HOOVER, Ala. — Look, no matter your feelings on the SEC Tournament, if you're still playing on Sunday anyways, might as well go win the darn thing. Arkansas baseball agrees.
The Razorbacks rolled through Tennessee in the SEC Tournament final on Sunday, winning the program's first SEC Championship on their fifth try.
Roland-native Jaxon Wiggins got the start and was just what Arkansas needed, going 3.2 innings and giving up just one run, while striking out five. That was plenty for the Hog offense to work with.
Jalen Battles made the play of the tournament in the bottom of the fourth, diving to his right the rolling over to throw to second for the final out of the inning. In the top of the fifth, Battles kept it going, singling with two runners on to tie the game at 1-1. Gregory followed with a RBI single, then Matt Goodheart launched a sacrifice fly, 3-1 Hogs after 5 innings.
Ryan Costeiu and Lael Lockhart combined to give up just one hit and no runs for the next 2.1 innings, before giving way to Kevin Kopps. After a Battles (who else) solo shot in the top of the seventh, the Vols got a rare run off Kopps with a solo homer of their own i the bottom half of the inning. The Hogs took that personally, and blew things open in the eighth. Robert Moore reached on a RBI fielder's choice, then Cullen Smith launched a ball into orbit. If you see some lights in the sky tonight, please don't call the TV station, that's just Smith's two run homer. Hogs lead 7-2, and that was more than enough.
The NCAA Selection show is Monday at 11am Central, and if Arkansas is anything but the overall number one seed, it will be a worse call than anything Perry Costello has ever done. NCAA Regional action is coming to Baum-Walker, so start pitching those tents outside the Hog pen now.