San Antonio to host the NCAA Men’s Final Four in 2025

The NCAA Men’s Final Four is returning to San Antonio for the fifth time.

Officials on Monday announced that college basketball’s showcase event will be played at the Alamodome in 2025, with San Antonio Mayor Ron Nirenberg calling it, “Great news.”

Nirenberg said in a news release that the decision confirms that San Antonio “is one of the best cities in the nation — if not the best” to host the tournament.

In thanking local organizers, the mayor added, “Once again, all that makes San Antonio special will be showcased across the country and around the world.”

San Antonio previously staged the Final Four in 1998, 2004, 2008 and in April of this year.

Host institutions will be NCAA Division I members UTSA and the University of the Incarnate Word.

The NCAA Division I Men’s Basketball Committee selected Houston for 2023, Phoenix (2024), San Antonio (2025) and Indianapolis (2026).

According to ncaa.com, the announcement capped a year-long process that included site visits to each of seven finalist cities and in-person presentations during the committee’s annual summer meeting, which took place last week in Boston.

The other finalists were Detroit, Los Angeles and North Texas.

Final Four sites

2019 — Minneapolis
2020 — Atlanta
2021 — Indianapolis
2022 — New Orleans
2023 — Houston
2024 — Phoenix/Glendale
2025 — San Antonio
2026 — Indianapolis

Quotable

Lisa Campos, UTSA vice president for athletics:

“We’re so excited that the Final Four is returning to San Antonio. I’d like to thank the NCAA for selecting our great city as the location for the 2025 Final Four and I also want to congratulate everyone who worked so hard behind the scenes on the bid and presentation. Earlier this year, the San Antonio Local Organizing Committee, which includes UTSA, put in an incredible amount of hard work to host one of the best Final Fours ever held. We look forward to making the 2025 event even better.”

Notable

In April, San Antonio hosted a Final Four consisting of the University of Michigan, Loyola (Chicago), Villanova and Kansas.

A crowd of 68,257 watched in the semifinals as Michigan defeated Loyola 69-57 and Villanova downed Kansas, 95-79. Another 67,831 turned out for Villanova’s 79-62 victory over Michigan in the finals.

UIW steps up

The announcement proved to be a big moment for the University of the Incarnate Word, whose athletics program has stepped up in recent years from NCAA Division II to Division I.

After a four-year transition, UIW of the Southland Conference became fully eligible for the Division I men’s basketball tournament for the first time in 2017-18. When the news surfaced, the Cardinals tweeted it out to their supporters.

What handicap? Missions pitcher inspired by his older brother

Lefthander Logan Allen has forged an 8-5 record and a 2.78 earned run average to emerge as one of the top pitchers in the Texas League. (Courtesy photo, San Antonio Missions)

Philip Allen can’t walk, can’t talk and can barely see. Afflicted with severe cerebral palsy since he was an infant, Philip has struggled physically ever since.

But that doesn’t necessarily mean that the older brother of San Antonio Missions pitcher Logan Allen doesn’t feel joy and can’t have a good time when the occasion calls for it.

Allen, one of the top pitchers in the Texas League, made sure of that on Saturday when he sent out a tweet directed to Philip.

“Happy 31st Birthday to the best big brother I could have ever asked for!” Logan wrote. “I thank God every day for you! I love you, Philip.”

Especially poignant in the tweet was a hashtag that said simply, “What handicap?”

A few days ago, Logan Allen, 21, sat in the dugout at Wolff Stadium and talked at length about his tightly-knit family, based in Asheville, North Carolina.

About how much he appreciates his parents.

About how he connects with his younger brother, Bryson, age 17. And about Philip, who has shaped his life in so many ways.

“He’s the best person in the entire world,” Logan Allen said last week. “He’s always happy. He’s never sad. Everything’s always great. He definitely is someone I look up to.

“He’s also an inspiration, a reminder every day, that you don’t get these opportunities (all the time), and there’s a million people in the world that wish they could be where you are.”

When Philip was diagnosed as an infant, physicians worried that he wouldn’t have long to live.

Even though the journey has often been painful, he has lived for more than three decades now and beats the odds on a daily basis.

A fighting spirit

It’s a fighting spirit that clearly drives Logan Allen, who leads the league in victories (eight), earned run average (2.78) and strikeouts (102).

