Key takeaways, box score from Arkansas’ win over Auburn at CWS:

OMAHA, Neb. – After pitching the game of his life nine days ago in Chapel Hill, Will McEntire was even better on college baseball’s biggest stage.

The redshirt sophomore gave Arkansas seven sensational innings with a career-high nine strikeouts in its 11-1 win over Auburn in an elimination game at Charles Schwab Field.

While the Tigers are heading home, the Razorbacks become the third SEC West team to advance to the College World Series semifinals.

“Both teams did not want to go home, obviously, and we just jumped out on them,” head coach Dave Van Horn said. “Speaking for our team, we do not want to go home. We think we can play five days in a row. We like it. We’re here until we’re not. “

Although the offense exploded for 16 hits in another big night at the plate, the story of the game was on the mound.

McEntire did not allow allow a hit until there were two outs in the fourth inning and took a shutout into the seventh. His final line included only one earned run on three hits and one walk, in addition to the nine strikeouts.

“Just a really well-pitched game by Will,” Van Horn said. “He was throwing the ball down and mixing his pitches, getting them to look for the cutter a little bit and then he’d throw the fastball and vice versa.”

The lone blemish on his performance was a leadoff home run by Bobby Peirce in the seventh inning. Other than that, no other Auburn player got past first base. Three of the Tigers other four base runners reached with two outs – including one via an error – and the fourth was erased by a double play.

His nine strikeouts nearly doubled his previous career high of five, which he set against UAPB and Arkansas State, and were the second-most ever by an Arkansas pitcher in a College World Series game.

“I think wherever Turner put his glove, that’s where the ball was going,” Auburn shortstop Brody Moore said. “I thought he had really good command, and did not make as many mistakes as a starting pitcher usually does. He spotted up really well and all his pitches were working well for him tonight. ”

After the game, McEntire told reporters that he spent much of his day laying around the hotel and thinking about how he needed to step up for his team. He proceeded to deliver what he considers the best performance of his career, regardless of level.

The right-hander from Bryant gave a lot of credit to catcher Michael Turner for how he called the game behind the plate, but the way he pitched also made that job pretty easy.

“Everything – fastball, curveball, cutter, change-up – and all for strikes,” Turner said. “Whenever you’ve got a four-pitch mix like that and you’re throwing them all for strikes, it’s a pretty good game plan for sure.”

Making the outing even more improbable is the fact that McEntire redshirted last season and did not appear in a game until the Razorbacks’ 32nd game of the season – the second game of a midweek doubleheader against UAPB on April 12.

Now through 65 games, McEntire has made 12 appearances, including eight starts, and sports a 2.59 ERA in 48 2/3 innings with a .198 opponent batting average. He’s been even better in the postseason, allowing just four earned runs in 19 1/3 innings for a 1.86 ERA.

“He did not get many opportunities early and when he got the opportunity, he shined,” Turner said. “He’s taken advantage of every opportunity he gets. (When) you go out and throw strikes for us and go deep in the game, it’s huge for us, and we hope he continues to do that. ”

Here are several key takeaways from the Razorbacks’ win over Auburn…

Lineup Change:

Arkansas used the same lineup for the first eight games of the NCAA Tournament, but after thinking about it last night, Van Horn decided to mix things up with the season on the line.

Most of the order remained unchanged, but he swapped Peyton Stovall and Brady Slavens. The freshman moved up to the 2-hole, while the senior dropped down to the 8-hole.

“The game kind of tells you what to do every now and then,” Van Horn said. “I feel like Brady is not swinging the bat like he was even last weekend… and Peyton has been swinging it great.”

Back near the top of the lineup, Stovall went 5 for 6 with a double and three RBIs. He became the first player in UA history with five hits in a College World Series game and the first player on any team to accomplish that feat since North Carolina’s Dustin Ackley in 2009.

“He’s a talent,” Thompson said. “I know what he was coming out of high school and sometimes you can get a slower start and then be there. … Just a steady, good, promising player with a bright future that, he’s coming on. ”

It was a continuation of Stovall’s tear through the postseason. He’s now 9 for 16 in Omaha and a whopping 21 for 40 (.525) overall in the NCAA Tournament.

