Game 15: Arkansas vs. Cal State Northridge
Fri., March 10, 12:35 p.m. – Baum Stadium
Probable Starting Pitchers
UA: 33 Nick Schmidt, LHP (4-0, 0.69 ERA)
CSN: 30 Craig Baker, RHP (3-2, 3.51 ERA)
Game 16: Arkansas vs. Cal State Northridge
Sat., March 11, 12:05 p.m. – Baum Stadium
Probable Starting Pitchers
UA: 45 Charley Boyce, RHP (1-0, 5.14 ERA)
CSN: Edwin Quirarte, RHP (2-3, 6.60 ERA)
Game 17: Arkansas vs. Cal State Northridge
Sun., March 12, 12:35 p.m. – Baum Stadium
Probable Starting Pitchers
UA: 30 Chris Rhoads, RHP (3-1, 3.00 ERA)
CSN: 18 Chuckie Fick, RHP (1-4, 4.56 ERA)
Arkansas Host Cal State Northridge
Arkansas returns home for its final non-conference series of the 2006 season against Cal State Northridge this weekend at Baum Stadium. The 10th-ranked Razorbacks are 13-1 after going 4-1 at the First Hawai’i Title Rainbow Baseball Tournament in Honolulu last week.
It will be a full weekend for Razorback athletics between the Hogs’ series with the Matadors and the NCAA Indoor Track and Field Championships next door to Baum Stadium at the Randal Tyson Indoor Track Center.
The Hogs’ series with Northridge begins on Friday at 12:35 p.m. and continues at 12:05 p.m. on Saturday. The series finale on Sunday has been moved up to 12:35 p.m. to accommodate the Matadors’ travel schedule.
The Razorbacks enter the final non-conference weekend of the 2006 season with a 37-2 record in non-conference action since the beginning of the 2005 season. That equates to a .949 winning percentage, including a perfect 16-0 non-conference record at Baum Stadium.
Nick Schmidt (4-0) will take the mound in the series opener on Friday. The left-hander is turning heads across the nation with a 0.69 ERA and a .062 opponent batting average. He has allowed just five hits in 26 innings while striking out 29. CSUN will counter with RHP Craig Baker (3-2, 3.51 ERA).
Charley Boyce (1-0) will make his 50th career start in a Razorback uniform on Saturday against the Matadors’ RHP Edwin Quirarte (2-3, 6.60 ERA). Chris Rhoads (3-1) will go to the hill on Sunday after shaky performances in Hawai’i. Rhoads has a 3.00 ERA in 18 innings this season and will face off with Cal State Northridge’s RHP Chuckie Fick (1-4, 4.56 ERA).
The Razorbacks’ offense is off to a roaring start this season, scoring eight runs per game and pounding out almost 11 hits per game. That high-powered offense is a perfect compliment to the Hogs’ pitching staff that boasts a 2.30 ERA and a .206 opponent batting average.
This will be the first meeting between the Razorbacks and Matadors on the baseball diamond.
Tough to Beat Out of Conference
The Razorbacks have been nearly unbeatable in non-conference action in head coach Dave Van Horn’s four-year tenure and even tougher over the past two seasons. Arkansas is 75-12 (.862) in regular-season non-conference games since Van Horn arrived in 2003 and 37-2 (.949) since the beginning of the 2005 season.
Arkansas has been even better at home with a 45-3 mark in non-conference games since 2003 and 16-0 at home in non-conference game since the start of 2005. The Hogs have won 18 straight non-conference games at Baum Stadium dating back to a 6-4 loss to Oral Roberts on April 13, 2004.
Scouting the Matadors
Cal State Northridge enters the weekend with a 9-10 record after losing two-of-three games to Oklahoma State in Stillwater, Okla., last weekend. The Matadors have played a tough non-conference slate in 2006 with series against Arizona State, Washington and Oklahoma State. CSUN dropped two-of-three games in all three of those series.
Brett Blumenthal is leading the Matadors at the plate with a .397 batting average and 20 RBI. His two home runs are tied for the team lead along with Jorge Andrade, Jr. and Steve Lemmon. Jonathan Sakurai is the Matadors biggest threat on the base paths with seven stolen bases in seven attempts. Scott Lyons is second on the team in hitting with a .333 average and second in RBI with 10. Northridge is hitting .268 as a team and scoring six runs per game.
The Cal State Northridge pitching staff boasts a 5.36 ERA while striking out 8.2 hitters per nine innings and holding opponents to a .270 batting average. The Matadors will start RHP Craig Baker on Friday. Baker is 3-2 on the season with a 3.51 ERA. RHP Edwin Quirarte will take the hill on Saturday with a 2-3 record and a 6.60 ERA. RHP Chuckie Fick is slated to start the series finale on Sunday. Fick is 1-4 on the year with a 4.56 ERA.