Missions manager Phillip Wellman said he thinks his No. 1 pitcher draws strength from his older brother’s drive to survive.

“I think that’s part of his overall attitude about life,” Wellman said. “I think he understands how precious these moments are. He’s extremely grateful for the opportunity, and he goes about his business that way.”

Drafted by the Boston Red Sox out of Florida’s IMG Academy in 2015, Allen was one of several minor league prospects shipped later that year to the San Diego Padres for reliever Craig Kimbrel.

With the Padres, Allen has evolved into one of the organization’s top-rated prospects.

He is 15-13 over his last two years, including 8-5 in his first year with the Missions.

On his best days, he dominates, as evidenced by a combined no-hitter at Tulsa on May 31.

Pitching a no-no

Against the Drillers, he pitched seven innings and teamed with Jason Jester for just the 13th no-hitter in the ball club’s history.

Even on his bad days, Allen is pretty good. On Friday night, for example, he yielded three first-inning runs in a 3-2 loss to Northwest Arkansas.

But after the hard-luck first, he settled down to blank the Naturals over the next five innings, artfully painting a low-90s mph fastball on the corners and striking out seven along the way.

“The biggest attribute is his command,” Wellman said. “You know, he can hit a gnat in the rear end. That’s very good. And his changeup is outstanding.

“He gets lefthanders out. He gets righthanders out.

“You know, right now, it’s just a matter of him being young. He’s 21 years old. He lacks timing and experience. That’s what we’re here to give him.”

Some of his athleticism may be a family thing, as his father, Norman Allen, once played professional hockey.

Logan Allen said that Bryson, his teenaged brother, once played baseball and might have evolved into No. 1 talent in the family at that sport.

But with baseball in his rearview mirror, Bryson has since taken up “three-gun” competition shooting.

Grudgingly, Logan admits his younger brother is the best of the brothers when the two go hunting in the offseason.

“If someone’s got to take the shot, it’s definitely him,” he said. “He shoots a little straighter (than I do).”

It’s always a big day when Logan returns home to see Philip.

In an article published in 2016 in the East Village Times, a San Diego sports website, Logan said his parents have always “hyped” his visits to his older brother.

Grinning from ‘ear to ear’

“When I came home and he heard my voice, it was special,” he told writer James Clark. “Seeing his head whip around to look at the door when he heard me call his name. He was grinning from ear to ear and stomping his feet.

“It’s like that every time I walk in the door, and it gives me chills just thinking about it.”

Logan’s relationship has been chronicled in the media more than once, so he does get feedback from the public about it.

“When I talked to people about this, they say, ‘How’d you grow up with that?’ “ he said. “I don’t want people to feel sorry for me. This was never an issue. Yeah, you have people staring and stuff like that.

“But the lessons I’ve learned from him, and he’s never said one word to me, ever, you know. (Because he) can’t talk. But I’ve learned more from him than anyone, I’d like to think…

“Just by him sitting there, smiling, just going through his daily routine. That boy has been through more than I have — 10 times through. It’s incredible.”

A shining moment: Austin Allen brings fans to their feet


An almost incandescent blue-sky background provides the backdrop as San Antonio Missions catcher Austin Allen smashes a solo homer off Northwest Arkansas starter Emilio Ogando in the sixth inning Friday night.

Hoping to bounce back from a disappointing loss, the Missions will open a three-game home series Saturday night against the Arkansas Travelers.

First pitch is scheduled for 7:05 p.m. at Wolff Stadium.

Northwest Arkansas scored three runs in the first inning and held off San Antonio 3-2 Friday night.

With the victory, the Naturals snapped a five-game losing streak. They also stopped the Missions’ modest winning streak at three, handing ace lefthander Logan Allen the loss in the process.

Despite the setback, Allen leads the Texas League in victories (eight), earned run average (2.78) and strikeouts (102).

Missions catcher Austin Allen hit a solo home run in the sixth inning, giving him 16 for the season to tie for second in the league.

Outfielder Josh Naylor delivered with his league-leading 58th RBI on a single in the seventh, pulling the Missions to within 3-2.

But the Naturals held on to win, producing their only victory on a three-game trip to San Antonio.

Records

San Antonio — 8-7 in the second half, 50-35 overall
Northwest Arkansas — 3-10, 38-45

Notes

Austin Allen and Logan Allen are not related. Austin Allen, 24, is from St. Louis. Logan Allen, 21, is from West Palm Beach, Fla.


