CWS Baseball Highlights/Postgame: Texas Tech 5, Arkansas 4

Arkansas coach and players

The Texas Tech Red Raiders defeated the Arkansas Razorbacks 5-4 on Monday afternoon at the College Baseball World Series in Omaha, NE. The loss ended the Razorback’s season. Look inside for highlights, Arkansas postgame comments, play-by-play and more.

Score by Innings                    R  H  E
-------------------------------------------
Arkansas............ 012 000 010 -  4  8  0
Texas Tech.......... 000 211 01X -  5  9  0
-------------------------------------------

Play by Play

Arkansas starters: 4/1b Ezell; 15/ss Martin; 10/dh Goodheart; 24/cf
Fletcher; 18/rf Kjerstad; 7/2b Kenley; 12/c Opitz; 5/3b Nesbit;
25/lf Franklin; 13/p Noland;
Texas Tech starters: 19/3b Murrell; 9/cf Neuse; 5/2b Klein; 16/ss
Jung; 11/1b Warren; 7/dh Masters; 8/lf Wilson; 20/rf Marusak; 26/c
Fulford; 32/p Kilian;
Arkansas 1st – No play. Ezell grounded out to 2b (1-2 BKF). Martin
struck out swinging (3-2 FKBBBS). Goodheart flied out to lf (2-0
BB). 0 runs, 0 hits, 0 errors, 0 LOB.
Texas Tech 1st – Murrell struck out looking (2-2 BBKFK). Neuse popped
up to 2b (3-1 BBKB). Klein singled up the middle (1-0 B). Jung
flied out to rf (3-1 BFBB). 0 runs, 1 hit, 0 errors, 1 LOB.
Arkansas 2nd – Fletcher grounded out to 2b (1-0 B). Kjerstad homered
to left field, RBI (0-0). Kenley struck out swinging, out at first
c to 1b (0-2 SSS). Opitz grounded out to p (1-0 B). 1 run, 1 hit, 0
errors, 0 LOB.
Texas Tech 2nd – Warren grounded out to p (1-0 B). Masters grounded
out to p (0-1 F). Wilson singled up the middle (1-1 KB). Marusak
grounded out to 2b (0-0). 0 runs, 1 hit, 0 errors, 1 LOB.
Arkansas 3rd – Nesbit grounded out to ss (2-1 KBB). Franklin singled
to center field (1-1 BK). Ezell struck out swinging (1-2 BKSS);
Franklin stole second. Martin tripled to left field, RBI (0-0);
Franklin scored. Goodheart singled to shortstop, RBI (1-2 SBK);
Martin scored. Fletcher walked (3-0 BBBB); Goodheart advanced to
second. Kjerstad struck out swinging (1-2 KFBS). 2 runs, 3 hits, 0
errors, 2 LOB.
Texas Tech 3rd – Fulford singled up the middle (3-2 BKKBB). Murrell
grounded out to p, SAC, bunt (1-1 BF); Fulford advanced to second.
Neuse struck out swinging (1-2 BKFS). Fulford out at third c to 3b.
0 runs, 1 hit, 0 errors, 0 LOB.
Arkansas 4th – Kenley struck out swinging, out at first c to 1b (0-2
KSFS). Opitz flied out to cf (2-1 BSB). Nesbit flied out to lf (0-2
FK). 0 runs, 0 hits, 0 errors, 0 LOB.
Texas Tech 4th – Klein walked (3-0 BBBB). Jung reached on a fielder’s
choice to shortstop (1-1 FB); Klein out at second ss unassisted.
Warren homered to left field, 2 RBI (0-0); Jung scored. Masters
