Hogs beat CWS newcomer Kent State on four-hitter
Omaha, Neb. (AP) -- DJ Baxendale and Brandon Moore combined on a four-hitter, Jake Wise homered for the first time since February and Arkansas defeated Kent State 8-1 on Saturday to spoil the Golden Flashes' first appearance in the College World Series.
Baxendale didn't allow a hit until Sawyer Polen's infield single with two out in the fifth. He held the Flashes (46-19) scoreless until Jimmy Rider homered in the sixth.
Arkansas (45-20) broke open the game on Matt Vinson's two-run double that made it 5-1 in the bottom of the sixth.
Baxendale (8-5) allowed just three hits, giving way to Moore with one out in the seventh. He struck out five and walked one.
Kent State starter David Starn (11-4) walked three of the first four batters he faced and left after Vinson's two-out double in the sixth.
Kent State is the first team from the Mid-American Conference to make it to the CWS since Eastern Michigan in 1976.
Wearing their old-school gray uniforms with high socks, the Flashes struggled early against a Razorbacks team that was last in Omaha in 2009.
Arkansas was up 2-0 by the time the Flashes had their first hit. Rider's homer down the left-field line cut the Hogs' lead to 3-1 in the sixth.
The Flashes looked like they could draw closer in the seventh after Baxendale walked Nick Hamilton to put runners on first and second with one out. Moore came on to get a groundout and flyout to end the threat. Moore worked the last 2 2-3 innings for his third save.
Arkansas made it a four-run game in the bottom of the sixth on Vinson's two-out, two-run double, and Wise drove in two more runs in the eighth with a two-out single off Ryan Mace.
Starn threw 24 pitches in the first inning, just eight for strikes, and walked the bases loaded before Brian Anderson's hard liner up the middle knocked off the pitcher's glove and brought home the first run. An inning-ending double play let Starn escape further damage.
Wise, the No. 9 batter, made it 2-0 in the second when he went deep to left center for his second homer of the season, and first since the second game of the season on Feb. 19. It was the Razorbacks' first homer since May 19, the last day of the regular season.
Baxendale retired 14 of the first 15 batters he faced before Polen ripped a hard grounder up the middle for a base hit. Second baseman Bo Bigham made a great stop, but his throw to first was wide and late.
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