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2011 Arkansas baseball season review

BY ANDRES FOCIL
2011 Arkansas baseball season review

A Southeastern Conference Western Division title, the 10th consecutive NCAA Tournament appearance and the 17th 40-win year in program history highlighted the 2011 season for the Arkansas baseball team.

The Razorbacks finished the season with a 40-22 record, winning 40 games in a season for the 17th time in school history and for the third straight year. In conference games, Arkansas was 15-15, finishing the league schedule in first place in the Western Division, a game ahead of four teams. The division crown was the fourth for UA since joining the SEC and the first since 2007.

As a team, Arkansas hit .270 and three Razorbacks finished the season hitting over .300. Freshman Dominic Ficociello led Arkansas with a .335 batting average to go along with four homers and a team-leading 50 RBI. Ficociello tied the UA freshman record for hits in a season with 75. Junior James McCann finished the season with a .306 batting average, six home runs and 38 RBI. Junior Jarrod McKinney also hit over .300 on the year, closing the year with a .301 average, two homers and 20 RBI.

The stolen base was a large part of the Razorbacks’ offensive attack in 2011 as Arkansas finished the season with 122 stolen bases and was caught stealing just 27 times. The 122 steals led the SEC and were the sixth most in program history. Five different Razorbacks finished the year with double-digit stolen base totals, led by redshirt junior Tim Carver, who had 24 steals in 29 attempts. Redshirt junior Collin Kuhn had 22 stolen bases and was thrown out trying to steal just twice. Junior Bo BIgham (17-for-22), sophomore Matt Reynolds (16-for-18) and McCann (11-for-17) also finished the season with double-digit stolen bases.

On the mound, the Razorback pitching staff entered the season as a question mark as only three pitchers who saw significant action in 2010 return for the 2011 season. However, any questions were quickly answered as Arkansas pitchers finished the season with a 3.20 team ERA, which ranked as the lowest team ERA since 1982. The Razorback bullpen was strong throughout the season, finishing the season with a 20-8 record, 20 saves and a 2.51 ERA. Opposing batters hit just .213 against Arkansas relief pitching. The 20 saves for the bullpen set a school record for most saves in a season.

Leading the way for the pitching staff was sophomore ace DJ Baxendale, who finished the season with a 10-2 record, three saves and a 1.58 ERA. The Golden Spikes Award semifinalist and All-SEC selection became the first Arkansas pitcher to win 10 games in a season since Nick Schmidt won 11 times in 2007. Baxendale was among five Arkansas pitchers that had at least 10 starts in 2011. Sophomore Cade Lynch started 10 games, with 20 total appearances, and had a 4-4 record with a save and a 3.11 ERA. Freshman Brandon Moore pitched in 17 games, with 11 starts, and was 4-1 with a 3.45 ERA. Sophomore Randall Fant appeared in 20 games, including 11 starts, and had a 3-5 record with a 3.89 ERA. Freshman Ryne Stanek started 12 games in 15 total appearances and was 4-2 with a save and a 3.94 ERA.

Freshman All-American Barrett Astin pitched in a team-high 27 games in 2011 and was 5-2 with three saves and a 2.72 ERA. Redshirt sophomore Trent Daniel appeared in 26 games, all out of the bullpen, and was 2-0 with four saves and a 2.91 ERA. Freshman All-American Nolan Sanburn had a team-leading eight saves and a 2-4 record with a 3.62 ERA in 24 relief outings. Freshman Colby Suggs appeared in 12 games out of the Razorback bullpen and had a 0.90 ERA with a 2-1 record.

Below is a listing of team and individual accolades and accomplishments for the 2011 Arkansas baseball team.

Team Accomplishments

The Razorbacks advanced to a NCAA Regional for the 10th consecutive year and the 24th time in program history. Arkansas won the SEC Western Division title for the fourth time since joining the SEC and the first time since 2007. UA finished the season with a 40-22 overall record, marking the 17th 40-win season in program history and the third straight year of at least 40 wins. Six UA players were selected in the 2011 Major League Baseball First-Year Player Draft. Arkansas has had at least one player drafted each year since 1975 and had multiple players selected in the last 20 drafts. The Arkansas pitching staff finished the season with a 3.20 ERA, the lowest team ERA since 1982, when the Razorbacks had a 3.00 ERA. The 3.20 ERA ranked fourth in the SEC and 28th in the country. Arkansas set a new school record with 20 saves in the 2011 season. The Razorbacks eclipsed the 100 stolen base mark for the 15th time since 1968 and the first time since 2005. The 122 stolen bases in 2011 led the SEC and was the sixth highest single-season total in school history. Arkansas finished the 2011 season ranked sixth in the country in steals and 12th nationally with 1.97 stolen bases per game. Arkansas set a new single-game Baum Stadium attendance record (both actual and paid) on April 9 against LSU with a paid attendance of 11,462 and an actual attendance of 11,103. Four of the top nine actual attendances in Baum Stadium history came during the 2011 season.

