FAYETTEVILLE – Off to its best start since the 2006 season, the Arkansas baseball team looks to continue its winning ways as it hosts McNeese State on Tuesday and Wednesday at Baum Stadium. First pitch for both games is slated for 3:05 p.m.Both games against the Cowboys will be available through the RazorVision portal on ArkansasRazorbacks.com and on the Razorback Baseball Radio Network from IMG College. Three-time Arkansas Sportscaster of the Year Chuck Barrett (play-by-play) and former Arkansas Sports Information Director Rick Schaeffer (analyst) will call both games. Live stats and a live blog for both games will be available on ArkansasRazorbacks.com.The Razorbacks, ranked as high as No. 16 in the country, have started the season 6-0 after three-game sweeps of Delaware State and Utah. The 6-0 start marks the best start for Arkansas since the 2006 season when the Hogs opened the year with nine straight wins. Last weekend, Arkansas claimed a pair of one-run victories in the first two games against the Utes, before closing the series with a 10-1 win on Sunday.Kyle Robinson leads the Razorback offense, hitting a team-best .458 with eight RBI. James McCann is batting .333 with five runs driven in, while Matt Reynolds is hitting .304 with six RBI and six runs scored.Junior left-handed pitcher Geoffrey Davenport is scheduled to start Tuesday’s game. Davenport, who will be making his third start of the season, is 1-0 on the year with a 5.40 ERA. In his most recent start Saturday vs. Utah, Davenport allowed three runs on three hits over 3.1 innings. The Razorbacks have not announced a starter for Wednesday’s game.
The Arkansas bullpen is off to a strong start in 2011, allowing just one run in 23 innings pitched so far this season for a 0.39 ERA. Sophomore righty DJ Baxendale leads the Razorback bullpen. Baxendale appeared in two games during the Utah series, earning a win in the series opener and picking up his first save of the season in the second game. Baxendale has yet to allow a run in 9.1 innings pitched this season, while striking out 13 batters. Sophomore southpaw Cade Lynch has also been spotless in two relief appearances, throwing six innings on the season and fanning nine hitters. Sophomore left-handed pitcher Randall Fant has not allowed a run in two outings, while freshman right hander Barrett Astin is 1-0 with a 1.93 ERA in two appearances out of the bullpen.McNeese State enters the midweek series with a 3-5 record and a 0-1 record away from home. The Cowboys have lost three of their last four games and are coming off a series against Louisiana Tech where they lost two out of three games.
The Cowboys are hitting .273 as a team through the first eight games of the season. Preseason all-Southland Conference selection Lee Orr leads McNeese State with a .484 batting average and eight RBI. Jace Peterson is hitting .367 with three triples, five RBI and a team-best 13 runs scored. Seth Granger has driven in a team-high nine runs and is hitting .306.
On the mound, McNeese State has compiled a 5.55 ERA. Senior left-handed pitcher Phil Parcell is scheduled to start Tuesday’s series opener. Parcell has appeared in three games in 2011 and is 0-0 with a 6.43 ERA. The Cowboys have not announced a starter for Wednesday’s game.
Jordan Legros has made four appearances out of the McNeese State bullpen and has an 0-1 record with a save and a 1.50 ERA. Legros has struck out 12 batters in six innings. Ryan Sampere has also made four outings in relief and has a 0-0 record with a 4.15 ERA.
Arkansas and McNeese State have played seven times previously with the Razorbacks owning a 5-2 edge in the all-time series. Arkansas is 3-2 against McNeese when playing at home. Last season, the Razorbacks won a pair of one-run games at McNeese State, winning 3-2 and 7-6.