popped up to ss (1-1 KB). Wilson flied out to rf (2-1 KBB). 2 runs,
1 hit, 0 errors, 0 LOB.
Arkansas 5th – Franklin grounded out to 3b (1-2 KFB). Ezell grounded
out to 2b (3-1 BKBB). Martin doubled to center field (1-0 B).
Goodheart struck out swinging (2-2 BKBSS). 0 runs, 1 hit, 0 errors,
1 LOB.
Texas Tech 5th – Kopps to p for Noland. Marusak flied out to cf (3-2
BBBKKFF). Fulford fouled out to rf (2-2 BBFF). Murrell homered to
right field, RBI (3-1 KBBB). Neuse walked (3-2 BBKSBB). Klein
struck out swinging (0-2 KKS). 1 run, 1 hit, 0 errors, 1 LOB.
Arkansas 6th – Fletcher grounded out to 2b (2-2 KBKB). Kjerstad
struck out swinging, reached first on a wild pitch (0-2 SFS).
Kenley reached on a fielder’s choice to second base (2-0 BB);
Kjerstad out at second 2b to ss. Opitz struck out swinging (2-2
BKKBS). 0 runs, 0 hits, 0 errors, 1 LOB.
Texas Tech 6th – Jung homered to right field, RBI (1-1 BF). Warren
grounded out to ss (0-1 K). Masters struck out swinging (1-2 KBSS).
Wilson struck out swinging (0-2 KKS). 1 run, 1 hit, 0 errors, 0
L O B .
Arkansas 7th – Nesbit grounded out to ss (0-0). Franklin grounded out
to 3b (2-2 SBKB). Ezell singled to left center (3-2 KSBBB). Martin
struck out swinging (1-2 KSBFS). 0 runs, 1 hit, 0 errors, 1 LOB.
Texas Tech 7th – Marusak struck out swinging (0-2 SSS). Fulford
singled to center field (0-1 K). Kostyshock to p for Kopps. Murrell
grounded out to 2b (0-1 K); Fulford advanced to second. Neuse
grounded out to p (3-2 SBBBK). 0 runs, 1 hit, 0 errors, 1 LOB.
Arkansas 8th – Kelly to 3b for Murrell. Haveman to p for Kilian.
Goodheart grounded out to 2b (1-1 BS). Fletcher walked (3-2
BBKKBB). Kjerstad singled through the right side (3-1 BBFB);
Fletcher advanced to third. Kenley flied out to lf, SF, RBI (1-2
FBFFFFF); Fletcher scored. McMillon to p for Haveman. Kjerstad
advanced to second on a wild pitch. Opitz struck out swinging (2-2
BFBSS). 1 run, 1 hit, 0 errors, 1 LOB.
Texas Tech 8th – Klein singled to right field (1-1 KB). Scroggins to
p for Kostyshock. Klein out at second c to 2b, caught stealing.
Caught stealing confirmed after video review. Jung struck out
looking (1-2 BSSK). Warren walked (3-2 BBKBFB). Masters tripled to
right center, RBI (3-1 KBBB); Warren scored. Call of safe at third
base confirmed after video review. Wilson flied out to cf (2-2
SFBB). 1 run, 2 hits, 0 errors, 1 LOB.
Arkansas 9th – Nesbit hit by pitch (2-0 BB). Floyd to p for McMillon.
Franklin singled to right field (0-1 K); Nesbit advanced to second.
Ezell popped up to 2b (1-1 KB). Martin struck out swinging (2-2
BSBFS). Goodheart flied out to lf (2-2 BBSK). 0 runs, 1 hit, 0
errors, 2 LOB.