“He’s seeing the ball deep in the zone,” Turner said. “I feel earlier in the year, we kind of talked a little bit (and) he was a bit jumpy, trying to do too much, which happens to everybody. But he’s seeing the ball real well right now. ”

The hot stretch has raised Stovall’s batting average 57 points to .309, which is third on the team.

“He just felt a lot of pressure – social media and everything else and you read everything and preseason this, preseason that,” Van Horn said. “It’s hard putting that on kids that have not even seen a college arm yet. And he’s been really good the last month. “

Chasing Barnett:

Much like he did against Stanford, Braydon Webb smacked the first pitch of the game for an extra-base hitoff leadoff.

It was not a triple this time, but he was still in scoring position with a double and the Razorbacks once again immediately capitalized on it, as Stovall followed with a full-count RBI single up the middle.

“Webb kind of sets the tone for us and we love him in the lead-off spot for that reason,” Turner said. “This is the second time in two or three games where he started it off like that for us, and it kind of started the ball rolling.”

Although Auburn starter Mason Barnett bounced back to retire the next three Arkansas batters in order, it included a 12-pitch at bat by Turner, so he still ended up throwing 33 total pitches. It was the second-most he’s thrown in a single inning this season, behind only the 39 in the top of the first against South Alabama on March 22.

He nearly followed that up with a couple of perfect innings, but a second-inning error by third baseman Blake Rambusch caused him to face an extra batter and left fielder Mike Bello lost a fly ball in the sun in the third inning.

Instead of being in the dugout with 59 pitches and having retired nine straight, he had to stay on the mound in the third inning and was pulled following an RBI single by Chris Lanzilli and two-run double down by Robert Moore. The latter came on his 77th and final pitch of the game.

“It’s something we’ve been doing a lot better of, grinding out at-bats and fouling off pitches really the last month,” Van Horn said. “That’s probably why we’re here because we’ve done a lot better job of taking what they give us.”

Lanzilli’s Moonshot:

Auburn was still within striking distance until a four-run fourth inning that doubled Arkansas’ lead. Those runs came on back-to-back swings, starting with a two-run double by Turner.

That prompted a mound visit to John Armstrong, but it did not help. Lanzilli crushed the very next pitch 106 mph off the bat and with a 34-degree launch angle, resulting in a 416-foot home run that cleared the seats behind the left field bullpen.

It is tied with Tim Elko’s blast in Monday’s game for the longest home run of the College World Series so far.

“When he hit the ball, I was hoping it would stay fair,” Van Horn said. “Had a little bit of a northerly breeze, maybe northwest, and I think it held it a little bit when it got up in the air. And it almost started backing up, looked like. He got inside the baseball pretty good. He did not hook it. “

Other Tidbits:

Announced The announced attendance of Tuesday’s game was 24,636.

~ Webb now has a leadoff hit in the first inning of all three games in Omaha and is a home run shy of the leadoff cycle, as he hit a triple leadoff against Stanford, a single leadoff against Ole Miss and a double leadoff against Auburn.

~ With a pair of double plays against the Tigers, Arkansas is third nationally with 58 double plays this season. It trails only North Carolina (59) and Baylor (64).

~ Arkansas went 8 for 18 with two outs Tuesday night, driving in 10 of its 11 runs in those situations. It also went 7 for 16 with two outs against Stanford, but just 2 for 11 with two outs against Ole Miss at the College World Series.

~ This was the 100th all-time meeting between Arkansas and Auburn and the Razorbacks now lead the series 51-49. They entered the 2022 season tied 48-48, but Arkansas won three of the four matchups this year.

Up Next:

With the win, Arkansas advances to the College World Series semifinals for the fourth time since 2009. It will need to beat Ole Miss twice to reach the finals, while the Rebels must win just once.

Ole Miss will start senior left-hander John Gaddis (4.40 ERA, 43 IP). The Razorbacks have not announced a starting pitcher.

The first of those games is scheduled for 6 pm CT Wednesday on ESPN and the if-necessary game would be played Thursday.

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