Texas had faced Arkansas five times before the College World Series, and any of those games were more artistic than the one the Southwest Conference rivals played Saturday, according to Longhorn Coach Cliff Gustafson.
"Today's game didn't impress anyone on the strength of the Southwest Conference," he said. Texas outbattled Arkansas for the conference title this season.
The Longhorns used a two-run double by Brian Johnson, a two-run triple by Lenny Bell and 13 walks to beat the Razorbacks, 13-6, in the first round of the double-elimination tournament at Rosenblatt Stadium in Omaha.
"I thought it was a strange game," said Gustafson, whose team had beaten Arkansas four times this season. "We didn't expect to score 13 runs. It was not the game I anticipated."
Mark Petkovsek (14-2) relieved starter Kevin Garner in the second inning and allowed Arkansas just two more runs as he scattered seven hits the rest of the way.
Garner had given up four runs in the first 1 innings after Texas had taken a 4-1 lead. Jim Kremers doubled with the bases loaded to drive in three runs in the second and added a two-run triple in the fourth off Petkovsek.
"When we lost the 4-1 lead and the 5-4 lead, I thought we were in trouble," Gustafson said.
Johnson's two-run double in the fifth inning sparked a four-run Texas rally and put the Longhorns (59-9) ahead to stay.
Bell added a two-run triple in a four-run sixth as Texas advanced to the second round Tuesday against the winner of the Stanford-Georgia contest. Stanford led that game, 3-1, when it was suspended after 6 1/2 innings because of thundershowers.
The nine-inning game will be played to its completion today, according to NCAA officials who allowed play to continue for 1 1/2 innings after a 1-hour, 33-minute delay after five innings Saturday night.
Scott Bryant had three hits, and Brian Cisarik, Rusty Crockett and Johnson added two each in a 13-hit Texas attack. Crockett also drove in two runs.
Arkansas used five pitchers with Tim Peters (5-4) taking the loss.
"Nobody on the staff could find the plate," Arkansas Coach Norm DeBriyn said. "I talked with the catcher about the strike zone and it was tight but consistent."
The Razorbacks wasted a five-RBI night by Jim Kremers in dropping to 50-15-1 this season. Arkansas meets the Stanford-Georgia loser in an elimination game tonight.