Arkansas routs 2nd-seeded Stanford 17-2 in CWS opener
OMAHA, Neb. (AP) — Connor Noland allowed one run over 7 2/3 efficient innings, Chris Lanzilli hit a tiebreaking three-run homer and Arkansas beat No. 2 national seed Stanford 17-2 on Saturday in the most-lopsided College World Series game in 34 years.
The Razorbacks knocked out Pac-12 pitcher of the year Alex Williams in the fifth inning and went on to log their biggest margin of victory in 36 CWS games. It was Stanford’s biggest loss in their 73 CWS games.
The Hogs (44-19) will play Monday against the winner of the Saturday night game between Auburn and Mississippi. Stanford (47-17) will play the loser in an elimination game.
Arkansas scored 11 runs in the last three innings and finished with a season-high 21 hits, including Cayden Wallace’s 30th career homer in the ninth.
Noland (8-5) surrendered a homer to Stanford leadoff man Brock Jones on his third pitch, but with the help of a defense that turned double plays to get him out of two jams, Stanford didn’t score again until Carter Graham greeted reliever Kole Ramage with a base hit in the eighth.
Noland threw only 79 pitches on a hot, humid afternoon when the feels-like temperature reached 106 degrees. He induced 11 groundball outs and seven flyouts, and his only strikeout came in the sixth inning. Other than Jones’ homer, all the Cardinal mustered against him were five singles and a walk.
Razorbacks fans rose and gave him an ovation, many of them “Calling the Hogs,” as he hugged teammates and walked from the mound to the dugout.
Williams (8-4) struggled for a third straight start in the NCAA Tournament. He gave up a triple to Braydon Webb on the game’s first pitch, hit a batter and issued a walk but got out of the inning down only 1-0.
Williams settled down the next three innings, then gave up back-to-back singles in the fifth before Lanzilli hammered a changeup a dozen rows into the left-center seats to make it 4-1.
When Robert Moore followed with a base hit, the day was over for Williams, who has allowed 16 runs in his last 10 1/3 innings (13.94 ERA).
The Hogs, who managed only three hits in a 5-0 loss to Stanford in February, went on to hand the Cardinal the worst loss in a CWS since Arizona State hammered Wichita State 19-1 in 1988.
It was Arkansas’ first win over the Cardinal since the 1985 CWS.
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