FAYETTEVILLE – The University of Arkansas baseball team continued to collect individual accolades as the American Baseball Coaches Association (ABCA) and Rawlings released its group of 2010 honorees. Zack Cox and Brett Eibner are members of the ABCA/Rawlings Division I All-America team. Cox was named the second-team third baseman while Eibner occupies the utility position for the third team.
In addition to its All-America listing, the ABCA/Rawlings All-South Region Team was released. Cox and Eibner were selected to the first team and Drew Smyly was chosen as a second-team performer. Arkansas, along with Auburn and Louisville, led all teams in the region with three players selected from their respective clubs.
Cox turned in an outstanding season at the plate during his sophomore campaign. The Louisville, Ky., native leads the Southeastern Conference with his school-record .429 batting average. He opened the 2010 season with a 24-game hitting streak and followed that streak with a hit in 14 consecutive games. Cox hit safely in 55 of 59 games this season with a team-high 35 multi-hit efforts. He also turned in a career-high six RBI this season against Alabama. Cox also set Arkansas’ single-season record with 102 hits, becoming the first Razorback to eclipse the 100-hit mark. He broke the previous tally of 97 hits by Matt Erickson in 1996. In addition to leading the SEC in batting average, he is second in on-base percentage (.505), third in hits (102), fourth in runs scored (67), eighth in slugging percentage (.609) and tied for tenth in total bases (145). Cox finished the 2010 season with nine home runs, 14 doubles and career-high 48 RBI. In his third season in Cardinal and White, Eibner enjoyed a career season at the plate. He paced the Hogs’ offensive output with 22 home runs and 71 RBI, both career-high figures. The Houston, Texas, native also posted a .333 batting average, 17 doubles and 66 runs scored. His 22 home runs this season are tied for the second most by a Razorback in program history (Danny Hamblin, 2007). As a two-way threat for Arkansas, Eibner had three wins on the mound and picked up his first career save this season. He tallied a season-high 10 strikeouts in a five-inning outing at Mississippi State. Eibner opened the conference season with two home runs on the road against LSU to help the Razorbacks to the win. He finished the season with three multi-homer games, including a three-home run performance against Grambling in Arkansas’ opening game of Fayetteville Regional. He is the ninth player in program history to hit three home runs in a game. In addition to the three home runs against the Tigers, Eibner also registered a career-high seven RBI and five runs scored. He has also moved into a tie for third place on Arkansas’ all-time home runs list with 42 career blasts.
Smyly was selected as one of the three starting pitchers for the all-region second team. He finished the season with a 9-1 record and a 2.80 ERA in 18 appearances. Smyly’s win total and ERA are the fourth- and second-best marks in the SEC, respectively. He is second in the conference with 114 strikeouts and held opposing hitters to a .224 batting average, the fourth-lowest mark in the SEC. He is the sixth Arkansas player to pass the 100-strikeout figure in one season and ranks fifth on the Razorback single-season list. Smyly also won six consecutive starts during SEC play.
The Little Rock, Ark., native tossed his first career complete game April 16 in a 10-2 win over Georgia. He added a second complete-game performance April 30 against Auburn, the SEC’s top offense. Smyly is the first Razorback pitcher with at least two complete games in one season since Nick Schmidt (5) and Jess Todd (2) during the 2007 season. In addition to an 11-strikeout effort against Wisconsin-Milwaukee, he also tallied 10 strikeouts against Florida, a career high during an SEC game.