Kopps, Welch help Arkansas beat Nebraska 6-2, win regional

FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. (AP) — Kevin Kopps threw seven scoreless innings of relief, Charlie Welch hit a pinch-hit three-run home run in the eighth inning and Arkansas rallied to beat Nebraska 6-2 on Sunday night and win the Fayetteville Regional.

No. 1 overall seed Arkansas (49-11) advances to its third consecutive super regional.

Kopps (12-0) allowed three hits with no walks and eight strikeouts. He retired 12 consecutive batter before hitting Cam Chick with two out in the ninth inning and then got Brice Matthews to fly out three pitches later. Kopps threw 185 pitches in three appearances at the regional, allowing six hits with 15 strikeouts over 13 1/3 scoreless innings.

Christian Franklin drew a two-out walk before Robert Moore and Casey Opitz walked on eight consecutive balls to load the bases. Welch pinch hit for Cullen Smith and, after Franklin scored on a wild pitch, hit a 2-0 pitch — after two Nebraska pitchers combined to throw 11 consecutive balls — over the left-field wall to cap the scoring.

Opitz led off the bottom of the fifth inning with a shot to left field and Moore hit a two-out home run in the six to make it 2-2.

Luke Roskam hit a lead-off homer in the top of the second inning and Mojo Hagge, who walked to open the third, scored Jaxon Hallmark’s groundout to give Nebraska (34-14) a 2-0 lead.

Nebraska played five games — three against the Razorbacks — in a four-day span. Arkansas beat the Cornhuskers 5-1 on Saturday to send them into the loser’s bracket. Nebraska won two games Sunday, pounding NJIT 18-4 then avenging its loss to Arkansas with a 5-3 win to stave off elimination and snap the Razorbacks’ 10-game win streak.

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More NCAA baseball tournament coverage: https://apnews.com/hub/college-world-series

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