Arkansas blasts way to Omaha with win over South Carolina
FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. (AP) — Eric Cole had three hits, a home run and scored five runs to help No. 5 national seed Arkansas advance to the College World Series with a 14-4 win over South Carolina in the deciding game of their NCAA super regional on Monday night.
The trip to Omaha is the first since 2015 for the Razorbacks (44-19), and it’s their fifth in the last 16 seasons under coach Dave Van Horn.
Cole had a pair of RBIs for Arkansas, and Luke Bonfield added three hits and four RBIs. The Razorbacks scored five runs in the first inning, highlighted by a three-run home run by Carson Shaddy.
Barrett Loseke (3-2) earned the win for Arkansas while allowing one run in 2 1/3 innings of relief of starter Isaiah Campbell, who struck out five in four innings.
Jacob Olson had a pair of home runs for the Gamecocks (37-26), who were trying to return to the CWS for the first time since 2012. Carmen Mlodzinski (3-6) took the loss after allowing five runs, four earned, in his only inning of work.
Martin’s first-inning home run was his 14th of the season and Arkansas’ school-record 93rd overall before Cole pushed the total to 94 with his seventh-inning blast. The previous best was 92 home runs in 64 games in 2010, and the Razorbacks needed one fewer game to top that mark this season. Arkansas entered Monday’s game fourth in the country in total home runs, trailing only Tennessee Tech, Clemson and Florida.
South Carolina: Relief pitcher Eddy Demurias exited the game under the watch of the Gamecocks trainer and after facing only two batters in the fifth. The exact injury for the right-hander wasn’t immediately known, but the junior did throw 59 pitches and allowed five runs in 2 1/3 innings of work in Saturday’s loss to Arkansas.
The Razorbacks will face former Southwest Conference rival Texas to open the CWS. Arkansas swept a two-game series with the Longhorns in March.
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