Saturday, June 8, 1985
Doug Hodo's bases-loaded single in the bottom of the 10th inning lifted Texas to an 8-7 victory over Arkansas and within one win of its second national championship in three years.
The Longhorns, down by seven runs in the sixth inning, rallied for the second straight night in dramatic fashion.
"I can't ever recall two wins like this in Omaha," said Texas Coach Cliff Gustafson, who has brought 13 teams to the College World Series.
Arkansas had a 7-0 lead before the Longhorns scored on run in sixth, then jammed five across in the seventh.
Texas tied the game in the bottom of the ninth off Arkansas relief ace Tim Deitz. The Longhorns loaded the bases with no out and scored the tying run on Rusty Richards' groundout.
Deitz struck out pinch-hitter Bobby Behsch and got Coby Kerlin to ground out to end the inning. But Deitz couldn't escape Texas in the 10th.
Texas All - America second baseman Billy Bates, who had three hits against the Razorbacks, opened the 10th with a triple to left-center field.
Deitz then walked winning pitcher Dennis Cook and David Denny intentionally to load the bases. Hodo, who had three RBIs, then slapped a single to right field for the game-winner.
"I was just trying to hit something to the right side," Hodo said. "I knew with Billy's speed that he was going to score if I could just get the ball to the right side."
Arkansas, which had beaten Texas in four of their other five meetings, finished its season 51-15.
"We were in control," Arkansas Coach Norm DeBriyn said. "We haven't let too many games get away from us like that this year. I'm hearbroken... we all are. But that's baseball."
Cook, bothered by arm problems this season, held Arkansas to just two hits and a run over the last fine innings.
"It feels great to beat them, because they had won those four games against us," he said. "But we got the one in Omaha, the one that counts."
Cook said memories of Friday's win over Mississippi State kept the Longhorns from giving up against the Razorbacks.
"We didn't play well early in the game," he said. "But we came back and played some pretty good hardball there at the end."
Arkansas didn't waste time in getting to Texas starter Wade Phillips, who had pitched just 15 innings in 1985 and brought a 10.20 ERA into the game.
The Razorbacks scored in the second inning when Jeff King, who had hit safely in his previous seven times atbat, reached first when Texas shortstop Kerlin let the ball go between his legs.
King moved to second on a single by Mark Jackson. Both runners advanced on Phillips' wild pitch, and King scored on Derrick Richardson's groundout.
Arkansas made it 4-0 in the third on Loggins' three-run homer which cleared a 25-foot-high billboard in rightcenter field. Ralph Kraus and Dave Patterson had singled prior to Loggins' 11th homer.
The Razorbacks got two more runs in the fifth. Loggins singled with one out and took third on King's single. Loggins scored on Norm Roberts' sacrifice fly.
King stole second, moved to third on a wild pitch and came home with Arkansas' sixth run on Phillips' throwing error on Jackson's dribbler back to the mound.
Texas didn't get a hit off Arkansas starter Howard Hilton until Bates singled with no out in the fourth. The Arkansas right-hander, a middle-innings reliever for much of the season, retired the first nine batters he faced.
The Razorbacks added to their lead with a run in the sixth off Cook, who relieved Phillips. Doyle Wilson walked with one out and scored on Kraus' double down the left-field line.
Texas came back in the bottom half of the inning to score its first run. Bates singled and Cook followed with a walk. Denny then hit a fly ball to center field, and both runners advanced. Cook was safe at second when Arkansas second baseman Ellis Roby dropped Mark Jackson's throw.
Bates then scored on Doug Hodo's groundout. After a walk, Hilton got Richards to fly out to end the inning.
The Longhorns climbed back into the game with their big seventh inning. David Wrzesinski opened the inning with a double that Roberts misjudged and let fly over his glove in center field.
After Chuck Oertli flew out, Kerlin hit a ball back to Hilton. The ball hit the South Carolina pitcher, bounced up in the air and Wrzesinski scored as Hilton was unable to locate the ball.
Hilton then walked Bates on four pitches, and Arkansas Coach DeBriyn brought in reliever Pat Rice.
Rice walked Cook to load the bases, and DeBriyn called for relief ace Tim Deitz. Deitz forced in a run when he walked Denny on four pitches.
Hodo singled to score Bates and make it 7-4. Dodd Johnson hit a potential-double play grounder to Richardson, but the Arkansas shortstop booted the ball kicking it with his foot to score Cook and keep the bases loaded.
Richards then hit a fielders' choice grounder to score Denny with Texas' sixth run. Deitz struck out Wrzesinski, the 10th batter of the inning, to end the rally.