After Joe Serrano flew out to start the game, Bobby Wernes singled and Andrew Benintendi walked. Junior outfielder Tyler Spoon then singled past the shortstop, scoring Wernes and moving Benintendi to third. After a sacrifice fly by Rick Nomura plated Benintendi, Brett McAfee singled through the left side to plate Spoon for the third run of the inning.
From there, the Razorback pitching staff took over. Starter James Teague wasn't necessarily dominant, as Missouri State stranded two runners in scoring position in the first and failed to score after loading the bases in the second. He yielded five hits and two walks in four innings of work, but he didn't give up any earned runs. The only score on his watch came from a runner who reached base on an error.
Lance Phillips allowed a two-out hit in the fifth and then advanced the runner with a balk, but that came during the process of striking out the next batter to end the inning. After striking out the sixth's first batter, he ran into some trouble by giving up a single and walking the following batter. Zach Jackson relieved Phillips and surrendered a hit that gave MSU its second run, but he sat down the next two batters to get out of the inning.
Jackson went the rest of the way for Arkansas and slammed the door on the Bears. He pitched nothing but three-up-three-down innings from the seventh to the ninth, striking out four in the process and not allowing any runners. Arkansas really needed that out of him because MSU silenced its offense after that first inning. Jordan Knutson settled down and didn't allow more than one hit in any of the following five innings, and Sam Perez and Bryan Young were effective out of the bullpen too.
This is Arkansas's third College World Series in the past seven seasons, and it's their eighth appearance all time. They'll face Virginia, who lost to Vanderbilt in last year's championship series. It was quite a turnaround for Arkansas to get this far:
As unbelievable as it is, this team that started the season 14-14 is headed to Omaha.