Arkansas 6, LeMoyne 5
WATERBURY, Conn. (AP) _ Troy Eklund hit a grand slam home run in the seventh inning as Arkansas came from behind Monday to edge LeMoyne, 6-5, in the championship game of the NCAA Division 1 Northeast Regional baseball tournament.
The victory was the 700th career victory for Arkansas Coach Norm DeBriyn and gave the Razorbacks (50-14) a berth in the College World Series that starts Friday in Omaha, Neb.
Eklund also had an RBI single in the game as he drove in five of his team’s runs. His homer gave Arkansas what appeared to be a safe, 6-2 lead and helped erase what had been a 2-0 LeMoyne lead.
But LeMoyne battled back with three runs in the eighth and had the tying run on second base when the inning ended. LeMoyne also got the potential tying run to second base in ninth with two outs and Pete Stoyan at the plate. Stoyan, who had four hits and two RBI in his previous at-bats, bounced out to first to end the game.
Dennis Fletcher, 10-3, started and pitched to one batter in the eighth until being pulled in favor of reliever Phil Stidham, who had a save in the Razorback’s 1-0 victory over Arizona State (42-19) in Monday first game. Fletcher gave up three runs, nine hits and had four strikeouts.
Stidham yielded two runs, three hits, walked two and struck out one. The save gave him 13 for the season.
In addition to Eklund, Scott Pose and Kirk Piskor helped pace the Arkansas attack. Pose had three singles, while Piskor had an RBI double.
Matt Sames, 4-3, was the losing pitcher for the LeMoyne (28-7). He allowed six runs, 11 hits, walked three, struck out two in going the distance.
Joining Stoyan in pacing LeMoyne were Randy Marshall with three hits and Kevin Collins with a single, a double and an RBI.
LeMoyne went ahead 1-0 in the second on singles by Stoyan, Mark Harbaugh and Chris Cergol. The Dolphins went up 2-0 in the third inning as Mike Boyzuick singled, went to second on a groundout, advanced to third on an error and scored on a Stoyan single.
Arkansas scored its first run in the fourth inning on a walk to Bubba Carpenter, a single by Haden Etheridge and a double Piskor.
Arkansas tied the score 2-2 in the fifth inning on a singles by Rod Stillwell, Pose and Eklund.
In the seventh, Grayson Liles doubled, Stillwell reached on bunt single and Kim Thomas walked to load the bases. Eklund then hit his grand slam to left center.
In the eighth, LeMoyne scored three runs on a single by Marshall, a walk to Chris Zimmerman, an RBI single to Stoyan, an error that allowed Zimmerman to score and sacrifice fly by Harbaugh to bringhome the final run.
LeMoyne placed five players on the all-tournament team. They were: Matt Stevens, a pitcher; Kevin Collins, catcher; Marshall, first base, Ken Harring, second base, Zimmerman, outfield.
Arkansas had three players named to the team: Fletcher, third baseman Greg D’Alexander and outfielder Eklund.
Illinois outfielder Sean Mulligan was the final player named to the team.