San Antonio’s Josh Naylor takes the Texas League lead in RBI with 58 on a run-scoring single to left field against Northwest Arkansas.

Missions take two from Naturals in extra innings


San Antonio’s Rod Boykin bunts for a single, and Northwest Arkansas reliever Bryan Brickhouse throws high to first base for an error, allowing the winning run to score in a wild finish to Thursday night’s doubleheader.

The San Antonio Missions swept a doubleheader from Northwest Arkansas Thursday night at Wolff Stadium, claiming both victories in extra innings by 4-3 scores.

They won in the eighth inning in the first game and in the ninth in the second.

Both contests were scheduled for seven innings, with one counting as a makeup for a Wednesday night rainout.

The second game featured a more dramatic play to end the proceedings, as San Antonio’s Matthew Batten scored from second base on Rod Boykin’s bunt single and a throwing error by Northwest Arkansas reliever Bryan Brickhouse.

New rules in the Texas League this season mandate that innings beyond regulation start with a runner at second base.

The Missions took full advantage of the rule as Boykin laid down his bunt to the left of the mound.

Brickhouse fielded the ball cleanly but threw late and high to first base, which allowed Batten to score.

The Naturals tried to put the home team away by scoring twice in the top of the eighth, capitalizing on a Missions error and two singles to take a 3-1 lead.

But the Missions tied it in the bottom half on a two-out, two-run homer by Nick Schulz, who was credited with the winnning RBI in the first game.

Records

San Antonio 8-6, 50-34
Northwest Arkansas 2-10, 37-45


Missions rightfielder Nick Schulz rounds the bases after a two-out, two-run homer off Coleby Blueberg to tie the game at 3-3.

GAME ONE HIGHLIGHTS

In Game One, Schulz drew a one-out, bases-loaded walk, forcing in the winning run in the bottom of the eighth.

Take a look at the winning play and the reaction of the Northwest Arkansas players, who apparently disagreed with the call on a fastball that was deemed to missed the strike zone, just off the inside inside corner:

How it happened

The Missions led 3-0 leading into the sixth of a scheduled seven-inning game, the first of a doubleheader. In response, the Naturals retaliated by scoring once in the sixth and twice in the seventh to tie.

After 19-year-old Missions reliever Andres Munoz blanked the Naturals in the top of the eighth, the home team took advantage of new rules to end the game against Naturals reliever Andres Machado.

Starting the inning with a runner at second base, the Missions got another freebie when Machado intentionally walked Austin Allen.

At that point, Taylor Kohlwey bunted for a hit to load the bases.

Initially, the Missions failed to take advantage. Webster Rivas popped up to right field for the first out.

The next man up, Schulz, worked the count full against Machado, fouling off multiple pitches on strike two. Finally, he took a ball four to force in the game winner.

Ty France jogged home to give the Missions the victory in the first game of a six-game homestand.

Coming up

Naturals at Missions, Friday, 7:05 p.m.


Missions reliever Andres Munoz fires a high fastball past Erick Mejia to end the top of the eighth. The Naturals left runners at first and third base. Munoz, 19, from Los Mochis, Mexico, earned the victory in his home debut.

San Antonio Missions are rained out on July 4

With red, white and blue bunting hanging from the facade at Wolff Stadium Wednesday afternoon, fans clutching tiny American flags filed into the West Side municipal facility, eager to see a ball game, a concert and a Fourth of July fireworks display.

And then the rain came and forced a change in the plan.

The game between the Northwest Arkansas Naturals and the San Antonio Missions has been postponed, and is now scheduled to be made up as part of a doubleheader Thursday starting at 6 p.m.

Officials said they are still assessing whether the concert and the fireworks show can be held, as scheduled.

Oregon State wins, claims NCAA baseball championship

Facing elimination after losing their opener at the College World Series, the Oregon State Beavers ripped off four straight victories to stay alive.

Once they reached the championship round, the Beavers did it the hard way — again.

They lost the opener, and then rallied with a vengeance to take two straight from the Arkansas Razorbacks, claiming the school’s third NCAA Division I title.

Oregon State, champions in both 2006 and 2007, climbed to the top of the college baseball world again after beating Arkansas 5-0 Thursday night behind freshman Kevin Abel’s masterful pitching.

Scoring two runs in the first inning to take charge early, the Beavers turned it over to Abel, a freshman from San Diego.

