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Arkansas Baseball Notebook 2/23

BY ANDRES FOCIL
Arkansas Baseball Notebook 2/23

Feb. 23, 2009Week: 3-0Overall Record: 3-0

Friday, Feb. 20: Arkansas 4, Washington St. 2Friday, Feb. 20: Arkansas 7, Washington St. 5Sunday, Feb. 22: Arkansas 4, Washington St. 3

Noting the RazorbacksFor the second straight season the Razorbacks (3-0), ranked 22nd in the Baseball America poll, posted a season-opening sweep, this time against Pac 10 opponent Washington State at Baum Stadium … Arkansas’ win on Friday afternoon was its 15th straight season opening victory dating back to the 1995 season and 23rd victory in the last 24 seasons … The Razorbacks got great production at the top of the order as the 1-2 combination of Chase Leavitt and Ben Tschepikow combined for 10 hits in 24 at bats (.417) with four runs scored, two RBI, a home run, two stolen bases and two walks … The Razorbacks pounded out 24 hits in the first two games of the series and put up another 10 on Sunday to hit .317 as a team … On the flip side, Arkansas’ pitching held Washington State to just a .175 average for the three games … The Razorbacks used nine pitchers in the three games and the group collected a 2.57 ERA and 26 strike outs … Senior Justin Wells pitched in two games of the series and earned a win and a save in his 4.2 innings of work … Wells allowed just one hit while striking out four … Junior Stephen Richards was also on top of his game as he picked up a save in four innings (two appearances) and struck out five … Sophomore Andy Wilkins leads the Razorbacks with a .444 batting average, going 4-9 in the series with three runs scored, two doubles, a home run, three RBI and four walks … He leads the team in both slugging percentage (1.000) and on-base percentage (.615) … Senior Andrew Darr was sensational against the Cougars as he contributed with two game-winning hits and made two highlight reel plays in left field … Darr hit a walk-off two-run home run to cap Arkansas’ double-header sweep on Friday and got a squeeze bunt down on Sunday afternoon in the bottom of the eighth to allow the winning run to score … In the field, Darr made a leaping catch in the top of the 10th on Friday night at the wall to rob Washington State of a go-ahead home run and came back on Sunday with a diving catch in left to steal another Cougar hit … The Razorbacks continue their tough non-conference schedule this week with a two–game set with Kansas midweek and a three-game weekend series with Western Illinois.

Hitter of the Week NomineeAndrew Darr * SeniorGilbert, Ariz./Mesquite HS/Chandler-Gilbert [Ariz.] JC

* Darr came through in the clutch with two game-winning hits in Arkansas’ sweep of Washington St.* He hit a walk-off two-run home run in the bottom of the 10th on Friday night to complete a doubleheader sweep of the Cougars, then came back on Sunday and delivered a squeeze bunt that scored the decisive run in the bottom of the eighth on Sunday afternoon.* For the weekend, Darr went 3 for 10 with a run scored, three RBI, a double, home run, a sac bunt, .700 slugging percentage and five putouts in left field.* Made two stellar defensive plays in the field to help the Razorbacks sweep the Cougars.* Made a leaping catch at the wall in the top of the 10th of the Friday nightcap to rob Washington State of a go-ahead home run and on Sunday afternoon made a diving catch in left-center field to prevent a leadoff double in the fourth.

Pitcher of the Week NomineeJustin Wells * SeniorBryant, Ark./Bryant HS/Texarkana College* Picked up a win and a save in two appearances out of the bullpen to lead the Razorbacks to an opening weekend sweep of Washington St.* Pitched three innings in the first game of the series and allowed just one hit while striking out three. Washington State’s only base runner against Wells was quickly erased when he picked the runner off first.* Earned the win in the Sunday afternoon sweep by pitching 1.2 innings and striking out one. Facing the minimum five batters, Wells threw just 13 pitches in the game and got out of a mini jam as he entered the contest with a runner on second with one out.* Did not allow his one inherited runner to score and held Washington State to one hit over 4.2 innings (.071 opponent batting average). He struck out four batters in his two appearances.

Freshman of the Week NomineeZack Cox * True FreshmanLouisville, Ky./Pleasure Ridge Park HS* Batted .273 in the Washington St. series both as a designated hitter and as a third baseman.* Had three hits in 11 at bats with a triple, two walks and three runs scored.* His three runs scored tied him for the team lead over the weekend.* Also earned a win in relief on the mound in Arkansas’ second-game win on Friday by pitching one inning and not allowing a base runner.* Made 13 pitches in his one inning of relief, striking out one.* Played the first two games at designated hitter as he nursed a tight back.

Tuesday, Feb. 24: Kansas at Arkansas, 3:05 p.m.Wednesday, Feb. 25: Kansas at Arkansas, 3:05 p.m.Friday, Feb. 27: Western Illinois at Arkansas, 3:05 p.m. Saturday, Feb. 28: Western Illinois at Arkansas, 1:05 p.m. Sunday, March 1: Western Illinois at Arkansas, 1:05 p.m.



Sports Category : Baseball