Saturday, May 30, 1987
The Southwest Conference shootout ended as a blowout.
Top - ranked Texas defeated fourthranked Arkansas 13 - 6 Saturday in a College World Series game at Rosenblatt Stadium that fizzled.
"I don't think it impressed anybody too much," Texas Coach Cliff Gustafson said. "It certainly wasn't indicative of the strength of the Southwest Conference."
Texas, 59 - 9, and Arkansas, 50 - 15 - 1, are proud Southwest Conference rivals. The Longhorns beat the Razorbacks in four of five previous games this season, but those matchups produced excitement typical of the series.
"This wasn't a typical Texas - Arkansas game," Gustafson said.
"Fortunate to Win'
Neither team played the type of game that helped them qualify for the CWS.
"Maybe it will make somebody take us lightly," Gustafson said.
The Longhorns advanced to a 7:10 game Tuesday night against the winner of Saturday's second game between Stanford and Georgia.
Arkansas will try to stay alive in the double - elimination tournament in a 7:10 game tonight against the Stanford - Georgia loser.
"We were fortunate to win in a game in which we really didn't play that well," Gustafson said.
Texas won with lots of help from the Razorbacks' pitchers, who walked 13 batters. The Longhorns also finished with 13 hits.
"I think the most disappointing thing to us was the pitching on our part," Arkansas Coach Norm DeBriyn said. "We were right where we wanted to be offensively, but pitching is the name of the game, and it just wasn't there."
Used Five Pitchers
The Razorbacks used five pitchers, starting with John Cebuhar. The Longhorns scored four runs on four hits, three walks and a hit batsman against Cebuhar, who lasted 1 2/3 innings.
"Cebuhar didn't have his good stuff," DeBriyn said. "He couldn't find the plate."
Cebuhar wasn't the only Razorback with that problem. DeBriyn gave Ray Harris the next shot at the Longhorns. He worked 2 1/3 innings, giving up two runs on two hits and three walks.
Gustafson said he didn't expect the blowout.
"I have been very impressed with Arkansas' pitching staff all year long," Gustafson said. "I was surprised we were able to score that many runs against them."
Arkansas kept pace with the Longhorns in the early innings.
Misses Slam by Inches
In the second, Jim Kremers tied the game at 4 - 4 with a three - run double off the right - field wall. Kremers missed a grand slam by inches.
Winning pitcher Mark Petkovsek, 14 - 2, relieved Texas starter Kevin Garner after Kremers' double.
"I thought it could be the turning point because Garner had beaten us twice," Kremers said. "We never could get to their bullpen, but we finally took him out.
"Our goal was to get to their bullpen, but Petkovsek came in and shut us down."
Kremers gave Arkansas a 6 - 5 lead in the fourth inning with a two - run single to left. Kremers finished with five RBIs.
Texas pulled away by scoring four runs in the fifth and sixth.
The Longhorns took a 7 - 6 lead on catcher Brian Johnson's two - run double off the wall in right - center in the fifth.
"Strange Kind of Game'
Johnson's double, his second of the game, came off losing pitcher Tim Peters, 5 - 4.
Left fielder Rusty Crockett produced Texas' big hit in the sixth with a tworun triple.
Gustafson said the Longhorns played poorly.
"I thought it was a strange kind of game for us," he said. "We don't particularly like those wild, wide - open scoring games."
Gustafson said the Longhorns gave Arkansas two runs in the fourth with mistakes.
"We misplayed two bunts badly with our coverages and really just gave them two runs with poor bunt play," he said.
On the plus side, Gustafson said, the Longhorns managed timely hitting.
Harris Comes On
"I thought our hitters were able to put together some very important hits in clutch situations against an Arkansas pitching staff that has given us a lot of trouble in the past," Gustafson said.
"Cebuhar has been tough against us. Then they brought Harris right in, and he's been tough against us, too. We were able to solve both of those guys, and that made a big difference."
Petkovsek held the Razorbacks to two runs in 7 1/3 innings of relief.
"I thought he was outstanding," Gustafson said. "He mixed his pitches very well. He had a good changeup today. That really helped him out because it gave him a third pitch. They couldn't sit on anything."
The Longhorns didn't play as well as Gustafson would have liked, but he's pleased to start the series with a win.
"I'm happy to beat Arkansas anytime, anyway," Gustafson said.
DeBriyn said he would welcome another chance to play Texas in the series.
"It would be great to play Texas again," he said. "It would mean we're alive."
Rich Janda/World - Herald
Arkansas shortstop Mike Sisco prepares to tag out Texas' Elanis Westbrooks, who tried to steal second base in the fourth inning . . .
Texas scored four runs on four hits, three walks and a hit batsman in the first 1 2/3 innings.