OMAHA, Neb. –Arkansas coach Dave Van Horn said Sunday afternoon he still doesn’t know who will take the mound to start tonight’s College World Series winner’s game against the SEC foe West, Ole Miss, 6 p.m.
Right-hander Will McEntire or left-hander Zack Morris is almost certain to get the ball for the Razorbacks (44-19), and whoever it is will oppose freshman left-hander Hunter Elliott (4-3, 2.82 ERA ).
“Honestly, we’re not 100% sure,” Van Horn said when asked if he could name the Razorbacks starter after his team’s Father’s Day practice in Nebraska-Omaha.
“We talked about it again this morning on the bus coming here. You know, we have to figure out how we want to start. We feel we have two good options.
McEntire (1-2, 2.81 ERA) started Game 2 of last weekend’s Chapel Hill (NC) NCAA Super Regional, allowing no runs on 3 hits and 2 walks with 4 strikeouts in 5 2/3 innings against 10 seeds North Carolina.
McEntire, who started with a 2-0 lead, was undecided in a game where the Tar Heels came back to take a 3-2 lead in the top of the ninth before Brady Slavens’ single winner in the end of game. inning.
McEntire allowed 5 earned runs on 9 hits and 9 walks in 14 2/3 innings in the postseason, including two starts.
Morris (6-0, 1.89 ERA) made three NCAA Tournament appearances and allowed 2 runs on 8 hits and 4 walks, with 6 strikeouts in 6 2/3 innings for an ERA of 2 .70.
Morris started and worked 3 1/3 scoreless innings at 7-seeded Oklahoma State in the Razorbacks’ 7-3 win at the NCAA Stillwater Regional on June 6.
“We’re still thinking about it,” Van Horn said. “I think at the end of the day we will know 100 per cent.”
Van Horn said he needs to speak to pitching coach Matt Hobbs before making the decision.
“It’s probably going to come down to the bullpen anyway,” he said. “We’d like to get off to a good start against a really good batting team.”
Less pig woo
Freshman Ole Miss Hunter Elliott, today’s scheduled starter, was quizzed ahead of Sunday’s practice at Creighton University about what he had learned about trying to ignore calls from Hog when he faced the Razorbacks.
“I would say that rather than trying to disconnect them, it would be better to go where they don’t do so much,” Elliott said, prompting laughter from the media. “So if you allow fewer races you won’t hear it as much, that’s my understanding. The fewer home runs, the fewer runs you allow, the less hogs you court.
Elliott allowed 3 runs on 4 hits and a walk in 6 undecided innings in a 6-3 loss to the Razorbacks on April 30 at Baum-Walker Stadium. He gave up a solo home run to Brady Slavens in the first inning and a two-run shot to Braydon Webb in the fifth after hitting Jace Bohrofen with a pitch. He started with a 3-2 deficit, but the Rebels scored a run in the eighth to tie before Kendall Diggs’ three-run homer in the ninth.
“He can spot it with the best of them,” Arkansas coach Dave Van Horn said, comparing the Tupelo, Miss., product to former Ole Miss All-American Doug Nikhazy.
“I think it just helps build that scouting report and just see how the pitches are developing,” Webb said of Elliott earlier. “But every game is different. We have to come up with a good game plan, which we will do, and keep playing with that advantage that we have.
‘It’s a dog’
Arkansas right-hander Connor Noland threw just 79 pitches in 7 2/3 innings amid an over-90-degree day in Saturday’s 17-2 win over Stanford. Noland improved to 3-0 in the NCAA Tournament and worked at least 6 2/3 innings in each of his starts.
“He’s a dog, man,” Arkansas center back Braydon Webb said. “Like he always gives us a chance and he comes late in games and that gives us a lot of confidence throughout the games.”
Noland lowered his ERA to 1.27 in his three playoff starts by limiting Stanford to two earned runs on Saturday.
After Texas A&M’s 10-2 victory over Texas in Sunday’s CWS opener, the first five games have all been decided by a grand slam or higher, and some have been complete failures, highlighted by the Arkansas 17-2 victory. over Stanford in Saturday’s Bracket 2 opener.
The average margin per game was 7.2 points. The closest scores, heading into Sunday’s Bracket 1 final drink between Oklahoma and Notre Dame, were Notre Dame’s 7-3 victory over Texas on Friday and Ole Miss’s 5-1 win over Auburn on Saturday. .
Arkansas center fielder Braydon Webb was announced as the winner of the NCAA Elite 90 award on Saturday.
The Elite 90 award is given to the athlete from each NCAA championship site who has the highest cumulative grade point average. Webb, a senior specializing in operations management, has a 3,957 GPA.
Pigs versus SEC
Arkansas will play an SEC team in the College World Series tonight for the seventh time since joining the league. Arkansas’ last fully SEC game at Omaha was in 2018 when the Razorbacks beat Florida 5-2 in the national semifinals.
Arkansas lost twice to eventual national champion LSU in 2009 by scores of 9-1 and 14-5. The Razorbacks went 1-2 against national runner-up South Carolina in 2012. Arkansas ended the Gamecocks’ 22-game NCAA Tournament winning streak with a 2-1 victory that year, but had needed a win over the Gamecocks to play in the National Championship Series, the Razorbacks lost 2-0 and 3-2.
Arkansas is 3-6 against SEC teams in Omaha, including games that were played when Arkansas was a member of the Southwestern Conference.
The Razorbacks lost 5-4 to Mississippi State in the 1985 College World Series. In 1987, Arkansas beat Georgia 5-4 before a season-ending 5-2 loss to LSU.
The 1985 Razorbacks beat South Carolina 1-0 in Omaha, but that was before the Gamecocks joined the SEC.