Arkansas Quotes

DAVE VAN HORN: Well, obviously it was a tough loss.
Pretty well-played game by both teams. For the most
part, there really wasn’t too many mistakes. Just kind
of who got the big hit and who didn’t. Give credit to
Kilian. I thought he did a good job of battling and
finding a way to get through some innings. Kept eating
up innings. I think one time maybe Coach Tadlock
might have been going out there to take him out, at
least that’s what it looked like and he promptly got
another out, and got them through that inning and gave
his bullpen a chance to rest a little bit more.
But just some big hits. Texas Tech took advantage of a
couple of things, and tough loss, two tough losses here
for us. Two one-run losses that really could have gone
either way.
Q. Casey, you had a couple of hits off Kilian but
you also had a couple of strikeouts against that
breaking ball. Thoughts about how he approached
you and the lineup?
CASEY MARTIN: I thought he did a good job. Like
Coach said, he kept us off balance. He had really
good stuff. He stayed strong throughout until they took
him out. He threw me a lot of curve balls. I think
maybe I was pressing a little bit too much, kind of in a
gotta win situation, and that’s on me being an older
guy. I should know not to press, and I did.
So I had a couple of bad at-bats, a couple good hits.
That’s just baseball. But I thought he did an
outstanding job. He’s a good pitcher, and he took
advantage of it.
Q. This is for Casey: You obviously had a really
good day with a double and a triple, but with the
top of the order up, two guys on, no outs, were you
pretty confident you guys would score there? How
tough is it the way the ninth inning went down?
CASEY MARTIN: Yeah, I had a lot of confidence top to
bottom, doesn’t matter who came up. I know our guys,
they’ve battled all year and done an outstanding job
competing in the box. Just didn’t fall our way, and like I
said, that’s baseball, and it’s a tough situation, but
sometimes it just comes down to that, and we just
didn’t get it done.
Q. This is for both Heston and Casey: Heston,
what was the pitch you hit on the home run?
HESTON KJERSTAD: Fastball middle away.
Q. After the way you guys got shut out, how good
did that feel to break the ice?
HESTON KJERSTAD: It’s always good for someone to
get the team rolling. We kind of feed off each other;
once one guy starts hitting, other guys start to follow.
So just to be able to get that rolling a little bit for us was
good for us as a team.
Q. For both you guys, you’re going to come back
and be the heart of the team next year. How good
do you feel about the season you had getting here,
because a lot of people didn’t have you doing that
before the season? And how good do you feel
about the guys you’ve got coming back, even
though you’re losing a lot of good players, too?
CASEY MARTIN: I thought we had an outstanding
year, being counted out from the beginning. We bring
in some new guys, Trevor Ezell did more than
outstanding for us, and he’s a competitor. Without
bringing guys in like that, true leaders for this team, I
guess you just could say such a young team we have,
that it shows these younger guys what it takes to get
here. So they’ve experienced it now, and they know
what it takes. We needed that, and I think we’ll be
good if we can build off that.
HESTON KJERSTAD: We had a spectacular year
getting back here for the second year in a row, but it
shows a lot about the incoming guys that came in and
replaced a lot of the starters and experience we had
from last season, and it took everyone on our whole
roster to get us here, and it was just great to be back,
and we’ll look back on the season and realize how
good we were for the whole season, how good of an
experience we had. But for now it’s obviously a little
bitter once the season is over.
Q. Kind of building on that, the character and the
fight of this team, you had the early lead, they
came back, take the lead. Trading blows, how
much do you think that says about the heart that
this team has played with all year long?
HESTON KJERSTAD: We’ve been that way all year.
There’s been games to where we’ve been behind and
our offense will keep striking back and our pitchers will
keep us in the ballgame, and I don’t think there’s too
many games this year that we didn’t feel like we had a
chance to come back and take the lead for our
pitchers, and then our bullpen to come out there and
shut them down again.
CASEY MARTIN: I mean, I think it just says a lot of
what Coach here has done for this program. He goes
out and gets competitors, the guys that want to
compete, and that’s awesome. That’s big time for this
program, and I think that’s why we’re pretty successful
is because he surrounds this team with guys like Ezell
and Zay (Campbell) and Scroggins, and man, it’s been
awesome, and I think it just says a lot about our
program.
Q. Dave alluded to it in his opening comments, but
you come here and two one-run losses, could have
gone either way. You guys could have been 2-0
with a couple of breaks instead of 0-2. How tough
is that to contemplate?
CASEY MARTIN: I mean, sometimes the ball bounces
a little funny, and it didn’t go our way, but that’s just
baseball for you. Just tells you it could go either way,
and yeah, it’s tough, but like I said, that’s baseball.
HESTON KJERSTAD: Yeah, we just — you know, one
swing of the bat in either game for how close they were
could have changed the outcome. You know, it didn’t
happen for us, but we’ll get back after it.
Q. I don’t know if it’s realistic for anybody to go to
the World Series three years in a row, but do you
guys feel good that you have a shot next year to be
back here?
CASEY MARTIN: I mean, honestly this program that
we run at Fayetteville, I don’t see why not. Coach has
done an outstanding job recruiting. We have a lot of
good young talent coming in. So you know, like I said,
they know what it takes to get here, and I think this
experience will be good for them, good for the older
guys coming back, and I don’t see why not. But I think
our program is good enough for it.
HESTON KJERSTAD: We have good coaching and
great players that come in every year, our program is
never out of the running. You’ve just got to keep
playing and we’ll get back after it in the fall and improve
and be back in the spring.
Q. Dave, you got the first two guys on in the ninth,
