FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. — With a spot in the Regional final on the line for the winner, and the loser facing the loser's bracket gauntlet, Saturday night's game oozed importance. Matt Goodheart got the message.
The man from Magnolia got the offense going right away, homering in the first for a 1-0 Razorbacks lead.
The mound would be key for the Razorbacks as well, after a less than ideal game one that saw seven different Razorback pitchers used. Patrick Wicklander delivered. The lefty let the pitch count get up there a bit, but made it through five scoreless innings.
Arkansas scored twice more in the bottom of the second, courtesy of a Brayden Webb RBI single and a sac fly from Cayden Wallace. In the sixth, Nebraska's bullpen lost any sense of control, walking in a run and allowing another to score on a passed ball that was, to be fair, pretty wild.
Wicklander gave up a single to start the sixth, and that was the end of his night. In entered Kevin Kopps, and out went Nebraska's comeback hopes. The Cornhuskers did manage to score the inherited runner, but after the antics of the sixth inning, that wouldn't be close to enough with Kopps on the rubber for the Razorbacks.
So now Arkansas is one win away from from hosting a Super Regional next weekend. Nebraska will play NJIT at 2pm on Sunday, loser goes home, winner takes on Arkansas at 8pm. There is some weather projected for Fayetteville on Sunday, so keep an eye out for any delays.