OMAHA, Heaven. – The hero of Chapel Hill Super Regional, hitting the single that breaks the Arkansas ticket to Omaha, Brady Slavens fights in the College World Series.
The striker scored two goals against Stanford, but scored 0 to 4 in the loss of Ole Miss and head coach Dave Van Horn said he could feel he was not the same striker he had been in recent weeks. This, combined with Peyton Stoval’s hot bat, prompted the veteran coach to make a rare lineup change.
Although Slavens scored 0 to 5 in his first game with 8 holes, he erupted with a 2 to 3 performance on Wednesday night, which included a walk and a monstrous home run.
“Obviously it wasn’t the best day yesterday, but you can’t control the past,” Slavens said. “You have to look to the future. Faced with elimination, you just have to do what you can for the team. ”
The long ball not only broke a 1-1 draw in the fifth inning, but was a huge 436-foot kick to a dead end, making it the longest registered home run in the World Series college since moving to its current position.
Previously, the longest was 429 feet by Pete Alonso of Florida in 2015 and Aduar Julien of Auburn in 2019. It was only the third home run to hit the gap between center seats, joining Alonso and Dylan Busby. from the state of Florida.
Van Horn said he noticed Slavens had a flatter swing and tried to stay in the middle he had worked on earlier in the day in the wadding cages.
“It was 1-0 and I was just looking for a quick ball over the plate,” Slavens said. “It simply came to our notice then. It may be the farthest I’ve hit. “
However big the home run was, Van Horn pointed to his move with four moves and two outs in the second inning as the moment he realized Slavens was locked.
“Well, I knew it was going to be a pretty good night when he came out on his first bat,” Van Horn said. “He made several suggestions. He left the field at 2-0. Many times he would jump a little 2-0 and try to hit him at 438 feet … He swung a little too hard, but when he left it, he finally took a walk and I thought, “Okay, let’s go back to the way it was a week ago. “
It was still a game in the eighth inning, and Arkansas pressed the envelope to scratch an insurance series.
Cayden Wallace started things off with a low, sharp shot from the third baseman and he crossed Garrett Wood, deflecting his glove. However, instead of settling for a single, Wallace turned on the jets and stretched it into a double.
He slipped in just before Wood’s throw and was judged to be safe, a stake that remained even after reviewing the replay.
“That’s why they have a replay,” said Ole Miss head coach Mike Bianco. “I saw the board. Again, that’s why we challenged him. We thought Hayden probably marked the finger, but again, they have, I think, 22 cameras and they have people, and they see different points of view from us on the board. I don’t think it’s fair to comment on a call. “
This led to Michael Turner with a runner in goal position and he only needed two games to score.
He made a 0-1 pitch from Jack Doherty across the left side of the field, but Jacob Gonzalez almost reached him. In the end, he just took off his glove, giving Turner the team’s 16th RBI lead for the postseason.
“Once we realized they weren’t going to collide – which Turner and I didn’t think without casualties in 4 holes – we pinched Gonzalez a little, one, because we thought if they weren’t queues, I’d obviously ask him to pull the ball,” Bianco said. . “And two, Doherty’s days were a little long, and we were a little scared that Wallace might steal a base.
“So we pinched Gonzalez, and obviously that wasn’t good. Turner eventually hits one to six holes right out of Gonzo’s glove.
The leftists shine on the mound
The first two pitchers Arkansas used on Wednesday were a pair of lefties who held Ole Miss with just one performance of three goals in the first eight innings.
After appearing as a Razorbacks closer in the last few weeks, freshman Hagen Smith returned to the rotation and gave his best start in a few months. He gave up one run in two hits and four walks, while scoring eight in five innings on 90 pitches.
“They fought him pretty well, they increased his number a bit on the field,” said Van Horn. “For the most part, I’m really proud of Hagen. He was not feeling well, a sore throat, he was tested for strep throat and many other things last week, but he was not there. ”
There were several times when he almost untied, but quickly returned after visiting the mound.
It was a trip up the hill from coach Matt Hobbs’ lead when he fell 2-0 after a two-out walk in the second inning, which helped him come back with three consecutive strokes to get out of the inning.
Smith also started the third inning with a walk from four pitches and fell behind 2-0, which led to a visit to cat Michael Turner. He not only bounced again with three consecutive shots, but also hit the next two shots – Tim Elko and Kevin Graham.
After the game, Smith told reporters that he threw very fast balls and sliders – more than usual – with a few mixed changes.
“My mental approach today was just throwing the ball over the plate, just throwing punches, because I know I have to throw punches to give us a chance,” Smith said. “If I walk people … I want to go deep, deep into the game and help our team.”
The first person Van Horn called out of the fur was senior Evan Taylor, and he was even better.
In the sixth, seventh and eighth innings, he withdrew from nine of 10 fighters, with whom he faced an incredibly effective 30 pitches. This corresponded to the longest outing of his career, but he had thrown so few games that he returned in the ninth.
Unfortunately, he threw a quick ball and Alderman hit it to the right for his third goal of the match, which led to a change in the pass.
“Obviously the retrospective is 20/20,” Van Horn said. “He was hitting and feeling strong and he wanted to come back. Obviously we’ve discussed it a bit, but he’s older. That’s why we sent him. I have to pay tribute to Alderman, he did a great job tonight.
~ Announced attendance for Wednesday’s game was 25,401. It was the highest attendance for a college World Series game since the 2019 Arkansas-Florida game, which attracted 26,155 fans.
~ Chris Lanzilli opened the scoring with a home run in the second inning. The 382-foot blast barely cleared the wall on the left and was confirmed by a replay that gave him three long balls in the college World Series. “He’s a little behind in the census and he’s headed in the other direction,” Van Horn said. “The ball he hit from the park today was a substitute, but he really got it. He is strong. I think he was holding it a little in the wind and he had just come out of the park.
~ Braden Webb led the game by doubling over the left fielder’s head, making him 4 for 4 on his first strike as Arkansas leader at World Series College. Three of the hits went for extra bases, with two doubles and one triple.
With the victory, Arkansas forced, if necessary, the match against Ole Miss. Both teams will play at 15:00 CT Thursday on ESPN2 with a place in the finals of the World College Series online. Oklahoma – which advanced with a 5-1 victory over Texas A&M on Wednesday – awaits the winner.