you have the top of the order. It was looking pretty
good there. What were you thinking, and I guess,
the job their guy did of getting you guys out?
DAVE VAN HORN: Well, Floyd came in and did a great
job. He had an opportunity to let that thing slip away,
and he didn’t. I think they thought we were bunting
with Franklin; we weren’t. And I just wanted to see if
we could draw them in a little bit and maybe he could
slap the ball by him, and it worked.
Then Ezell obviously coming up, one of our best hitters,
switch-hitters, he had an option to bunt for a hit if they
stayed back. If they were up I wanted him to swing.
Looking back at it, I wish he would have hit the first
pitch. It was maybe a ball low but it was probably the
only fastball he got, and the third baseman is way up,
Warren is way up, and they started backing up a little
bit.
But I just didn’t feel good about bunting one of my best
hitters with first base open, then they’d have an option
to either walk Casey, set up a double play, or the other
thing is there’s a lot of swing-and-miss there in the 2
hole, and I just felt like that the key at-bat was going to
be Trevor. Trevor needed to hopefully advance and
maybe drive them in, and he made some really good
pitches to Trevor. You know, but it was looking good,
but you’ve got to get them over and in, and we didn’t.
Q. Dave, Kopps has only given up two home runs
all season and then he gave up two today. What
did you see from him?
DAVE VAN HORN: He made a couple of mistakes, got
behind in the count. The first couple of hitters, three
hitters he sees, he’s 2-0 before he knew what hit him. I
think he went 3-0, came back, ended up getting the
first hitter, and just kind of set a pattern that way a little
bit. And then he goes out and gives up another home
run in the second inning and then he’s like lights out.
You know, a little confusing there for us what to do. I
only have so many guys really available and we’ve still
got a lot of innings to get.
You know, you have a couple really good hitters and
make a mistake. A couple of really good hitters and
make a mistake, and you’ve got to give their hitters
credit, when we made a mistake they hit it, and that
was the difference in the game. Warren got a hanging
breaking ball off Noland and it left the yard first pitch,
and all of a sudden they’re down 3-2 and we were
cruising a little bit and that spun the game, and the
triple that gave them the lead was a 3-1 pitch. Cody
got behind. Pitch really wasn’t a bad pitch, it was a
fastball away, went out and got it and hammered it. But
the problem was we were behind in the count. The run
that ended up scoring to give them the lead was a
walk. The run that scored the other night, a guy got hit
in the back, got hit by a pitch. Then they got some big
hits after it or a sac fly or whatever. That ended up
being the difference.
But we left too many runners on base here. We had
eight runners today. Eight runners the other day we
didn’t drive in, and that ended up being the bottom line.
We just didn’t score enough runs.
Q. Dave, Caleb Kilian didn’t allow you guys to get
in a groove offensively, nine strikeouts. What did
you see from him, especially with that breaking
ball?
DAVE VAN HORN: I felt like he did a really good job
with his fastball, not leaving it in the middle of the plate
when he threw it, and then he pitched off of it with a lot
of breaking balls. The fastball was getting up there 92,
93 miles an hour, maybe a little bit more every now and
then, with some run, and they had to respect that
fastball, and then he kept them off that breaking ball,
which was really good. Just a good mix and really not
leaving too much out there for us to hit.
Q. I know it’s a tough way for it to end, but kind of
putting the season in perspective, considering all
you lost, how do you feel about the season overall
and the future because you’ve got some of your
best players coming back. I know you lose one of
the good ones, too.
DAVE VAN HORN: No, I mean, you look back at fall
ball and you start from there and you kind of try to
figure out how you’re going to piece it together and how
are we going to be good enough to compete in the
western division of the SEC. We knew if some guys
had a good year that we’d be okay. I don’t know that
we knew we were going to get here but once the
season started going, we started gelling a little bit,
guys started getting better, and pitching started
working a little bit. Guys then got over some soreness
and some little injuries, because we had some of that
in late March where we had guys missing weekends,
especially relievers but we kept finding ways to win
games. We felt like if we got to the best-two-out-of three,
weekend-type, super-regional series that we’d
have a chance to get back here.
You know, just really proud of the team. Told them that
after the game. Told them to walk out of there with
their head high. We were real close to winning two
games. We ended up losing two one-run games; kind
of hard to swallow. But overall it was a really good
year, getting a part of the Western Division
championship with a really good Mississippi State
team, but throughout the year we swept Mississippi
State at our place. And getting back here, just proud of
them and appreciated the effort they gave us all year.
Those guys showed up every day and worked hard,
smiled a lot, and it made it fun to work with them. I just
appreciate the effort.
I’m going to miss Fletcher, that smiling, goofy center
fielder. That guy can play with anybody. You know,
you think about Trevor Ezell coming in and just really,
really solidified our lineup. I’m going to miss that guy,
his leadership, and it wasn’t all verbal, it was just by
work ethic and toughness. Kenley had an incredible
year and he kind of came out of nowhere and we had
to have that.
I could probably go on and on. A lot of the pitchers, as
well. Campbell, you only get one or two of those guys
every now and then. I’ve had one the last two years.
We’re going to have to find somebody or somebody
has got to try to become that guy if we’re going to have
an opportunity to make it this far next year.
It was a good year. I know there’s a lot of people back
home disappointed, but probably like me, if they just
take a step back and take a breath and kind of realize
what we replaced and how we did after we replaced all
those players, it was a pretty good year

