Arkansas Pitching Stymies Beavers, 4-1
In a College World Series where offense has ruled, the pitching stepped up in game one of the Championship Series Tuesday night.
Three Arkansas pitchers scattered nine hits, leading the Razorbacks past Oregon State 4-1 at TD Ameritrade Park in Omaha, NE.
Blaine Knight pitched the first seven innings for Arkansas, allowing seven hits and just a single run in the second inning. He walked one and struck out six in his 97 pitch outing. Barrett Loeske allowed two hits in two innings, exiting after allowing a leadoff single in the ninth. Matt Cronin got the final three outs for his 14th save.
The Beavers got on the board first, Trevor Larnach doubled to lead off the second inning. Tyler Malone's one out single moved Larnach to third and he scored on a base hit by Michael Gretier before Knight (14-0) struck out the next two batters.
Oregon State squandered a big opportunity in the fourth inning when Larnach led off with a ground rule double and Casey Rutchman singled to center. Malone then grounded to first base but Rutschman, who was forced at second was called for interference for a failure to slide. Larnach was forced to go back to third base by rule and the inning ended when Gretier struck out.
Luke Heimlich (16-3) was solid during the first four innings but ran into trouble in the fifth when he walked Carton Shaddy with one out. Jared Gates' single moved Shaddy to third and Grant Koch singled to tie the game. Heimlich then hit two consecutive batters to give Arkansas the lead and an error by second baseman Nick Madrigal made it 3-1. A bases loaded walk ended Heimlich's night before Christian Chamberlain got the final two outs.
The loss was the second for Heimlich in the College World Series after losing just once prior to Omaha. Chamberlain was brilliant in relief, striking out 11 in 4.2 innings of relief, tying the CWS record for strikeouts by a reliever, set by Calvin Schiraldi of Texas.
Game two will be played Wednesday night.