Thursday, June 6, 1985
Not even 4-for-4 hitter Jeff King could explain Arkansas' success against Stanford left-hander Jeff Ballard in the College World Series Thursday night.
The Razorbacks, with the help of King's record-tying home run and a three-run shot by Mark Jackson, defeated No. 1-ranked Stanford 10-4 in Rosenblatt Stadium and moved into a final four match against Texas Saturday.
No. 4-ranked Arkansas (51-14) will play No. 3 Texas (62-12) at 4:10 if Texas loses to Mississippi State tonight. If the Longhorns beat the Bulldogs, the Arkansas-Texas match will be at 7:10.
Texas and Mississippi State, the only two undefeated teams left in the tournament, square off tonight at 7:10.
The winner of tonight's Texas-Mississippi State game would receive the bye Sunday if three teams remain after Saturday's double-header.
Winning tonight assures a berth in the championship game Sunday or Monday and a finish no worse than second.
Third and fourth place might be decided Saturday.
If the Texas-Mississippi State winner also wins Saturday, the two losing teams Saturday will finish in a tie for third.
If the undefeated team loses Saturday, then the loser of the 4:10 game Saturday would finish fourth and the loser Sunday would finish third.
"Out of the Sky'
King, the Razorbacks' sophomore third baseman, said he had trouble picking up Ballard's breaking pitch because it "came out of the sky."
But Ballard, 6-foot-3 senior lefthander, yielded three singles to King.
King then hit a solo home run off reliever Lee Plemel. King's 17th homer tied the Arkansas season home run record set by Kevin McReynolds in 1980.
Both Arkansas Coach Norm DeBriyn and Stanford Coach Mark Marquess said Ballard had good stuff.
But he absorbed his second loss of the tournament and fourth of the year against 18 victories.
"He was very sharp," DeBriyn said. "His breaking ball was down, and his fastball was good."
Marquess said one reason he stayed with Ballard so long was that Arkansas wasn't hitting him hard until Jackson "guessed fastball and jumped on a good fastball" for a three-run homer in the fifth.
That blow opened an 8-1 lead, and Plemel relieved.
"We haven't been swinging the bats. We scratched that one inning for a few hits,"DeBriyn said.
The six hits and Ballard's muff of a bunt added up to five runs in the fourth inning.
The Razorbacks opened the tournament last Friday with a 1-0, 14-inning victory over South Carolina and lost to Mississippi State 5-4 Monday.
"We were in a place," DeBriyn said, "where Kevin Campbell had to do a job for us, and he did."
Sophomore right-hander Campbell, the Arkansas starter, allowed five hits including Rick Lundblade's two-run homer in the 6 1/3 innings he pitched.
Lundblade singled to open the second inning and, with a teammate on first base, scored from second on Toi Cook's hit-and-run single to right. The 1-0 lead held until the five-run Arkansas fourth.
Muff Makes Difference
Marquess said Ballard's muff of Jackson's bunt with runners on first and second and the score tied 1-1 was a big factor.
That loaded the bases and Derrick Richardson hit the ball barely over the infield on the right side to score one run, Doyle Wilson singled in two more and Ralph Kraus' line hit to left completed the scoring in the inning.
Mike Loggins' ground-rule double a blow that rolled under the fence in foul territory down the right field line opened the inning and King followed with a single.
King said he thought the Razorbacks were able to pick up Ballard's pitches better the second time through the batting order.
King's third hit and a hit batsman set the stage for Jackson's homer in the fifth. The homer was the 10th for the junior center fielder.
DeBriyn said the Arkansas relievers fulfilled their roles. Pat Rice relieved after Campbell walked the bases full in the seventh.
When Rice walked the first two in the ninth, submarining righthander Tim Deitz took over and closed the game with the help of the Razorbacks' third double play.