Abel responded by throwing a two-hit, complete-game shutout. Mixing a fastball, a curve and a devastating changeup, he struck out 10 and retired the last 20 batters he faced.

Facing television cameras after the game, he couldn’t hide his emotions.

“Unbelievable,” Abel told ESPN in front of cheering fans at TD Ameritrade Park. “Thank you, Beaver Nation, for everything you do. You guys are awesome.”

Adley Rutschman produced three hits and two RBI for the Beavers. With 17 hits in the CWS, he was named the tournament’s Most Valuable Player.

Oregon State lost 8-6 to North Carolina in the CWS opener. In response, the Beavers knocked off Washington, North Carolina and Mississippi State (twice) to get to the finals.

Once in the title round, OSU stumbled again, falling 4-1 to Arkansas on Tuesday night. On Wednesday, the Razorbacks moved to within one out of their first national title.

Arkansas had a chance to win it but misplayed a pop foul ball. Given a second chance, the Beavers didn’t let it get away. They rallied from a one-run deficit to win 5-3.

The Game 3 clincher wasn’t nearly as dramatic. But it was efficient, with Rutschman coming up big, driving in runs in first and third innings.

“We’ve got a special group,” Rutschman told ESPN.

Records

Oregon State 55-12-1
Arkansas 48-21

Oregon State, Arkansas to play again with a title on the line

When the Oregon State Beavers and Arkansas Razorbacks take the field Thursday night for the NCAA Division I baseball championship, all the elements for another classic will converge.

The same cast of characters that produced the first two games in the College World Series finals will face off at TD Ameritrade Park one more time. Same players. Same coaches.

Even the same crazy fans.

But whether the deciding game can measure up to Wednesday night’s Game 2 in sheer, dramatic theater remains as an open question.

Oregon State rallied in the ninth inning behind Cadyn Grenier and Trevor Larnach for a stunning 5-3 victory over Arkansas, tying the CWS finals at one win apiece.

Nobody won a championship, but the game was a gem, with the lead changing hands three times.

“I never had a doubt,” Larnach said in an ESPN interview. “I never was worried.”

Arkansas registered a 4-1 victory on Tuesday to open the best-of-3 finals, setting the stage for the re-match.

In the top of the ninth, Arkansas was one out away from clinching the victory and the national title, but couldn’t close it out.

The game appeared to be over when Grenier lifted a high pop fly in foul territory behind first base.

But with Razorbacks second baseman Carson Shaddy, right fielder Eric Cole and first baseman Jared Gates converging, the ball dropped behind Shaddy and between the other two players for a foul ball.

Grenier would get another swing against Arkansas relief ace Matt Cronin, and he delivered with a two-out, two-strike RBI single through the left side to tie the game.

Larnach followed with a line drive, two-run homer to right field, making it 5-3.

In the bottom of the ninth, Arkansas reliver Jake Mulholland got a ground ball, double play to end it.

Quotable

Cadyn Grenier, in the Corvallis Gazette-Times:

“As soon as you see the ball drop, you know you have another life. All I thought was I needed to refocus and make the most of that extra life that we got.”

Matt Cronin, in the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette:

“I was feeling good, expecting to finish the ballgame right there and win a natty (a national title). But it didn’t work out the way we wanted it. So we’re going to regroup and get it tomorrow.”

How it happened

The Razorbacks scored first with a run in the second inning off Oregon State starter Bryce Fehmel.

Carson Shaddy started the rally with a one-out single, and Jared Gates was hit by a pitch.

After a Grant Koch ground ball resulted in a force play, erasing Shaddy at third base, Fehmel walked Jax Biggers to load the bases.

The implosion continued when Fehmel threw a wild pitch, allowing Gates to score and giving the Razorbacks a 1-0 lead.

In the top of the fourth, Oregon State’s Adley Ruschman tied the game with a solo home run off Arkansas starter Kacey Murphy.

The Beavers continued to scrap in the fifth inning, bunching three hits and scoring a run to take the lead on a suicide squeeze bunt.

Zak Taylor delivered a one-out single through the infield, and then Preston Jones beat out a bunt single placed perfectly down the third base line.

At that point, Jake Reindl replaced Murphy and promptly walked Nick Madrigal to load the bases.

Grenier followed with an RBI single on another bunt, boosting Oregon State into a 2-1 lead.

