There is a lot riding on the Arkansas vs Santa Clara matchup that opens the 2023 Fayetteville Regional on Friday.
Not only is a spot in the winner’s bracket on the line, but the Oklahoma City Thunder’s similarly named rookies have also made a friendly wager around the regional opener, which is scheduled for 2 p.m. CT and will be streamed on ESPN-Plus.
Soon after the bracket was revealed Monday, former Arkansas basketball star Jaylin Williams tagged his teammate – and former Santa Clara star Jalen Williams – on Twitter. A bet between the two was the natural progression, albeit a relatively low-stakes one.
Bet— therealjalenwilliams (@JdubPSCEO) May 30, 2023
More than anything, it just furthers the coincidence that started with the fact that the 2022 NBA Draft had two legitimate prospects named Jaylin and Jalen Williams. Not only were they drafted by the same team and then enjoyed successful rookie campaigns together, but now – less than a year later – their former schools are squaring off in the NCAA Tournament in a different sport.
As always, Best of Arkansas Sports will be at Baum-Walker Stadium and providing live, inning-by-inning updates from the Arkansas vs Santa Clara game below…
LIVE UPDATES — Arkansas vs Santa Clara
Pregame Tidbits from Fayetteville Regional
The winner of this game will face the winner of tonight’s TCU-Arizona game (8 p.m. CT, ESPNU) at 8 p.m. CT Saturday. The loser will play an elimination game against the loser of the nightcap at 2 p.m. CT.
Santa Clara will start typical Friday starter Cole Kitchen, a senior right-hander who originally came to school as a two-way player but has evolved into a pitcher only. He has a 4.25 ERA with 67 strikeouts and 33 walks in a team-high 78 1/3 innings this season.
The Razorbacks have two different pitchers who started seven Game 1s this season and Van Horn opted to go with left-hander Hunter Hollan over left-hander Hagen Smith for Friday’s game. Click here to read why.
In an interesting move, Dave Van Horn has shuffled his lineup. Peyton Holt has moved up to the 2-hole and Jared Wegner has been dropped to the 7-hole. It’s also worth noting that Jace Bohrofen is now batting sixth.
T-1st: Santa Clara 2, Arkansas 0
Hollan got Berring to fly out to right to start the game, but Dawson Brigman followed with a single into center. O’Hara then poked a ball the other way that landed just inside the line in left, resulting in a double that put runners on second and third. Manzo drove both of them in with a single to left. That prompted a mound visit from Matt Hobbs.
That ended up being all the damage, though. Coleman Brigman lined out to center and Lance flied out to center. Hollan threw 22 pitches.
B-1st: Santa Clara 2, Arkansas 0
Although he ended up grounding out to short, Josenberger opened the home half of the inning with a solid at bat in which he saw seven pitches. However, Holt grounded out to second and Diggs flied out to left to make it a 1-2-3 inning. The last out required a nice running grab by Berring in left. It was a 16-pitch inning by Kitchen.
T-2nd: Santa Clara 2, Arkansas 0
After a ground out to first by Williams, Ferroggiaro squared to bunt in a 2-0 count and tried to pull his bat back. There was a sound like the ball hit something, though, and replays appeared to show the ball changing direction after deflecting off his bat. However, the umpires got together and just called it a ball, which was part of a four-pitch walk. Hollan bounced back to strike out Steck and Berring. He’s up to 41 pitches through two innings.
B-2nd: Santa Clara 2, Arkansas 0
Slavens came up swinging and made solid contact on the first pitch he saw, but it was right to the center fielder for an easy out. Cali then grounded out to short. With two outs, Bohrofen worked the count full before drawing a walk. Wegner hit a grounder to the left side and the shortstop made a nice, strong throw to get him at first. Kitchen is up to 31 pitches through two innings.
T-3rd: Santa Clara 2, Arkansas 0
Dawson Brigman drew a leadoff walk and then moved to second on O’Hara’s ground out to first. That’s it for Hollan, who lasted just 2 1/3 innings and threw only 49 pitches. The new pitcher for Arkansas is right-hander Will McEntire.
He stranded the runner on second by striking out Manzo and getting Coleman Brigman to ground out to short. It took McEntire only six pitches to get the two outs.
B-3rd: Santa Clara 2, Arkansas 0
Rowland was caught looking to start the home half of the third. Kitchen then plunked Bolton to give Arkansas its second base runner of the game. Josenberger nearly grounded into a double play, but it wasn’t hit quite hard enough for Santa Clara to have enough time to turn it. With two outs, Holt drew a walk to create an RBI opportunity for Diggs. It also prompted a mound visit for Santa Clara.
