OMAHA, NE. (KNWA) – Arkansas is now within one win of playing for the national championship.
The Razorbacks got a brilliant pitching start from from freshman Hagen Smith and Chris Lanzilli and Brady Slavens both homered to lift Arkansas to a 3-2 win over Ole Miss on Wednesday night at Charles Schwab Field.
Michael Turner’s RBI single added an insurance run in the eighth for Arkansas, who had eight hits and was facing elimination with a loss.
Instead the Razorbacks and Rebels will meet Thursday at 3 p.m. with the winner moving on to play Oklahoma Saturday in the best two of there championship series.
Smith, whose last two appearances were out of the bullpen as a closer, was solid in his start on the mound.
He went five innings, allowing one run on two hits while working around four walks, in part with fanning nine in his outing, and threw 90 pitches, 56 for strikes before exiting.
Evan Taylor took over and pitched the rest of the way while allowing one hit on a night when the Rebels, who beat the Razorbacks 13-5 on Monday night, had just three hits.
It was Ole Miss’ first loss in eight games in the NCAA Tournament, where Arkansas is now 7-2.
Arkansas’ Braydon Webb started the game with a double, his fourth lead off hit in as many games, but was unable to advance.
Lanzilli took care of the foot traffic around the bases himself in the second inning by launching a solo shot to put Arkansas up 1-0.
It was his 11th homer of the season, his third of the CWS and the 53rd of his college career, which was spent at Wake Forest until this season.
Ole Miss Kemp Alderman tied it 1-1 when he led off the bottom of the second with a solo blast off Smith.
Slavens, dropped from second to eighth in the order by Van Horn on Tuesday, soon broke up that deadlock with a mammoth home run in the fifth inning.
He drove a Gaddis pitch over the center field fence, a majestic 436-foot shot that was measured as the longest of the College World Series this year.
It is also the longest ever in the history of Charles Schwab Stadium, which opened in 2011.