Arkansas’ 13-9 win over Texas Tech on Saturday night in the State Farm College Baseball Showdown wasn’t particularly pretty, but it was crazy.
“That was one of the craziest games I’ve been in in a while,” Dave Van Horn said later.
In a game that started late and finished even later, it went down to the final half-inning to determine things.
Maybe the best stat line of just how crazy the game was is the Hogs scoring five of their 13 runs on a wild pitch or balk.
Elijah Trest, who picked up the win in relief, started off by giving up a three-run homer in the seventh and somehow managed to hang around long enough to get the win.
“Very rarely does a reliever get a chance for a little bit of redemption to stay in the game and get him out for the next two innings,” Van Horn said. “We come back, get a win, and he gets a win personally.”
Zebulon Vermillion started the game and didn’t do particularly bad, giving up two runs on three hits over four innings, striking out four and walking a couple of Red Raiders’ batters.
Both teams managed to leave a small village on the bases (Arkansas 10, Texas Tech 9). At times, pitchers got the ball everywhere in Globe Life Park except over the plate.
“Both teams really didn’t play very well, didn’t pitch very well, they got a couple big hits, they took advantage of a couple mistakes,” Van Horn said. “We took advantage of a couple mistakes on them.”
In the end, though, the main thing for Van Horn was coming out of the mess with a win to kick off the season.
“I’m just proud of the way our team just kept fighting and fighting,” Van Horn said. “We fought hard to score those two runs to take the lead, and they come back and get hit by a hit pitch, a walk, a three-run homer and now we’re losing again.
“We didn’t get all uptight, we just kept fighting, and it was just a good night for us.”
Now the Hogs face Texas on Saturday at 7 p.m.
Sunday’s meeting will be the 89th between the two programs. The series dates back to 1974 when the Hogs and Longhorns met annually as members of the SWC from 1974-91.
The Longhorns hold the advantage over the Razorbacks in all-time meetings, leading the series, 56-32. Arkansas, however, has won five of the last six matchups between the two teams.
Information from Arkansas Communications is included in this story.