Diggs walked on four pitches to load the bases, but they were stranded. Slavens, in a 2-0 count, hit a sharp grounder right to the first baseman, who knocked it down and recovered in time to get the out.
T-4th: Santa Clara 2, Arkansas 0
Lance singled through to right side to get the inning started. Williams followed with a shallow fly out to center. A bloop single by Ferroggiaro put runners on first and second, but Steck flied out to left and then Holt robbed Berring of an RBI with a really nice snag of his line drive.
B-4th: Arkansas 5, Santa Clara 2
Cali drew a leadoff walk and that’s it for Kitchen. The new pitcher for Santa Clara is right-hander Skylar Hales, who’s armed with a 100 mph fastball. He promptly struck out Bohrofen, but Wegner muscled a 97 mph fastball the other way for Arkansas’ first hit of the game.
Rowland followed with a blooper into right to get the Hogs on the board and put runners on the corners, setting up a sac fly by Bolton that tied the game at 2-2. Josenberger then ripped a single to right, once again putting runners on the corners. In a full count, Holt drew a walk to load the bases and prompt a mound visit.
Diggs delivered with a blooper to center that Coleman Brigman – who took a bad route – couldn’t reel in with a diving catch. That cleared the bases to put Arkansas up 5-2. Slavens flied out to shallow right to end the inning.
T-5th: Arkansas 5, Santa Clara 3
McEntire got Dawson Brigman to ground out to short and then won a 10-pitch battle against O’Hara, getting him to fly out to center. With two outs, Manzo hit a double to left, but Wegner nearly threw him out at second. In a 3-0 count, Coleman Brigman hit a double of his own. It went off Cali’s glove on a diving attempt and resulted in an RBI. Hobbs went out for a visit after a first-pitch ball to Lance, who eventually grounded out to third. McEntire has thrown 44 pitches in 2 2/3 innings.
B-5th: Arkansas 5, Santa Clara 3
Cali flied out to center, but Bohrofen followed with a line drive off the wall in right. However, he hit it so hard that it resulted in just a single. He was stranded because Wegner struck out and Rowland grounded out to second.
T-6th: Arkansas 5, Santa Clara 3
A first-pitch single by Williams and failed pickoff by McEntire put a runner on second and then a sacrifice bunt by Ferroggiaro moved him to third. Steck popped out to second and Berring popped out in foul ground to strand him there. It was just a seven-pitch inning for McEntire, who’s at 51 through 3 2/3 innings.
B-6th: Arkansas 10, Santa Clara 3
Left-hander Nick Sando is now pitching for Santa Clara. He promptly gave up an opposite-field single to Bolton. Josenberger failed to get a bunt down, so instead, he hit a home run to right. He was hitting from the right side, so it was an opposite-field homer. Holt then singled to right, for a third straight opposite-field hit by the Razorbacks. During Diggs’ at bat, Holt appeared to steal second, but he was called out on the field. It was challenged and overturned.
Diggs ended up striking out, but Slavens walked to put runners on first and second. That also prompted a pitching change. The new pitcher for the Broncos is right-hander Blake Hammond. His first pitch plunked Cali to load the bases. Hammond bounced back to strike out Bohrofen, but he walked Wegner to bring in another run. Rowland walked on four-pitches to bring in yet another run. Another bases-loaded walk, this time by Bolton, and that’s it for Hammond.
Now pitching for Santa Clara is right-hander Jeffrey Heinrich. He had to face Josenberger, who gave it a ride, but it was caught just in front of the track in left-center.
T-7th: Arkansas 10, Santa Clara 3
McEntire is still on the mound for Arkansas. He got Dawson Brigman to ground out to third before a single through the right side by O’Hara. Manzo took strike three and, with two outs, Coleman Brigman flied out to left, just in front of the wall. McEntire is up to 65 pitches through 4 2/3 innings.
B-7th: Arkansas 13, Santa Clara 3
Holt was plunked and Diggs walked on four pitches to start the bottom of the seventh. Slavens then struck out chasing a pitch way out of the zone. Cali cleaned things up with an impressive three-run home run into the Hog Pen. Bohrofen nearly had another hit, but his scorcher back up the middle hit the pitcher’s legs and he was able to recover in time to get the out at first. The shortstop got to Wegner’s grounder to the left side, but he had no play. It’s an infield single, plus he moved to second because the throw got away for an E6. He was stranded on second when Rowland grounded out to first.
T-8th: Arkansas 13, Santa Clara 5
McEntire is still on the mound for Arkansas. He gave up a solo home run to Lance to start the eighth. Williams followed with a line out to right. Ferroggiaro walked and Steck singled. Then, in a 2-0 count to Berring, Arkansas made a pitching change. Right-hander Cody Adcock is now on the mound.
