OMAHA, Neb. (AP) - Andy Wilkins homered and drove in five runs to help Arkansas start off the College World Series with a 10-6 victory over Cal State Fullerton on Saturday.
The Razorbacks ripped freshman pitcher Noe Ramirez while stunning the No. 2 seeded Titans and giving Arkansas coach Dave Van Horn his first victory in seven CWS games.
The Hogs (40-22) play Monday night against the winner of Saturday night's LSU-Virginia game. Fullerton (47-15) meets the loser in a Bracket 1 elimination game.
Arkansas manufactured a couple runs in the first inning, scored two more in the third on Zack Cox's homer, and then broke open the game with a five-run fourth.
Wilkins highlighted the big inning with a three-run homer to right off freshman Tyler Pill, who was making his first relief appearance.
Ramirez (9-2) lasted just 3 2-3 innings, the shortest of his 15 starts, and gave up seven runs. The first freshman pitcher to start a CWS game for Fullerton left after loading the bases with a walk in the fourth.
Scott Lyons grounded Pill's first pitch between shortstop and third base for a 6-2 lead, and then Wilkins hit his team-leading 19th homer.
Wilkins is batting .593 (16 for 27) with four homers, five other extra-base hits, and 17 RBIs in six NCAA tournament games.
Dallas Keuchel (8-3) allowed four runs on five hits to win his first decision since May 2. Mike Bolsinger pitched the last three innings for his second save.
Fullerton, in the CWS for the 16th time and going for its fifth national title, is one loss from an early exit.
Coach Dave Serrano's young pitchers couldn't stave off an Arkansas offense that scored 10 or more runs for the fourth time in six national tournament games.
Ramirez, who struck out 18 in 15 innings in regionals and super regionals, walked Chase Leavitt to start the game and then gave up a single to Ben Tschepikow. After Cox hit his fourth homer in six games, and 13th of the season, the Hogs were up 4-0.
Fullerton scored twice in the third to cut Arkansas' lead to 4-2. Joey Siddons came home on a sacrifice fly, and Christian Colon scored from third when first baseman Andy Wilkins couldn't come up with Josh Fellhauer's hard grounder.
The Titans, trailing 10-4, loaded the bases in the eighth but came away with just one run when Dustin Garneau hit into an inning-ending double play.
Arkansas' Van Horn is in the CWS for the fourth time. He went 0-4 with Nebraska in 2001 and '02 and 0-2 with Arkansas in 2004.
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