Texas Tech Quotes

TIM TADLOCK: We had a hunch these guys were
going to be fun to watch with their backs against the
wall. We really hadn’t been in that position throughout
the year. Played really good baseball pretty much, and
we try to approach each day and good win that day
and play the game the right way. Caleb Kilian gave us
an opportunity today that the way he pitched gave us
an opportunity to come through late in the game. Cam
got on with a walk and Cody ran the ball out into right
center. There was a lot of really good at-bats
throughout the day.
And again, we just kind of had a hunch after the other
day these guys — they’re going to be fun to watch with
their backs against the wall. They like playing baseball,
and they like preparing.
It’s just one of those deals, it’s going to be fun to watch
them.
Q. Caleb, how would you assess your start?
Seemed like you had a lot of success with that
breaking ball, especially against the top of their
lineup?
CALEB KILIAN: Yeah, I think it improved throughout
the game. I don’t think it was that great at the
beginning. But I felt like I had good command with all
my pitches for the most part, and I think that’s what
really helped me out.
Q. Cam, more fun to hit one out of the park or get
to show off your wheels there?
CAMERON WARREN: It was probably more fun to hit it
out. I’m still kind of tired still probably a little bit.
Q. Caleb, how much of a lift does it give you
personally, or the team in general, when Cam runs
that ball out there like that because at the time
Arkansas had put some runs together against you
and you guys had really had to get it going
offensively?
CALEB KILIAN: Yeah, that was huge. That gave me a
ton of confidence. Man, that was awesome because I
was kind of just grinding it out, out there, hoping for
some run support, and then Cam comes through with
that. I kind of knew it was coming. I had a feeling
about it, so when it happened I was pumped and that
got us going on a little roll, and then our hitters started
getting some hits, so it was good.
Q. Caleb, what helped you settle in there after that
third inning when Arkansas got up 3-0? Seemed
like after that you retired seven of the next eight.
What helped you settle in?
CALEB KILIAN: Honestly I didn’t feel like I changed a
whole lot. I just felt like I was commanding my pitches
from the very beginning, so I just kept doing the same
thing. I didn’t let it get in my head that they were hitting
me or anything, and I just kind of flushed it real quick,
kept doing what I was doing, and it seemed to work.
Q. Cameron, how long did it seem, feel, from first
base around to home, that distance?
CAMERON WARREN: Pretty far. Honestly whenever
— I didn’t see that I was stealing. That’s the first time
I’ve stolen in so long, and I didn’t even look in, and it
got so loud and I heard it off the bat, I was like, I think
it’s gone but I was like I gotta run. Then I saw J-Bob at
third base telling me to go, so I was like, come on, big
boy, you’ve got to score. (Laughter).
Q. Cody, just going into that spot, what was your
just mentality going into that, especially in that big
spot?
CODY MASTERS: Prior to that, didn’t have many good
at-bats before that, and so whenever I was stepping on
deck, just kind of took a deep breath, tried to forget
everything and tried to come through for the squad
that’s always come through for me when it mattered.
Just basically flushing it, I guess.
Q. Cody, Scroggins obviously was having a lot of
success with that slider. I think he threw all sliders
to Jung. Were you expecting him to attack you
with the fastball and were you sitting on that pitch?
CODY MASTERS: All day I was kind of getting myself
out on the changeups and sliders. So early on I was
