STILLWATER, Okla. — Robert Wayman and Michael Donadio hit back-to-back RBI singles with two outs in the eighth inning to lift St. John’s to a 2-1 victory over host Oklahoma State on Sunday to stay alive in the Stillwater Regional.
St. John’s (41-15), the No. 4 seed, advances to the regional final Sunday evening against No. 2 Arkansas (37-22). The 6 p.m. game is available on ESPN3.
Boxscore: St. John’s vs. Oklahoma State
It was the third time in the past four games that Oklahoma State (38-20), the region’s top seed, squandered a lead in the eighth inning to lose.
The Cowboys, who have been eliminated, led Arkansas 4-2 on Saturday night before allowing five runs in the eighth en route to a 7-5 defeat. They also lost 6-3 to Texas last week in the Big 12 championship game after taking a 2-1 lead into the eighth.
ARKANSAS 7, OKLAHOMA ST. 5
Rick Nomura and Michael Bernal had RBI singles in a five-run eighth inning and Arkansas took advantage of Oklahoma State’s sloppy defense to beat the top-seeded Cowboys, 7-5, on Saturday night in the winners’ bracket final of the Stillwater Regional.
Second-seeded Arkansas (37-22), advances to its sixth consecutive NCAA Regional final, needs one more win to advance to a Super Regional for the fourth time in seven years. Oklahoma State (38-19) needs to win three games in two days to win the regional, starting with an elimination game at noon Sunday against St. John’s.
Boxscore: Arkansas vs. Oklahoma State
The winner of that game then meets the Razorbacks at 6 p.m. on ESPN3.
The Razorbacks entered the eighth trailing 4-2 but plated five runs in the frame to take the lead. Carson Shaddy pinch hit to lead off the inning and battled through a nine-pitch at bat to earn a walk. A single from Joe Serrano, a throwing error and wild pitch later and Arkansas had tied the game. When the damage was finally done, Arkansas had scored five runs on three hits, two walks, two errors, a stolen base and a wild pitch.
Serrano set the table from the leadoff position, reaching base four times. He had three base hits including his 11th double of the season.
Zach Jackson earned the save with two innings and just one unearned run. Five of the six outs he recorded were strikeouts.
The win marks the third come-from-behind victory in Arkansas’ past four NCAA Tournament wins. The Razorbacks also defeated Florida in this year’s SEC Tournament despite trailing in the ninth inning.
Super Regional matchup
The Stillwater Regional winner will advance to the best-of-three Super Regional series against the winner of the Springfield Regional next weekend.
No. 8 national seed Missouri State finds itself in the same position as Arkansas, needing just one win to advance to the Super Regional round.
After rain allowed for only one game to be played Friday at Hammons Field – Iowa edging Oregon, 3-1 – Missouri State posted a pair of wins Saturday, blowing past Canisius 14-1 and then stopping Iowa 5-3.
The Bears (47-10) now face a 7:05 p.m. rematch with Iowa for the title after the Hawkeyes edged Oregon 2-1 in an 11-inning elimination classic. That game ended just after 6 p.m. Sunday.
With the win over Iowa on Saturday, Missouri State equaled the longest winning streak in the 52-year history of the program, claiming its 18th straight victory and a school record-tying 47th overall win in 2015.
• The Razorbacks are in the midst of their 28th NCAA Regional in program history, including the 14th straight
• Arkansas improves to 68-58 all-time in the NCAA Tournament and 50-39 in NCAA Regional action
• The Razorbacks have advanced to their sixth straight NCAA Regional final
• Michael Bernal extended his hitting streak to a career-best 12 games
• Zach Jackson claimed his seventh save and has 77 strikeouts in just 51 innings
• G1: No. 2 Arkansas 8, No. 3 Oral Roberts 6
• G2: No. 1 Oklahoma State 5, No. 4 St. John’s 4
• G3: St. John’s 10, Oral Roberts 4
• G4: Arkansas 7, Oklahoma State 5
• G5: St. John’s 2, Oklahoma State 1
• G6: Arkansas (37-22) vs. St. John’s (41-15), 6 p.m.
• G7: Winner G6 vs. Loser G6 (if necessary), TBA