FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. -- The Arkansas Razorbacks plated three runs in the top of the first inning and rode strong pitching performances from sophomore James Teague, senior Lance Phillips and sophomore relief specialist Zach Jackson to knock off No. 8 national seed Missouri State, 3-2, in Game 3 of the Fayetteville Super Regional at Baum Stadium. The win advances the Razorbacks to the College World Series for the first time since 2012 and for the eighth time program history.
After being held to one run by Missouri State in Game 2 of the Super Regional, the Razorbacks lineup came to life in the top of the first inning scoring three times. After senior Joe Serrano flew out to start the game, junior third baseman Bobby Wernes singled and sophomore centerfielder Andrew Benitendi walked. Junior outfielder Tyler Spoon then singled past the shortstop scoring Wernes and moving Benitendi to third. After a sacrifice fly by junior second baseman Rick Nomura that plated Benintendi, senior DH Brett McAfee singled through the left side driving in Spoon, who had stolen second, for the third run of the inning.
That would be all the runs the Razorbacks would need as the Teague, Phillips and Jackson combined to allow just two runs, one earned, on eight hits the rest of the way. Jackson, who entered the game with one out in the bottom of the fifth inning and gave up a run on a hard grounder to the first batter he faced, then went on to lock up the win by retiring the next 11 batters, including six by strikeout. In total, Arkansas struck out 12 Missouri State batters in the game.
Missouri State chipped away at the Arkansas lead by scoring single runs in the third and sixth innings.
The attendance for Sunday's finale of the Super Regional drew 11,694 bringing the three-game total to 35,730, the largest three-game weekend total in Baum Stadium history.
The NCAA College World Series opens up play Saturday, June 13 in Omaha, Neb., at TD Ameritrade Park.
· The Razorbacks have clinched a spot in their eighth College World Series in program history.
· Arkansas is one of seven teams in the country to advance to the College World Series three times in the last seven years.
· The Razorbacks have advanced to the College World Series in four of their six Super Regional appearances.
· Arkansas has advanced to Omaha in both Super Regionals at Baum Stadium.
· The Razorbacks have reached the 40-win plateau for the sixth time in the last seven seasons.
· Head coach Dave Van Horn makes his sixth College World Series appearance overall, the most by any head coach in the SEC.