Arkansas falls to North Carolina State in super regionals
Barry K. Allen • 6/13/2021 in Baseball
Kevin Kopps photo from Arkansas Athletics.
North Carolina State did the impossible.
The Wolfpack not only beat top-seeded Arkansas at Baum Stadium, but they also beat the Razorbacks super reliever Kevin Kopps.
NC State shortstop Jose Torres smacked a go-ahead solo home run in the top of the ninth inning to lift the Wolfpack to a stunning 3-2 win over Arkansas.
Torres third home run of the Super Regional sucked the life out of Baum-Walker Stadium and knocked Kopps out of the game.
Kopps, making his first start of the season, exited after the ninth-inning home run and threw 118 pitches.
In the NCAA Tournament, Kopps (12-1) threw 324 pitches for the Razorbacks.
The loss of freshman Peyton Pallette to injury affected the Razorbacks post-season pitching plans, too. A healthy Pallette would have started Saturday or Sunday and lessened the load for Kopps.
After the series opener, the offense didn’t help much either.
Arkansas posted a 21-2 win in Friday’s series opener and led 2-0 after two innings on Saturday.
After that, the Razorbacks managed just five runs and six hits over the final 16 innings.
Arkansas’ leadoff hitter went 0-for-15 with seven strikeouts in the three games.
The Razorbacks got a game-tying home run from Cayden Wallace in the seventh inning to even the score at 2-2.
NC State got a 2-run homer from left fielder Jonny Butler to give the Wolfpack a 2-1 lead in the third inning.
Arkansas grabbed a 1-0 lead on Charlie Welch’s RBI double in the second inning.
Torres home run will be remembered for years to come as the Wolfpack will be making its third trip to the CWS.
Kopps had a tremendous season and career but his final pitch was a game-deciding home run similar to Vanderbilt’s David Price in the home loss to Michigan in 2007 that kept the Commodores from going to Omaha.