A five-run first inning propelled the Arkansas Razorbacks past the South Carolina Gamecocks for a 14-4 win on Monday evening in the Fayetteville Super Regional to set up a rematch against the Texas Longhorns in the College World Series.
The two teams will face off during the first game on Sunday at 1 p.m. Central.
A three-run home run by second baseman Carson Shaddy, his third of the postseason, extended the lead to 5-0 before South Carolina had recorded two outs. So the game was put out of reach early as starting pitcher Isaiah Campbell held the visiting team in check through his four innings and the offense continued to blast the visiting pitching staff.
Seeded No. 4 in the tournament, Arkansas will face Texas after beating the Longhorns twice in Fayetteville during a midweek series back in March. In fact, the second loss dropped head coach David Pierce’s team to 9-9 on the season to mark the low point in the 2018 campaign.
Suffice it to say that the Horns have experienced plenty of growth since that time, but the Hogs remain a formidable opponent — Arkansas is 44-19 on the season.
If there’s a glaring weakness for the Razorbacks, it’s the heavy reliance on winning at home, as Arkansas is only 9-14 away from Baum Stadium. Like the Longhorns, the Razorbacks were able to secure a ticket to Omaha without having to leave their home field.
To beat Arkansas, Texas will have to overcome another strong offensive squad — head coach Dave van Horn’s team ranks No. 16 in batting average and features four players with 10 or more home runs. Two more players each have eight.
On the mound, the Hogs boast a team ERA of 3.54, with opponents hitting only .238. Texas is likely to face Blaine Knight, who is 12-0 with a 2.84 ERA, or Kacey Murphy. Both pitchers have held the opposition to a .226 batting average.
Arkansas is making its ninth appearance in the College World Series, while Texas is making its record-setting 36th trip.