NC State defeats No. 1 seed Arkansas to head to College World Series

NC State

North Carolina State pitcher Sam Highfill (17) throws against Arkansas in the third inning of an NCAA college baseball super regional game Saturday, June 12, 2021, in Fayetteville, Ark. (AP Photo/Michael Woods)

FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. (AP) – North Carolina State freshman shortstop Jose Torres hit a shot heard ‘round the college baseball world, homering off Arkansas’ likely Golden Spikes Award winner Kevin Kopps leading off the top of the ninth inning, as the Wolfpack stunned the top-seeded and top-ranked Razorbacks 3-2 to earn a berth in the College World Series.

Torres’ blast came after Arkansas (50-13) knotted the score at 2 in the bottom of the seventh on a two-out solo homer by Cayden Wallace.

The big win Sunday came after Jose Torres on Saturday hit the first of three N.C. State home runs in the fourth inning and the Wolfpack beat No. 1 seed Arkansas 6-5 and avoid elimination.

N.C. State (35-18), which allowed 17 hits and 21 runs in a Game 1 loss, gave up just four hits to force a Game 3, which they won Sunday.

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.

Kevin Kopps 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.

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