Photo Courtesy: UA Athletics (Logan J. Webster)
FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. (Univ. of Ark.) - The No. 13 Arkansas baseball team resumes non-conference play this week as it faces Mississippi Valley State in a two-game series. The Razorbacks and Delta Devils will play at 3:05 p.m. on Tuesday at Baum Stadium, while Wednesday's game at Dickey-Stephens Park in North Little Rock will start at 7:05 p.m.
Tuesday's game will be available on Razorvision, while Wednesday's contest will be televised on Cox Sports Television. Both games of the series will be available on the Razorback Baseball Radio Network from IMG. Three-time Arkansas Sportscaster of the Year Chuck Barrett and former Arkansas Sports Information Director Rick Schaeffer will have the call. A live blog and live stats for each game will be available on ArkansasRazorbacks.com. Fans can also follow updates of each game on @RazorbackBSB, the official Twitter account of the Razorback baseball team.
Single-game reserved tickets for Tuesday's game at Baum Stadium are still available. Tickets are $10 for reserved seats and may be purchased by calling 1-800-982-HOGS (4647), by visiting the online ticket center at ArkansasRazorbacks.com or on gameday at Baum Stadium, while supplies last.
Limited general admission tickets remain for Wednesday's game at Dickey-Stephens Park. General admission tickets are $12 and include all berms, bleachers and standing room. Tickets can be purchased online at www.travs.com, in person at the Dickey-Stephens Park box office or over the phone at (501) 664-1555.
Arkansas returns to central Arkansas on Wednesday for the fourth consecutive year. The Razorbacks are 3-0 in North Little Rock and have played in front of more than 10,000 fans each of the last three years, including last season when 10,512 fans packed the stands to see Arkansas defeat Louisiana Tech, 6-5, in 10 innings.
The Razorbacks are coming off an impressive series sweep at then-No. 6 South Carolina last weekend. Arkansas became the first SEC team to sweep the Gamecocks in Columbia since the 1999 season. The sweep was also the Razorbacks' first over a top 10 team on the road since 2004 when Arkansas swept LSU. Arkansas pounded out 35 hits in the three games vs. the Gamecocks and posted a team batting average of .297, while the pitching staff had a 1.24 team ERA.
Brian Anderson led Arkansas at the plate at South Carolina, hitting .500 with a home run, two RBI and four runs scored. Matt Vinson went 5-for-12 with a homer, three RBI and three runs scored, while Jacob Mahan hit .313 with two RBI and four runs scored. Dominic Ficociello batted .308 with a RBI and a run scored. Tyler Spoon drove in six runs in the series, while Jacob Morris had four RBI.
For the season, the Razorbacks are batting .286 as a team. Anderson leads the team at the plate with a .344 batting average to go along with a homer and 18 RBI. Vinson is hitting .338 with a homer and nine RBI. Spoon leads the team with three homers and 32 RBI and is hitting .327. Mahan is batting .320 with a homer and 11 RBI, while Joe Serrano has a .304 batting average with a home run and 11 RBI.
On the mound, Arkansas leads the SEC and ranks third nationally with a 1.74 team ERA. The Razorbacks will start freshman left hander Colin Poché in Tuesday's game. Poché has a 2-0 record with a 0.69 ERA in four appearances, including three starts. Senior southpaw Tyler Wright will start Wednesday's contest. Wright has pitched in four games this season and has not allowed a run in 5.1 innings.
Out of the Razorback bullpen, Jalen Beeks has pitched in a team-leading 11 games and has a 2-0 record with one save and a 0.95 ERA. Brandon Moore has appeared in nine games and is 1-2 with a 1.09 ERA. Colby Suggs has seen time in eight games and has one save with a 3.68 ERA.
Mississippi Valley State enters this week's series with a 3-21 overall record. The Delta Devils were last in action on March 19 when they dropped a 9-3 decision to Delta State. As a team, Mississippi Valley State is hitting .213, while the pitching staff has a team ERA of 9.76.
At the plate, the Delta Devils are led by Trey Lacy, who is hitting. 286 with 10 RBI. Edmund Cheatham has stolen a team-leading 18 bases and is batting .278 with a homer and six RBI. Seth Milliorn is batting .267 with a home run and seven RBI.
Mississippi Valley State is scheduled to start senior right-handed pitcher Kameron Stady on Tuesday. Stady has pitched in eight games, including five starts, and has a 0-4 record with a 7.56 ERA. On Wednesday, sophomore righty Montana Killier will get the start. Killier has appeared in nine games, including six starts, and is 1-4 with a 5.50 ERA.
Out of the bullpen, Corwin Buchanon has pitched in a team-leading 12 games and has a 13.50 ERA. Lacy has appeared in seven games, four in relief and has a 0-2 record with a 6.48 ERA. Kevin Simmons has seen time in eight games and has compiled a 1-2 record with a 9.18 ERA.
Arkansas and Mississippi Valley State have met just one time previously with the Razorbacks winning 12-3 on May 12, 2008, in Fayetteville.
Series Schedule (Times Central and Subject to Change)
Probable Pitching Matchups (Arkansas listed first)
Tuesday, March 26 - 3:05 p.m.
Wednesday, March 27 - 7:05 p.m.
Tuesday (3:05 p.m.)
LHP Colin Poché (Fr., 2-0, 0.69) vs. RHP Kameron Stady (Sr., 0-4, 7.56)
Wednesday (7:05 p.m.)
LHP Tyler Wright (Sr., 0-0, 0.00) vs. RHP Montana Killier (So., 1-4, 5.50)
Arkansas - No. 11 (NCBWA), No. 12 (Collegiate Baseball), No. 13 (USA Today/Perfect Game), No. 15 (Baseball America)
Mississippi Valley State - Not Ranked