Reindl threw one more pitch, a ball, to Larnach. But that was it for Reindl as Arkansas gambled, bringing in Kole Ramage to face one of Oregon State’s most dangerous hitters.

Ramage, in one of the game’s biggest moments, delivered by striking out Larnach and then getting Ruschman to ground out to end the threat.

The Razorbacks didn’t waste any time in mounting a comeback, scoring twice in the bottom of the fifth to take the lead.

With one out, Casey Martin laced a single through the right side.

From there, the baseball gods started to smile on Arkansas, as Heston Kjerstad blooped a ball down the left field line that fell in for a single.

To make matters worse for Oregon State, Luke Bonfield blooped another ball into shallow left, just out of the center fielder’s reach.

Martin utilized blazing speed to tie the game, scoring all the way from second and sliding in just ahead of the throw while Kjerstad took second.

One out later, Shaddy singled to left, bringing home Kjerstad as Arkansas took a 3-2 lead.

Arkansas wins, moves to within one victory of NCAA baseball title

A contested umpire’s call in the fourth inning Tuesday night tipped the momentum to the Arkansas Razorbacks, who capitalized on the good fortune to rally for a 4-1 victory over the Oregon State Beavers at the College World Series.

Arkansas is now one win away from its first NCAA baseball title.

The same two teams will play again Wednesday night in Game 2 of a best-of-three series for the championship. Game 3, if necessary, would be held Thursday. The series is being played in Omaha, Nebraska.

A key sequence in the opener unfolded in the bottom of the fourth when a baserunner interference call led to an Oregon State run being taken off the scoreboard.

Trevor Larnach opened the inning with a double to left on a fly ball that Arkansas leftfielder Heston Kjerstad lost in the sun. Adley Rutschman followed with a single, moving Larnach to third.

On Tyler Malone’s ground ball to the right side, Larnach ran home and crossed the plate, Rutschman was thrown out at second on the force and Malone was called safe at first on a double-play attempt.

Umpires, however, ruled that Rutschman — who ducked his head as he neared second base — had interfered with the relay throw from Arkansas shortstop Jax Biggers.

It meant that both Rutschman and Malone were erased on a double play. Worse for the Beavers, umps told Larnach that he had to go back to third.

Oregon State coach Pat Casey came out to argue, but the call stood.

From there, Arkansas pitcher Blaine Knight struck out Michael Gretler to end the inning, keeping the Beavers’ lead at 1-0.

In the top of the fifth, Oregon State starter and 16-game winner Luke Heimlich came unraveled, with the Razorbacks scoring four runs.

Heimlich walked one, hit two batters with pitches and watched as star Nick Madrigal made a critical infield error.

On the play, Casey Martin hit a slow roller that Madrigal failed to handle cleanly. So, instead of getting a force at second base for the second out of the inning, the third run of the inning scored and everyone was safe.

Heimlich would throw one last pitch, a ball, to Heston Kjerstad. After that, Casey pulled him for Christian Chamberlain, who proceeded to issue a walk to force in a run that made it 4-1.

The Beavers entered the day with 48 runs scored in five games at the CWS. But the Razorbacks’ pitching trio of Knight, Barrett Loseke and closer Matt Cronin combined to hold them in check.

Knight pitched six innings and allowed a run on seven hits, improving his record to 14-0 on the season. Loseke worked two innings and Cronin closed in the ninth.

Heimlich, a senior, took the loss and fell to 16-3.

He worked 4 and 1/3 innings and was charged with all four runs, three of them earned. Heimlich struck out five and walked two.

Chamberlain was dominant in 4 and 2/3 scoreless innings of relief. He yielded only two hits while striking out 11.

Quotable

Arkansas coach Dave Van Horn, to the Arkansas Democrat Gazette:

“We feel very fortunate to have won the ball game. Baseball is a little different game sometimes, and you can have eight innings where you don’t do much and you put together one inning and you pitch good enough and play defense and you can win.”

Oregon State catcher Adley Rutschman, to the Corvallis Gazette-Times:

We’ve got to come out tomorrow with more of an edge and better competitiveness, and see what happens. There’s something about it, something about facing elimination that you can’t really explain. So I’m hoping we come out with that fire and energy tomorrow.”