It looked like Adcock induced a double play ball to short, but there appeared to be some miscommunication and Bolton got the force at second, but didn’t have time to complete the double play. With runners on the corners and in an 0-2 count, Dawson Brigman singled to right-center for an RBI. With runners on the corners again, O’Hara worked the count full and, on the 11th pitch, hit a soft liner to Holt to end the inning.
B-8th: Arkansas 13, Santa Clara 5
Bolton grounded out to the pitcher to start the bottom of the eighth. Josenberger went down looking. Holt made solid contact, but it was a line drive caught by the left fielder, ending the inning.
T-9th: Arkansas 13, Santa Clara 6
Harold Coll replaced Holt at second base in the ninth inning. For the first out, Bolton made a great play and throw to get Manzo. Coleman Brigman went down swinging. Lance walked to keep the game alive and then Williams walked on four pitches. Ferroggiaro hit an RBI single to make it 13-6 and put runners on the corners. Steck flied out to finally end the game.
FINAL: Arkansas 13, Santa Clara 6
BOX SCORE – Arkansas vs Santa Clara
Starting Lineups – Arkansas vs Santa Clara
|Santa Clara Baseball||Arkansas Baseball|
|1. JonJon Berring – LF||1. Tavian Josenberger – CF|
|2. Dawson Brigman – 2B||2. Peyton Holt – 2B|
|3. Michael O’Hara – RF||3. Kendall Diggs – DH|
|4. Efrain Manzo – 1B||4. Brady Slavens – 1B|
|5. Coleman Brigman – CF||5. Caleb Cali – 3B|
|6. Eamonn Lance – DH||6. Jace Bohrofen – RF|
|7. Malcolm Williams – SS||7. Jared Wegner – LF|
|8. Thomas Ferroggiaro – 3B||8. Parker Rowland – C|
|9. Ben Steck – C||9. John Bolton – SS|
|Pitching: Sr. RHP Cole Kitchen||Pitching: Jr. LHP Hunter Hollan|
How to Watch the Fayetteville Regional
Friday, June 2
Game 1: Arkansas vs Santa Clara – 2 p.m. CT (ESPN+)
Game 2: TCU vs Arizona – 8 p.m. CT (ESPNU)
Saturday, June 3
Game 3: Game 1 Loser vs Game 2 Loser – 2 p.m. CT
Game 4: Game 1 Winner vs Game 2 Winner – 8 p.m. CT
Sunday, June 4
Game 5 – Game 3 Winner vs. Game 4 Loser – 2 p.m. CT
Game 6 – Game 4 Winner vs. Game 5 Winner – 8 p.m. CT
Monday, June 5 (If Necessary)
Game 7 – If the Game 5 Winner Wins Game 6 – TBD
Composite College Baseball Top 25
Unlike football and basketball, which have just the AP and Coaches Polls all year (with football adding the CFP rankings late in the season), college baseball has six major polls. Collegiate Baseball used to be included, but it was dropped due to severe inconsistencies in its rankings. Perfect Game also didn’t update its poll this week, so only four polls are used in these rankings.
To get a better feel for how teams stack up, BoAS has combined those rankings into a single top 25 by using a points system in which a No. 1 ranking = 25 points, No. 2 = 24 points and all the way to No. 25 = 1 point. We will update this each week throughout the season…
|1. Wake Forest||ACC||—||100|
|8. Coastal Carolina||Sun Belt||—||70|
|9. Miami (Fla.)||ACC||—||69|
|11. Campbell||Big South||+4||60|
|12. East Carolina||AAC||—||52|
|13. Oklahoma State||Big 12||+4||48|
|14. Dallas Baptist||C-USA||—||43|
|15. UConn||Big East||-4||41|
|16. Southern Miss||Sun Belt||+8||38|
|17. Oregon State||Pac-12||-1||33|
|t-20. Maryland||Big Ten||+8||18|
|t-20. South Carolina||SEC||+2||18|
|22. West Virginia||Big 12||-4||15|
|23. Indiana State||MVC||+4||13|
|t-24. Texas||Big 12||-4||11|
|t-24. TCU||Big 12||N/A||11|
MOVED IN: Alabama (19), Maryland (t-20), Indiana State (23), TCU (t-24)
MOVED OUT: Auburn (19), Boston College (21), Duke (t-22), Kentucky (25)
- SEC: 7
- ACC: 4
- Big 12: 4
- Pac-12: 2
- Sun Belt: 2
- AAC: 1
- Big East: 1
- Big South: 1
- Big Ten: 1
- C-USA: 1
- MVC: 1
More coverage of Arkansas baseball and the Fayetteville Regional from BoAS…