This is not an easy sport, and there are no easy moments, and an Arkansas team that struggled at the plate in the regional round did no such thing Friday night. There’s not an explainer necessary, not a point of clarification worthwhile; Arkansas crushed the ball all night, NC State did not, and the Razorbacks won by a million.
The good news is that the Razorbacks’ results count only once; they won twice over, but it counts only the one time. The bad news is that NC State lost in this way while throwing its ace, and it did not force the issue onto Kevin Kopps.
Reid Johnston started fast but blew up with hanging breaking balls with which Arkansas tore this game open. As much as the Ruston Regional was a best-case scenario, this was a disaster, because it allowed Arkansas to save its rubber-armed unicorn.
Nothing is certain, nothing is done, but to lose like this, and to do so while giving Kevin Kopps a night off, well, that’s a poor indicator. This game was not indicative of what these guys have done over the last two months, or what they are capable of. The unfortunate thing is that a short series doesn’t care.