After falling to Ole Miss on Monday night 13-5, Arkansas would face elimination against the #14 Auburn Tigers on Tuesday night. Will McEntire got the start for the Razorbacks, and he did not disappoint. McEntire would pitch the game of his life when his team needed it most, allowing only one run in seven innings giving up only three hits and striking out nine batters against an Auburn team that has the ability to hit with the best of them. However, McEntire didn’t need to pitch lights out to get the win because his team did their part with the bats scoring eleven runs on sixteen hits. Arkansas Freshman Peyton Stovall continues to crush the baseball as he collected five hits on the game driving in three runs. Chris Lanzilli and Michael Turner would also drive in three runs each on the night. Auburn finally got on the board in the bottom of the seventh inning on a solo homerun by Bobby Peirce but that’s all the scoring they could muster for the game. Arkansas went on to win 11-1.
Will McEntire’s dominant performance on the mound gives the Arkansas bullpen a boost moving forward, with Arkansas needing to beat Ole Miss twice in back-to-back days to advance to the finals. Although not yet official, Freshman Hagen Smith will likely get the start for Arkansas against Ole Miss tonight. Smith went six innings striking out eight and allowing two runs on seven hits in the 6-3 win in his regular season start against Ole Miss on April 30th. The freshman will be pitching in a much bigger stage tonight and will need to pitch his best game to give his team a chance to win against the hottest team remaining in the CWS. Ole Miss will start, Senior left-hander John Gaddis, tonight who threw 2 1/3 scoreless innings against the hogs in their May 1st matchup. It will be his first start since April 9th. Ole Miss needs just one win to advance to their first ever CWS championship series while Arkansas must win tonight to get another shot at Ole Miss on Thursday.
It’s easier said than done but if Arkansas’s starting pitching can hold the Ole Miss hitters at bay and not have an early exit, Arkansas will be in good shape because they have a pretty well rested bullpen and an offense that has been solid as of late. Ole Miss has not yet lost a game this postseason and their pitching has been a large part why so the Arkansas hitters will have their work cut out for them. I’m sure Arkansas will have a much better showing tonight than they did on Monday, but will it be enough against the red-hot rebels? Tune in to the game tonight at 6pm on ESPN to find out.