FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. (AP) — Jose Torres hit the first of three N.C. State home runs in the fourth inning and the Wolfpack beat No. 1 seed Arkansas 6-5 on Saturday and avoid elimination.
N.C. State (34-18), which allowed 17 hits and 21 runs in a Game 1 loss on Friday, gave up just four hits Saturday to force a Game 3.
The Wolfpack have won seven of the last eight games away from home and handed Arkansas (50-12) its seventh loss in 37 games at Baum-Walker Stadium this season.
Sam Highfill (8-2) pitched 6 1/3 innings, allowing four runs, three earned, with five strikeouts. He gave up just two hits — a two-run homer by Charlie Welch that opened the scoring in the second inning and a solo shot by Brady Slavens. Evan Justice struck out four over the final 2 2/3, giving up one unearned run on two hits and no walks.
Terrell Tatum singled to lead off the bottom of the fourth inning before Torres and Luca Tresh hit back-to-back home runs and, two batters later, Vojtech Mensik hit a solo shot to give N.C. State a 5-2 lead.
After Tresh scored on a groundout by J.T. Jarrett to make it 6-2, Slavens homered to center field and Welch and Cullen Smith each scored following a throwing error in the seventh. Kevin Kopps came on in the bottom of the inning and pitched two perfect innings with two strikeouts. The senior, who is 12-0 with 11 saves and a 0.65 ERA this season, hasn’t allowed a run in 15 1/3 innings over four appearances in the month of June.
Mensik scored on a groundout by Tyler McDonough in the bottom of the third inning to pull the Wolfpack to 2-1.