FAYETTEVILLE — No. 1 Arkansas defeated No. 19 Nebraska 5-1 on Saturday night in the Fayetteville Regional at Baum-Walker Stadium.
While Arkansas has fell behind in several games this it didn’t happen Saturday night. Matt Goodheart, Arkansas’ leadoff hitter, hit a solo shot over the fence into left center field into the wind. It was a 2-1 count to Goodheart that he blasted a Chance Hroch pitch over the fence.
In the bottom of the third, Charlie Welch led off with a single up the middle. Then with one out, Jalen Battles walked. Braydon Webb then singled to left field to plate Welch for 2-0 lead. Goodheart then walked to load the bases with one out. Cayden Wallace then hit a deep fly that was caught, but got Battles into score for 3-0 lead after two innings.
Joe Acker started the top of the sixth off with a single. It was only the second hit of the game for Nebraska and first leadoff hitter to get on. Kevin Kopps came onto pitch for Hogs and retired the first two hitters. Then Luke Roskam singled to plate Acker to pull Nebraska to within 3-1.
In the bottom of the sixth, Arkansas scored two runs without the benefit of a hit. Battles reached on a throwing error on the Nebraska shortstop. After the next two hitters made outs, the Hogs then drew four straight walks. With the bases loaded, Christian Franklin walked to allow Battles to score. Wallace then would score on a passed ball for a 5-1 lead.
Patrick Wicklander got the start and worked five innings. He allowed one run, two hits, walked a pair, struck out seven, faced 19 hitters, threw 92 pitches and 58 were strikes.
Hroch worked 3.2 innings, four hits, three runs and struck out six. Cam Wynne replaced him in the bottom of the fourth. Wynne worked 0.2 innings and was replaced by Emmett Olson. Olson worked 1.1 innings before giving way to Jake Bunz. Bunz failed to retire a hitter. Max Schreiber replaced him. Bunz was given two unearned runs. Schreiber worked 0.2 inning and then gave way to Tyler Martin.
Wicklander (6-1) gets the win, Kopps picks up his 11th save. Hroch takes the loss. Kopps worked 4.0 innings, allowed three hits, struck out six, faced 15 hitters, threw 71 pitches with 48 strikes.
Arkansas (48-10) will face the Nebraska-New Jersey Institute of Technology winner tomorrow night at 8 p.m. Those two teams play at 2 p.m. Sunday in an elimination game.