders let it drop in, giving Martin just enough time to bolt home and tie the game up, 2-2.
Shaddy would give Arkansas the lead, and ultimately the winning run, after that. The senior hit an RBI single to put the Razorbacks up 3-2.
OSU responded quickly though and put runners on the corners in the 6th. Unfortunately for them, Jack Anderson bunted one high back at the mound and Ramage made the catch and throw to Martin for another out at third. The Beavers hit a groundout after that to send it to the bottom of the 6th.
The Hogs went down in order though and Barrett Loseke came in to pitch for Arkansas. He went 1.1 innings and gave up just 2 hits and struck out 1 batter.
Matt Cronin came in to finish things off. However, for one of the first times this season, things didn’t go his way.
Cronin walked the first batter in the 9th but then forced two groundouts.
The Razorbacks were one out away.
They had a chance to win the game when a ball was popped up to foul territory. A catch, and that would’ve been the final out of the game. But the team let it drop in. OSU took advantage of the Hogs mistake and hit an RBI single and a two-run homer to win the game, 5-3.