OMAHA, Neb. –– In section 116, they were ready to party the way they never had after an Arkansas baseball game. Thousands of Razorback fans had one finger in the air. One more out. And then they’d really let loose.

“Looked like it was right there for us,” Arkansas second baseman Carson Shaddy would say later. Right there.

Oregon State’s Cadyn Grenier was at the plate, the tying runner in a 3-2 game at third base. He hit a pop-up foul heading down the right field line, with three Razorbacks converging on it. The thunder from the stands rose to a crescendo, anticipating that last, championship-clinching 27th out — and then the blessed dogpile to come.

But suddenly, the ball plopped on the dirt, uncaught. An 11th-hour,  59th-minute, 59th-second reprieve. Many of the Hog backers buried their faces in their hands, understanding the baseball gods had been tempted to change their minds. In the Oregon State dugout, they all were sure what would happen next.

“I watched the fielders kind of look at each other, I knew we had a chance,” Nick Madrigal said afterward. “Once it dropped. I made a comment to Adley (Rutschman), who was sitting next to me, `Watch, something’s going to happen now.’ When you get a second chance in baseball, usually something crazy happens.”

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