Stillwater Regional Update
Game One: (2) Arkansas v (3) Oral Roberts
In the opening game of the Stillwater Regional, the Arkansas Razorbacks mounted an impressive 4-run 6th inning to get ahead of Oral Roberts. As we previously discussed, the only way to shut down Arkansas is to silence the bats and keep the contest close. Oral Roberts did exactly that... for 5 innings. In the 6th, the Razorback's bats awoke and proceeded to double their way to four runs. In the bottom of the eighth, Arkansas added a couple of insurance runs which inevitably decided the ballgame as Anthony Sequeira blasted a 3-run DINGER!!! in the top of the ninth to cut the Arkansas lead down to two. Unfortunately for the Golden Eagles, their comeback effort fell short and Dave Van Horn's Razorbacks prevailed.
Game Two: (1) Oklahoma State v (4) St. John's
Encumbered by a Game 7 of the Eastern Conference Finals betwixt the Mighty Lightning of Tampa Bay and the Hockey Rangers of New York, I began following this incredible baseball game through the likes of social media. As I watched the Lightning ring up their first goal, I glanced down to my black screen and saw that Robert Wayman hung dong to tie the game up at 3. Immediately I began to panic as I was missing what ended up being a phenomenal baseball game.
It's hard for me to say that Cody Stashak struggled in this affair, though the first glance at his statline may say otherwise. Stashak, the number 2 pitcher in the St. John's rotation, allowed 4 runs off of 7 hits while striking out a trio of Shooty Guys with Big Hats and only walking one. This is by far the best team St. John's has faced all year and yet they never faltered and never let their powerful opponent break the game open. The third inning belonged to St. John's as they made their way through the lineup for the second time. Caruso started things off with a single to right, advanced to third on an error by the Okie State shortstop and left runners on the corners and no outs for Michael Donadio. He delivered a fielder's choice RBI to the right side to plate Caruso. The Johnnies struck again as Harris grounded out to the right side to score Wayman and the Johnnies had a tie game on their hands.
Okie State continued to nickle and dime their way home and could never muster a big inning to pull away completely. In a one-run game in the ninth inning, Troy Dixon started things off with a routine single to the left side. Ty Blankmeyer took over on the basepaths for Dixon and the Big East's bread and butter offense took hold. Arguably one of the most consistent hitters on the eastern seaboard, Alex Caruso was instructed to sacrifice bunt Blankmeyer to second. Caruso executed and Robert Wayman stepped to the dish with the tying run on second base. Just as Ed Blankmeyer probably predicted, Okie State's battery of Trey Cobb and Bryan Case were disoriented by the decision to allow the Alex Caruso to sacrifice the runner over and in their confused state forgot how to pitch and catch as Cobb threw a ball in the dirt that scooted by Case to allow Ty Blankmeyer to usurp 3rd base. 1 out, runner on third, and Robert f'ing Wayman at the dish. With the tension rising, Cobb beaned Wayman - a wise decision. Wayman took his base and Michael Donadio pounded a ball to the left side, scoring Blankmeyer and reaching on a fielder's choice. Unfortunately, Lauricella struck out in the next at bat to end the Johnnie's rally. Still, the game was tied 4-all.
Tommy Hackimer, who had an abysmal Big East tournament, ended up loading the bases in the bottom of the 9th - two of the runners allowed by a walk and a hit by pitch. No outs. Hackimer got a little redemption by striking out Dustin Williams but allowed a single to Arakawa in the next at-bat. Game over.
Game 3: (3) Oral Roberts v (4) St. John's - 1pm ET - ESPN3