Barrett Astin

Appeared in a team-leading 27 games, finishing the season with five wins, which ranked second on the team, and three saves, which was tied for third SEC Freshman of the Week – May 23 Louisville Slugger Freshman All-American NCBWA Freshman All-American

DJ Baxendale

Finished the season with a 10-2 record, becoming the first Razorback to win 10 or more games in a season since 2007 when Nick Schmidt won 11 games Had a 1.58 ERA, which was the lowest to end a season since 2004 when Boyd Goodner had a 1.50 ERA and ranks as the fifth lowest in school history Selected for USA Baseball Collegiate National Team Second Team All-SEC SEC Baseball Community Service Team USA Baseball Golden Spikes Award Semifinalist Tempe Regional All-Regional Team

Bo Bigham

Finished the season second on the team in hits (69), runs scored (41) and was third with 17 stolen bases.

Tim Carver

Led the Razorbacks with 24 stolen bases in 29 attempts.

Trent Daniel

Ranked second on the team with 26 appearances and had a 2-0 record with four saves, which was second on the team, and a 2.91 ERA Drafted in 2011 MLB Draft – Detroit Tigers, 23rd Round

Geoffrey Davenport

Drafted in 2011 MLB Draft – Cleveland Indians, 43rd Round

Dominic Ficociello

Led the team in batting average (.335), hits (75), doubles (15), and RBI (50) Tied the UA freshman record for hits in a season with 75 hits SEC Freshman of the Week – April 11 Selected for USA Baseball Collegiate National Team SEC All-Freshman Team SEC All-Defensive Team Louisville Slugger Freshman All-American NCBWA Freshman All-American

Collin Kuhn

Scored a team-high 44 runs, ranked second on the team with seven homers and 22 stolen bases and third in RBI with 44 Played flawlessly in the field, not committing an error in 147 chances and recording six outfield assists Drafted in 2011 MLB Draft – Chicago White Sox, 17th Round

James McCann

Finished the season second on the team with a .306 batting average and also ranked second with 14 doubles Collegiate Baseball Third Team Preseason All-American Johnny Bench Award Semifinalist SEC Baseball Scholar-Athlete of the Year SEC Tournament All-Tournament Team Drafted in 2011 MLB Draft – Detroit Tigers, 2nd Round

Jarrod McKinney

Finished the 2011 season with a .301 batting average, which ranked third on the team Drafted in 2011 MLB Draft – Houston Astros, 31st Round Tempe Regional All-Regional Team

Brandon Moore

Ranked second on the pitching staff with 70.1 innings pitched and finished his freshman year with a 4-1 record and a 3.45 ERA.

Matt Reynolds

Finished fourth on the team with 16 stolen bases and was only caught stealing twice

Kyle Robinson

Led the Razorbacks with 10 home runs and was second with 49 RBI. Also paced the team in triples (4), total bases (108) and slugging percentage (.507). SEC Player of the Week – March College Baseball Hall of Fame National All-Star Lineup – March 7 SEC Player of the Week – April 18 SEC Tournament All-Tournament Team Drafted in 2011 MLB Draft – Chicago White Sox, 28th Round

Nolan Sanburn

Had a team-high eight saves, which ranks in a tie for eighth in school annals Ranked third on the team with 24 appearances NCBWA Stopper of the Year Midseason Watch List Louisville Slugger Freshman All-American

Ryne Stanek

Held opposing hitters to a .213 batting average in 64 innings of work Earned a complete game victory against Charlotte at the NCAA Tempe Regional and became the first Razorback freshman pitcher to go the distance since Nick Schmidt had a complete game win against Texas on June 4, 2005 Tempe Regional All-Regional Team

Colby Suggs

Held opposing hitters to a .113 batting average, allowing just eight hits in 20 innings Finished the season with a 2-1 record and a 0.90 ERA



Sports Category : Baseball