College World Series: Texas Tech, Arkansas clash for second time in Omaha
OMAHA, Neb. -- While it may have earned a 6-3 victory Sunday against defending national champion Florida in its opening round game of the College World Series, the Texas Tech baseball team will need to gear up for another stout squad in its second contest of the double-elimination bracket.
For the second time this season, the No. 9 national seed Red Raiders will face off against No. 5 seed Arkansas at 6 p.m. Tuesday at TD Ameritrade Park. The game is set to be televised on ESPN.
Texas Tech and the Razorbacks (45-19), who defeated Texas 11-5 on Sunday, will do battle to claim a prime position for the best-of-three College World Series finals set to begin June 25.
The two teams are familiar with each other after playing a midweek game back on April 24 in Fayetville, Ark. Arkansas earned a 5-1 victory thanks to the combined efforts of starter Jackson Rutledge followed by relievers Evan Lee and Barrett Loseke -- who teamed up to strike out 17 total batters.
The Red Raiders, who collected 12 hits in the victory against Florida, will look to continue the positive trend Tuesday night against a Razorbacks squad also coming off a win that included plenty of offense.
Arkansas put up two runs in the fifth and exploded for eight runs in the sixth en route to a six-run win over the Longhorns.
"It's a deep lineup, one through nine, and nobody is an easy out," said Arkansas freshman Heston Kjerstad, a former Canyon Randall standout who went 3 for 5 with three RBIs in the victory. "And everyone's always fighting every at-bat and we're not giving away pitches."
As for starting pitchers, Texas Tech is likely to go with either Caleb Kilian (9-2, 3.04 ERA) or Davis Martin (7-5, 4.50) -- both right-handed hurlers who will contend against a balanced Arkansas lineup.
The Razorbacks tout five players -- Casey Martin (.346, 47 RBIs, 13 home runs), Kjerstad (.346, 57 RBIs, 14 HRs), Carson Shaddy (.343, 53 RBIs, 13 HRs), Eric Cole (.328, 51 RBIs, 14 HRs) and Luke Bonfield (.306, 41 RBIs, nine HRs) -- hitting above the .300 mark.
"We have such a balanced lineup," said Bonfield, who collected two RBIs in the win over the Lonhorns. "We all know what we're doing at the plate. We all have a certain approach."
The Red Raiders will counter with six batters -- Josh Jung (.390, 78 RBIs, 12 HRs), Grant Little (.380, 74 RBIs, 12 HRs), Gabe Holt (.352, 44 RBIs, six HRs), Zach Rheams (.346, 55 RBIs, 17 HRs), Cameron Warren (.325, 53 RBIs, 10 HRs) and Brian Klein (.314, 31 RBIs, four HRs) -- seeing the ball well at the plate.
Holt, a freshman, came up big for the Red Raiders with a pair of two-out RBIs in the win over Florida.
"I like base runners," said Holt, who drove in three runs which included a tiebreaking single in the fifth inning and an insurance run in the ninth. "Usually when I have runners, I get up there and try to put the ball in play. And good things happen."
This article is written by Carlos Silva Jr. from Lubbock Avalanche-Journal, Texas and was legally licensed via the Tribune Content Agency through the NewsCred publisher network. Please direct all licensing questions to email@example.com.