FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. - Survive and advance.
No. 1 Arkansas used the long ball to overcome an early three-run deficit and outslug NJIT, 13-8, in the first game of the NCAA Fayetteville Regional on Friday afternoon at Baum-Walker Stadium.
Down three entering the bottom of the third, the Razorbacks scored two in the frame on Braydon Webb's dinger to left before exploding for seven more runs in the the fourth. Christian Franklin's game-tying solo blast was one of three Arkansas home runs in the bottom of the fourth inning as Cayden Wallace and Cullen Smith each got in on the action later in the frame.
Jalen Battles swatted the Hogs' fifth homer of the day in the fifth, extending Arkansas' lead to 10-3 with his sixth home run of the year.
Kevin Kopps, who entered the ballgame with two out in the top of the fourth inning, twirled 2 1/3 perfect innings in relief to earn his 11th victory of the year. Collegiate Baseball Newspaper's National Player of the Year struck out one along the way, silencing the Highlanders' offense across the game's middle innings.
The Razorbacks, now 47-10 overall on the year, advance to winners' bracket with the come-from-behind victory and will play the winner of tonight's ballgame between Northeastern and Nebraska at 8 p.m. Saturday, June 5.