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Arkansas beats Cougs to advance

by From news and wire services
| June 8, 2010 9:00 PM

FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. - With both pitching staffs running on fumes, this had the makings of a slugfest - until Arkansas' TJ Forrest took the mound.

Forrest pitched into the sixth inning on two days of rest, and the Razorbacks beat Washington State 7-2 Monday night for the championship of the Fayetteville Regional. The Hogs advanced to a super regional at top-seeded Arizona State, which will begin Saturday.

"It all started with TJ on the mound," Arkansas coach Dave Van Horn said. "We got off to a good start, we had the lead and it was our night."

Forrest (8-0) started Friday night and threw 80 pitches, but with the Razorbacks facing elimination Monday, the senior came back for only his fifth start of the season. He pitched 5 1/3 innings, allowing two runs - one earned - on four hits. He walked one and struck out four.

"We didn't expect him to go 5 1/3," Van Horn said. "We were just hoping for three. He looked like he had pretty good stuff to me. In the fourth inning, I thought he was throwing harder than he was in the first."

Arkansas ace Drew Smiley, who had thrown 119 pitches in a Saturday night start, relieved Forrest and shut down the Cougars for 2 2/3 innings. Then Brett Eibner pitched the ninth.

Washington State (37-22) went with a pitcher-by-committee approach in its fifth game of the four-day regional. Paris Shewey (7-3) started for only the second time this season - and after appearing in relief each of the previous three days.

"I couldn't be more proud of our guys' effort all season," WSU coach Donnie Marbut said. "They battled hard, played together as a team and our seniors showed tremendous leadership. We have once again raised the standard for the future."

Shewey allowed the first three Arkansas batters to reach base, and they all came around to score in the top of the first. The Razorbacks (43-19) added three more runs in the third to make it 6-1.

Collin Kuhn, the regional's most outstanding player, doubled home two runs in that third inning.

"Arkansas is a really good club," Marbut said. "We knew by getting in the losers' bracket it would be tough."

Former Coeur d'Alene High standout Shea Vucinich with 1 for 3 for the Cougs.

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