AP Photo/Nati Harnik

Arkansas rides 8-run inning to 11-5 CWS win over Longhorns

June 17, 2018 - 8:29 pm
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By ERIC OLSON, AP Sports Writer

OMAHA, Neb. (AP) — Luke Bonfield hit the go-ahead home run in the fifth inning and Arkansas broke it open with an eight-run sixth in an 11-5 victory over Texas on Sunday in the College World Series.

The Razorbacks (45-19) scored double-digit runs for the fourth time in six NCAA Tournament wins and had their highest total in 28 CWS games. The Longhorns (42-22), in the CWS for a record 36th time, lost their third straight Omaha opener since 2011.

Bonfield delivered the first home run of the CWS with his two-run shot to left for a 3-2 lead. Parker Joe Robinson took over for Texas starter Nolan Kingham (8-5) to start the sixth and walked the only two batters he faced. That started a parade of pitchers who either struggled to find the strike zone or got dinged for single after single.

Arkansas led 5-2 with the bases loaded when the teams were pulled off the field because of lightning in the bottom of the sixth. The Razorbacks picked up where they left off after the 2-hour, 49-minute delay. In all, 10 straight batters reached base, 14 went to the plate and Texas used five pitchers in an inning that matched Arkansas' biggest of the season.

The Razorbacks swept the Longhorns 13-4 and 7-5 in Fayetteville in March, but this was the first time the old rivals from the Southwest Conference days had been matched in the CWS since 2004. The Razorbacks are 2-3 against Texas in five CWS meetings.

Arkansas starter Blaine Knight (13-0), the Baltimore Orioles' third-round draft pick, allowed two runs on four hits and a walk in five innings. He struck out four.

Big 12 player of the year Kody Clemens, son of seven-time Cy Young Award winner Roger Clemens and one of the hottest hitters in the postseason, was 1 for 5 with two strikeouts.

GARRIDO TRIBUTE

A sixth-inning video tribute to longtime Texas coach and NCAA wins leader Augie Garrido ended with fans for both teams standing to applaud. Garrido stepped down as coach after the 2016 season and ranked first in college baseball wins until Florida State coach Mike Martin broke the record last month. Garrido won two national championships at Texas and three at Cal State Fullerton during his 48-year career. He died in March following a stroke.

OUT OF MY WAY, PAL

A minor kerfuffle at first base in the fifth inning had Clemens, the Texas second baseman, jawing at Heston Kjerstad for apparently being too rough with first baseman Jake McKenzie. The Longhorns, apparently thinking Kjerstad turned toward second base before changing his mind after running through the base, hurried to get the ball to McKenzie after an overthrow.  Kjerstad made it back to first and knocked over McKenzie upon his arrival, with the umpire extending his arms to separate Clemens and McKenzie.

UP NEXT

Arkansas plays Tuesday night against the winner of the late Sunday game between Texas Tech and Florida. Texas plays in the afternoon against the Texas Tech-Florida loser.

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