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Arkansas edges Ole Miss, sets up rematch for spot in CWS finals

Jun 22, 2022; Omaha, NE, USA; Arkansas Razorbacks starting pitcher Hagen Smith (33) throws against the Ole Miss Rebels in the first inning at Charles Schwab Field. Mandatory Credit: Steven Branscombe-USA TODAY Sports
Credit: Steven Branscombe-USA TODAY Sports

Hagen Smith struck out eight in five sharp innings, leading Arkansas to a 3-2 win over Ole Miss on Wednesday in Omaha, Neb., and setting up a Thursday rematch to determine which team will reach the College World Series championship round.

The teams have now split a pair of matchups in Omaha, as the Rebels (42-23) routed the Razorbacks (49-21) by a 13-5 count on Monday. The Thursday winner will face Oklahoma in the best-of-three final round beginning on Saturday.

Arkansas’ Chris Lanzilli hit a solo homer in the second inning to open the scoring. Ole Miss’ Kemp Alderman responded by homering to lead off the bottom of the second.

Brady Slavens’ leadoff shot in the fifth put the Razorbacks on top for good. Michael Turner provided an insurance run with an RBI single in the eighth.

Smith yielded one run on two hits and four walks. Arkansas’ Evan Taylor followed with three-plus scoreless innings in which he yielded two hits and no walks while fanning four.

Razorbacks right-hander Brady Tygart entered with a runner at first and no outs in the ninth, then hit the next two batters with pitches. Lefty Zack Morris entered and got a strikeout and a popout before an infield single by Justin Bench cut the deficit to one.

Morris then induced a flyout from Jacob Gonzalez to leave the bases loaded and send the teams to a Thursday showdown.

–Field Level Media