FAYETTEVILLE – After playing six straight games away from Baum Stadium, the 13th-ranked Arkansas baseball team returns home this weekend to host Georgia in a three-game series. Game times for the weekend series are scheduled for 6:35 p.m. on Friday, 2:05 p.m. on Saturday and 12:05 p.m. on Sunday.
Sunday’s game will be televised by CST, while a live web stream of all three games will be available on RazorVision on ArkansasRazorbacks.com. The web stream for Sunday’s game will be blacked out in areas where CST is available. All three games of the series will be available on the Razorback Baseball Radio Network from IMG. Three-time Arkansas Sportscaster of the Year Chuck Barrett (play-by-play) and former Arkansas Sports Information Director Rick Schaeffer (analyst) will call the action.
Reserved tickets are on sale for Friday and Sunday’s games, while only general admission tickets are available for Saturday’s contest. Reserved tickets are $10 and general admission tickets are $8. Tickets 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.
Promotional giveaways are planned for each game of the weekend series. Friday is Razorback Pen Night, Saturday is Arvest Travel Mug Day and Sunday is Razorback Can Cooler Day.
Arkansas is 22-6 on the 5-4 in Southeastern Conference play. The Razorbacks were swept in a three-game series at LSU last weekend. Arkansas enters the weekend in a tie for third in the SEC West, a game behind division leaders Auburn and LSU. Matt Reynolds
went 4-for-9 in the series against the Tigers with two RBI, while Derrick Bleeker
hit .400 last weekend with a homer and four RBI.
Reynolds leads the Arkansas offense with a .370 batting average on the season with three homers, a team-leading 21 RBI and nine stolen bases. Tim Carver
is hitting .330 through the first 28 games with 15 RBI and a team-best 12 stolen bases. Dominic Ficociello
is also hitting over .300 with a .310 batting average with three homers and 18 RBI.
Arkansas will start sophomore right hander Ryne Stanek
in the series opener on Friday. Stanek has made seven starts this season and has a 6-0 record with a 1.26 ERA. He leads the SEC in ERA and is tied for the lead league in victories. Sophomore righty Barrett Astin
will return to the starting rotation to start Saturday’s game. Astin has pitched in 13 games, including a start in the season’s opening weekend, and has a 2-2 record with a 0.99 ERA. Junior righty DJ Baxendale
will start the finale on Sunday. Baxendale has a 5-1 record with a 5.23 ERA in eight starts.
Georgia enters the weekend with an 18-11 overall record and a 4-5 record in league play. The Bulldogs were scheduled to play at Western Carolina on Tuesday night, but the game was canceled due to inclement weather. In its most recent SEC series, Georgia dropped two of three games to Kentucky last weekend in Athens. The Bulldogs are hitting .287 as a team, while the UGA pitching staff has compiled a 3.36 team ERA.
Curt Powell is hitting a team-best .356 for Georgia with a homer and 11 RBI. Hunter Cole leads the team with six homers and 16 RBI and is hitting .330. Cole has also stolen a team-leading five bases. Brett DeLoach is batting .307 on the year with a homer and 13 RBI, while Conor Welton is batting .302 with 14 RBI.
On the mound, the Bulldogs are scheduled to start sophomore lefty Alex Wood (3-1, 2.55) in the series opener Friday night. Wood ranks in a tie for seventh in the SEC with 44 strikeouts. Senior right hander Michael Palazzone (0-3, 5.03) will start the middle game of the series on Saturday. Freshman righty Pete Nagel (0-0, 3.41) will get the start in the finale on Sunday. Nagel is holding opposing hitters to a .206 batting average, which ranks eighth in the SEC.
Bryan Benzor has pitched in a team-high 15 games out of the Georgia bullpen. Benzor has a 4-1 record with a 3.86 ERA. Blake Dieterich is the Bulldogs’ closer, picking up five saves this season with a 3-1 record and a 0.84 ERA in 13 appearances. Chase Hawkins has made 14 relief appearances and is 2-0 with a 2.05 ERA. Earl Daniels (1-1, 2.25) and Jay Swinford (0-0, 1.42) are also regulars out of the Georgia bullpen.
Arkansas and Georgia have met 43 times previously with the Razorbacks holding a 24-19 edge. Arkansas has a 15-6 lead in games played in Fayetteville. The Razorbacks have won four of the last six games played in the series.
Series Schedule (Times Central and Subject to Change) – Fayetteville, Ark.
Friday, April 5 – 6:35 p.m.
Saturday, April 6 – 2:05 p.m.
Sunday, April 7 – 12:05 p.m.
Live Game Coverage
Television/Webcast: Friday and Saturday – ArkansasRazorbacks.com; Sunday - CST
Radio: Razorback Baseball Radio Network from IMG
Live Stats & Live Blog: ArkansasRazorbacks.com
Reserved tickets are on sale for all three games of the weekend series. Reserved tickets are $10 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.
Friday – Razorback Pen Night
Saturday – Arvest Travel Mug Day
Sunday – Razorback Can Cooler Day
Probable Pitching Matchups
Friday (6:35 p.m.) vs. Georgia
RHP Ryne Stanek
(So., 6-0, 1.26) vs. LHP Alex Wood (So., 3-1, 2.55)
Saturday (2:05 p.m.) vs. Georgia
RHP Barrett Astin
(So., 2-2, 0.99) vs. RHP Michael Palazzone (Sr., 0-3, 5.03)
Sunday (12:05 p.m.) vs. Georgia
RHP DJ Baxendale
(Jr., 5-1, 5.23) vs. RHP Pete Nagel (Fr., 0-0, 3.41)
Arkansas – No. 9 (USA Today/ESPN), No. 11 (NCBWA/Collegiate Baseball), No. 13 (Baseball America)
Georgia – No. 24 (USA Today/ESPN), No. 25 (NCBWA)