kind of looking to hit that, I guess, and I got up 3-1, so I
kind of scooted up. He was missing away a little bit, so
I figured he’d go there again and I got ahold of a low
and-away pitch, I believe.
Q. Coach, I’m curious the thought process on
going with Easton in the leadoff spot. That’s a big
spot for him, for a guy that hasn’t been in this
position a whole lot.
TIM TADLOCK: Yeah, we’ve played two years with the
same leadoff hitter. Gabe Holt has been very dynamic
for us. It’s not really up for debate if he’s healthy who’s
hitting leadoff. Really wanted to give our lineup the
same look and wanted to get a left-handed bat in there,
and you’re really looking at there’s some guys that
have hit leadoff on our team, Dylan Neuse, Max
Marusak, Dru Baker, and I’m talking about in their
career, and Easton Murrell is the other one.
Really just felt like the left-handed bat was the right
thing to stick in there. And then the advantage he has
by he’s seen everybody out of their bullpen, the older
guys. He’s seen them a number of times. So a little bit
of both went into it.
But really we’ve played — let’s see, we played opening
day here and then our third game of the super regional,
those are the two games we’ve played without Gabe
Holt. So we’re going through some changes, and
we’ve got to try to be as competitive as we can be 1
through 9, and just felt like Easton is a guy that’s
handled that.
Q. Did you feel like a genius when he ran that ball
out of the ballpark against his old team?
TIM TADLOCK: Well, what’s funny is I was talking to
Matt and we were talking about the next inning, and
really — no. I mean, no, it didn’t surprise me at all.
He’s put together really good at-bats over the last
month, maybe even the last six weeks. He hit some
balls in Oklahoma City just like that, that went for outs.
The ballpark was playing a little bit bigger. So I mean,
I’m just really proud of him and thankful we’ve got him.
Q. Did you see anything from Caleb in the first
couple of innings that would be easy in an
elimination situation that you guys were down —
did you see something specific that you wanted to
let him have another shot out there?
TIM TADLOCK: He was commanding the ball. The
pitch to Kjerstad was a fastball away, and we just didn’t
— we really thought it would be a hard fly ball to center
or left, and he just got every bit of it, back-spun it and
the ball went out of the ballpark. And then the other
two runs scored in that inning, ball barely lands in front
of Kurt. You’re talking about a foot, maybe two feet
from being out of the inning. And then the other one is
supposed to be an elevated fastball, and it’s a ground
ball in the 6 hole with a left-handed hitter.
So we thought he was executing pitches for the most
part, and Caleb is a guy that’ll battle. He’s a guy no
matter what happens he’s going to keep trying to
execute pitches and shows a lot of his maturity as a
pitcher.
Q. I don’t know if you’ve answered this already, but
just that last inning where Caleb was able to get
out of there to maybe save Taylor from having to
go to an extra batter at some point, how big was
that for him to get out of that, just kind of really end

TIM TADLOCK: It was huge. Martin had had really —
he’d been seeing the ball really good on him, or we’d
be missing location and really just felt like Caleb was
locating at that point and felt like if he located the
pitches, we were going to be in good shape, and he
did, thank goodness.

Upcoming schedule

Monday, June 17

Game 6 – Michigan (V) vs. Florida St. (H), 7 pm ET

Tuesday, June 18

Game 7 –#7 Louisville (V) vs. Auburn (H), 2 pm ET

Game 8 – #2 Vanderbilt (V) vs. Mississippi St. (H), 7 pm ET

Wednesday, June 19

Game 9 –Texas Tech vs. TBA, 7 pm ET

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