OMAHA, Neb. (AP) — Will McEntire limited Auburn to three hits and a run in seven innings, Peyton Stovall became the first player in 13 years with five hits in a College World Series game, and Arkansas eliminated the Tigers with an 11-1 win on Tuesday night.
The Razorbacks (45-20) advanced to the Bracket 2 final against Mississippi. They are expected to beat the Rebels Wednesday night and again Thursday to advance to the CWS Best-of-Three Finals this weekend.
Auburn (43-22) finished with 18 more wins than a year ago and traveled to Omaha after being selected last in the Southeastern Conference West.
McEntire gave the Hogs the quality start they needed after using seven pitchers in a 13-5 loss to Ole Miss on Monday.
McEntire (2-2) struck out the first 11 batters he faced before Sonny DiChiara hit to center with two out in the fourth. The 6-foot-4, 225-pound right-hander hit a career-best nine, scored one goal and didn’t give up a run until Bobby Peirce homered in the lead in the seventh.
Auburn starter Mason Barnett (3-3) allowed four runs and five hits in 2 2/3 innings.
Last season, McEntire was out as a redshirt and had already joined his summer team in Minnesota when the Hogs played in super regionals. He was watching those games from his motel room in Duluth.
This season, McEntire continued to bide his time and didn’t make the travel roster until April. He made a few midweek debuts and worked in the bullpen before earning a bigger role last month.
McEntire started the regional super win in North Carolina, pitching 5 2/3 scoreless innings. He was even better on a bigger stage on Tuesday.
Relying on a 90s fastball and a devastating curve, McEntire struck out six in a row at one point. His confidence grew as his team took an early lead and built on it.
Braydon Webb doubled into the left center spread on Barnett’s first pitch of the game and Stovall followed with an RBI single to start his 5-on-6 night. The previous player with five hits in a CWS game was Dustin Ackley of North Carolina in 2009.
The Razorbacks added three runs in the third inning and four more in the fourth, highlighted by Chris Lanzilli’s homer over 400 feet down the left field line.
Lanzilli also homered in a 17-2 win over Stanford on Saturday and has 10 for the season after hitting 42 in four years at Wake Forest.
For the first time in 75 years of CWS history, each of the first 10 games was decided by four points or more.
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