Rutschman, on the interference call:

“I don’t exactly know the rule on it, but I just did my best to get out of the way and get out of his throwing lane. I just kind of crouched down, and I don’t really know what else to say … you can’t obstruct his throwing lane, so that’s just what I tried to do. I guess you can’t do that.”

Notable

Oregon State is expected to pitch righthander Bryce Fehmel (10-1, 3.16) on Wednesday night. Arkansas is scheduled counter with lefty Kacey Murphy (8-5, 3.15).

Game 1 had been scheduled for Monday, but it was rained out, pushing the opener to Tuesday.

Oregon State has been dealing with controversy in regard to Heimlich since this time last year when he left the team before the CWS after an Oregon newspaper reported that he had pleaded guilty to molesting a young relative when he was 15.

Officials allowed him to return to the team this season. The Associated Press reports that he served two years of probation and went through a treatment program. Heimlich denied wrongdoing in recent interviews with Sports Illustrated and the New York Times.

He was not drafted either last year or this year.

Records

Arkansas 48-19
Oregon State 53-12-1

Weather forces schedule change at College World Series

Inclement weather in Omaha, Nebraska, on Monday forced postponement of Game 1 in the best-of-3 College World Series finals.

The Arkansas Razorbacks and Oregon State Beavers are now set to play Tuesday at 6 p.m. Game 2 is slated for Wednesday at 6 p.m.

A third game, if necessary, would be played Thursday at a time to be announced, officials said.

Will Arkansas pitchers prevail? OSU hitters to state their case

Fans of the Arkansas Razorbacks have been “calling the hogs” in the state of Nebraska for more than a week, and who could blame them?

They’re probably warming up again right now, as we, err, speak.

Here’s why:

So far, the Razorbacks are undefeated in Omaha at the College World Series. They’re 3-0 and playing great in all phases of the game.

Perhaps more importantly, they’re pitching more effectively at the moment than the 4-1 Oregon State Beavers.

As a result, the Arkansas bullpen has also worked fewer innings than its counterpart since the tournament opened on June 16.

Given the disparity, even the most neutral observers likely favor the Hogs to beat the Beavers in the finals, a best-of-three series that starts Monday night at TD Ameritrade Park in Omaha.

But whether such conventional analysis proves accurate in this case, I don’t know if I’m buying into that or not.

I don’t know how you can ever count out an Oregon State offense that’s averaged nearly 10 runs per game in five CWS games.

Count ’em. The Beavers have scored 48 runs in five-game ride to the CWS finals.

From what I’ve seen on television, I’m not sure Nick Madrigal, Trevor Larnach and Adley Rutschman and those guys couldn’t, on a good day, beat just about any pitcher in the nation.

Against Arkansas, they’ll face Blaine Knight (13-0, 2.88) in the opener, followed by Kacey Murphy (8-5, 3.15) and, if necessary, Isaiah Campbell (5-6, 4.12).

They’ll also likely see a lot of Barrett Loseke, Jake Reindl and Matt Cronin out of the bullpen.

That’s the heart of a staff that has withstood challenges from solid offensive teams in Texas, Texas Tech and No. 1 Florida.

It’s a staff that has held opponents to a combined 11 runs in Omaha in an impressive three-game stretch.

Then again, I also think Madrigal and Co. are extraordinary talents that could cause major problems, forcing the Razorbacks to go deeper into their rotation than anyone they’ve seen at the CWS thus far.

Who will win? I don’t know.

I just really like Oregon State’s swagger right now, and, in spite of spotty pitching from Luke Heimlich and Bryce Fehmel, I strongly suspect this series will go the distance.

I think, for certain, we’ll see three highly entertaining baseball games.

Notable

Arkansas is shooting for its first national title in baseball. The Razorbacks last reached the CWS finals in 1979.

Oregon State won titles previously at the CWS in 2006 and 2007. The Beavers haven’t been back to the CWS finals since.

Quotable

Oregon State coach Pat Casey:

“What I’ve seen of Arkansas is what everybody else has seen, pretty darned good,” Casey said. “I don’t know if I’ve seen a more complete team: Pitching, defense, speed, power.”

Arkansas coach Dave Van Horn:

“Once we got here and watched them play, I told Pat that I figured that they would fight their way through like they did,” Van Horn said. “And I think it’s going to be a great series.”

Inside scoop

Here are stories that appeared in Monday’s editions of the Corvallis (Oregon) Gazette-Times and the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette.