Arkansas slips away from 9th Mississippi Rally to win second arc of the Men’s College World Series

Omaha, Neb. Zach Morris didn’t get much done as a rookie for Arkansas two nights ago, but what an end player it was on Wednesday.

Morris was called up after Mississippi held the bases without ends in the bottom of the ninth inning, and the small left-handed put up the threat to allow the Razorbacks to win 3-2 at the Men’s College World Championships.

The Hogs (46-20) made it to another final in brackets against the Ole Miss (39-23) on Thursday, with the winner advancing to face Oklahoma in the top-of-three championship role starting Saturday.

“Morris has done a fantastic job,” Arkansas coach Dave Van Horn said. “He spoke to me last night after the game and said, ‘I want the ball back.’ And I said, ‘Just be ready.'”

“When he came, I just said, ‘Hey, man, can you do this?'” He said: Yes, sir. And I just said, “Okay, there you go. Go get it.”

For eight innings, Arkansas nearly shut out an attack that led to 64 times in its first seven NCAA tournament games. Kemp Alderman, who hit Homer in the second inning, was the only Ole Miss runner to advance past first base to that point.

The Rebels loaded the bases at 9 after Brady Tiggart hit his closest two consecutive hits.

Morris, who gave up two rounds and was withdrawn after two-thirds of the game in the Hogs’ 13-5 loss to the Ole Miss on Monday, hit Hayden Leatherwood, getting TJ McCants to fly ahead of Justin Bench. One made it a one-running game. Then Maurice made Jacob Gonzalez line up to finish the match.

“Zach has been a paw for us all year,” said Brady Slavins. “We all believed in him. We all believed in him. He didn’t have the best start he wanted that day, but he came out and proved himself tonight.”

Ole Mess coach Mike Bianco said he and his players would not consider losing.

He said, “Instead of woe to us, how about looking at the great opportunity we have tomorrow?”

With the score tied 1-1 in the fifth inning, Slavins blasted John Gaddis’ second pitch 436 feet straight into the middle in a light breeze.

The only other players to have moved into the dead center since MCWS moved to Charles Schwab Stadium in 2011 are Florida State’s Pete Alonso (2015) and Florida State’s Dylan Busby (2017).

“I was just looking for a fast ball over the board,” Slavins said. “Luckily I got it. It might be the furthest I’ve ever hit. I’m not sure.”

The Hogs added a huge lockout run in the eighth. Kayden Wallace sent a ball down the left court line for a double, placing his hand on the bag before attempting to put in second baseman Peyton Chatanier. The call was upheld in a video review.

Michael Turner followed a base kick that brought Wallace home, and the Pigs loaded the bases before Jack Dougherty hits the Slavins and hits Kendall Diggs to finish the inning.

New Arkansas left-back Hagen Smith (7-2), made five runs on his longest outing since he went by six in the April 30 victory over the Rebels. He allowed one to run after two hits, four walks, and hit eight.

“My mental style today was just throw the ball over the board, just throw the kicks, because I know I have to hit the ball to give us a chance,” Smith said. “If I walk people, I won’t go very long or help our team.”

Evan Taylor gave up a two-stroke and fired four times in three rounds, leaving after Alderman took the lead in the ninth round.

Jadis (3-2), who made his first since June 6 and made his first appearance since April 9, allowed two runs on four strokes.

The teams exchanged home runs per second. Chris Lanzelli went deep for the third time at MCWS, and called Alderman for Rebels.

Homer Lanzilli barely cleared the left center fence and bounced back into the field. Homer’s existence was confirmed after a video review.

Lanzilli became the first player to hit three bugs in the MCWS since Jimmy Kerr of Michigan in 2019.

Bianco and Van Horn announced that they will start aces Thursday, with Ole Miss Dylan DeLucia (7-2) against Conor Noland (8-5).

“I can’t promise you the outcome of tomorrow’s game, but I can guarantee you we’re not afraid, and we’re not going to hold back,” said Chatanier, whose team was the last to receive a public bid for the NCAA Championship. “This is nothing new for us.”

Leave a Reply

%d bloggers like this: