FAYETTEVILLE — A solo home run by North Carolina State’s shortstop Jose Torres off Kevin Kopps to start the ninth inning ended Arkansas’ dream season 3-2.
The Wolfpack will advance to the College World Series after winning today and 6-5 on Saturday. That was after a 21-2 loss to the Hogs on Friday night.
Arkansas provided Kopps with a 1-0 lead in the bottom of the second. Christian Franklin started the inning by reaching on an error on NC State third baseman Vojtech Mensik. He advanced to second a ground out by Cullen Smith. Charlie Welch came up and hit a double down the line in right field. Casey Opitz and Jalen Battles each walked to load the bases with two outs. Matt Goodheart then grounded out to second to end the threat.
In the top of the third, Austin Murr drew a one-out walk from Kopps. Then with two outs, Jonny Butler hit a blast over the fence in center field for a 2-1 lead.
In the bottom of the seventh with two outs, Cayden Wallace hit one over the fence in left field to tie the game at 2. Wallace’s home run was off reliever Chris Villaman.
NC State starter Matt Willadsen worked 4.0 innings. He allowed two hits, a run (unearned), four walks, struck out four and threw 84 pitches. Villaman replaced him. Villaman pitched 3.0 innings, allowed two hits, one run (earned), one walk and struck out three. Evan Justice came into pitch bottom of the eighth.
Kopps worked 8.0 innings, allowed seven hits, three runs (all earned), struck out nine, faced 32 hitters, 118 pitches and 76 were strikes. Patrick Wicklander came in the game in ninth. Wicklander allowed one hit in his inning.
The Hogs end the season 50-13. Kopps (12-1) took his first loss of the season. Justice got the win. After scoring 21 runs on Friday, the Hogs only managed four hits and stranded seven on Sunday.