OMAHA, NE. (KNWA) – The quest for Arkansas’ first national title got off to a roaring start on Saturday before 24,357 fans at the College World Series.
Senior starting pitcher Connor Noland pitched a 7 2/3 inning gem while Chris Lanzilli’s three-run homer jump started a season-high tying 21-hit attack for the Razorbacks as they routed Stanford 17-2.
The win moved Arkansas (44-19) into a 6 p.m Monday night game with the winner of Saturday night’s Ole Miss-Auburn contest.
Stanford (47-17), the national number two seed, faces an elimination game against the loser of Ole Miss and Auburn Monday at 1 p.m.
Noland (7-5) needed just 78 pitches (55 strikes) in his seven-plus innings of work while giving up two runs on six hits with one walk and one strikeout.
Lanzilli’s three-run blast highlighted a five-run fifth that gave Arkansas a cushion a day when each Razorback starter had at least two hits.
Robert Moore reached base his first five plate appearances with three hits and two walks.
Arkansas jumped ahead 1-0 quickly as Braydon Webb tripled on the first pitch of the game from Stanford ace Alex Williams (8-4) and scored on Brady Slavens’ sacrifice fly.
The Razorbacks would go on to load the bases later in the first, but Williams fanned Jalen Battles to escape further damage.
Williams also stranded a runner in the second and third and pitched a 1-2-3 fourth inning.
But Arkansas jumped on the Pac-12 pitcher of the year in the fifth with Slavens and Cayden Wallace both singling to get things going.
Williams fanned Michael Turner, but Lanzilli’s 51st career college homer was a three-run blast to put the Razorbacks up 4-1.
That would grow to 6-1 later in the fifth when Robert Moore scored on a wild pitch and Zack Gregory drove home Peyton Stovall.
Arkansas added a trio of runs in the seventh on singles by Jalen Battles and Slavens and Cayden Wallace doubled.
Stovall’s two-run single in the made it 11-1 in the eighth.
Wallace’s two-run blast in ninth, which was his team-leading 16th of the season and 30th of his career, made it 13-2
Stovall’s two-run single and Wallace’s two-run double later in the ninth capped the scoring.