A Look at the Razorbacks’ Rotation
Friday – Nick Schmidt, LHP (4-0, 0.69 ERA) – Schmidt returns to his Friday role in the Razorbacks’ rotation. He is 4-0 on the season after holding then-No. 24 Hawai’i to two hits over seven innings. He allowed his first three hits of the 2006 season against Louisiana Tech in the second game of a doubleheader with the Bulldogs on Friday, Feb. 24. However, the outing may have been his most dominating as the 6-foot, 5-inch left-hander went a season-best seven innings, allowing two runs – one earned – but striking out 10 and walking just one. Opposing hitters are now hitting .062 off Schmidt this season in 26 innings.
Saturday – Charley Boyce (1-0, 5.14 ERA) – Boyce will be making his 50th career start as a Razorback on Saturday against the Matadors. He earned his first win of the season against Texas-Arlington in Hawai’i. Boyce scattered four hits over 5.2 innings. He is inching back to a normal pitch count after offseason injuries limited his work over the first several starts of the season.
Sunday – Chris Rhoads, RHP (3-1, 3.00 ERA) – Rhoads struggled for the first time this season in two starts at the Rainbow Baseball Tournament in Honolulu last week. He lasted just two-thirds of an inning against Washington in the opener to suffer the Hogs’ first loss of the season. Rhoads made his second start in Hawai’i on Saturday, March 4. He threw better but was pulled after two innings of work where he allowed one run on five hits.
Looking Back at the Rainbow Baseball Tournament
Arkansas captured its third tournament title of the 2006 season with a 4-1 record at the First Hawai’i Title Rainbow Baseball Tournament last week in Honolulu, Hawai’i. The Hogs overcame a tournament opening loss to Washington to win four straight and claim the title.
Washington 5, #11 Arkansas 2 – Arkansas spotted Washington four runs in the first inning with poor defense and that was all Huskies’ ace Tim Lincecum would need. The Hogs dropped their first game of the season with the 5-2 loss. Danny Hamblin’s sixth-inning two-run double was the only chink in Lincecum’s armor as the flame-throwing right-hander stuck out eight.
#11 Arkansas 12, Texas-Arlington 4 – Danny Hamblin continued his Hawai’i show by tying his career high with five RBI, including the second multiple home run game of his career. On the mound Charley Boyce threw 5.2 innings, allowing just two runs on four hits to record his first win of the season.
#11 Arkansas 5, #24 Hawai’i 1 – Nick Schmidt continued his dominate ways on the mound holding No. 24 Hawai’i to one run on two hits while striking out six in seven innings of work. Danny Hamblin, James Ewing and Blake Parker all drove in runs as the Hogs overcame a hostile UH crowd for the win.
#11 Arkansas 5, Texas-Arlington 3 – Arkansas won a tighter-than-expected game with Texas-Arlington on Friday with the help of Danny Hamblin’s third home run of the tournament. Shaun Seibert turned in five-strong innings for his second win of the season.
#11 Arkansas 7, Texas-Arlington 1 – The Razorbacks finished off the Rainbow Baseball Tournament with a 7-1 win over UTA on Saturday. The win gave the Hogs the tournament title with a 4-1 record. Danny Hamblin went 3 for 5 with two RBI and two doubles to led Arkansas. Brian McLelland earned the win out of the bullpen with 2.2-scoreless innings.
Schmidt Becoming Household Name
Sophomore left-hander Nick Schmidt is quickly becoming a household name in college baseball. The St. Louis native, had the country buzzing after opening the season with 13.2 hitless innings that included a combined no-hitter against traditional-power Oklahoma State.
Schmidt has only allowed five hits and two earned runs in 26 innings this season. That translates to a 0.69 ERA and a .062 opponent batting average. He has 29 strikeouts (including 10 vs. Louisiana Tech) and just 10 walks. All five of Schmidt’s hits have been singles.
Razorbacks’ junior first baseman Danny Hamblin is on a tear of late to take over the SEC lead in RBI with 22. Hamblin batted .450 with three home runs, three doubles and 12 RBI at the Rainbow Baseball Tournament en route to Most Outstanding Player honors.
Hamblin has hit in 12 straight games and produced a RBI in 10 straight games. He leads the team in multiple RBI games with seven and has recorded at least one RBI in 12-of-14 games this season.
Just Call Him Chris “Two Bags” Hollensworth
Senior Chris Hollensworth has been ripping double after double over this season to lead the Razorbacks with a .432 batting average and an astonishing 10 doubles in just 44 at bats. The right fielder has over a quarter (10 of 47) of Arkansas’ doubles this season after producing just three in 77 at bats last season.
His .432 batting average not only leads the team but ranks fifth in the SEC, while his 10 doubles leads the conference. Hollensworth also leads the team and ranks second in the SEC in runs scored with 16.
The Razorbacks have three players with hitting streaks that have reached at least seven games. Junior first baseman Danny Hamblin leads the way with a 12-game streak. He has hit safely in 13 of the Hogs first 14 games this season. Fellow junior Blake Parker has a career-best 10-game hitting streak in play while Chris Hollensworth has hit in seven straight games.
The surprise of the bunch just might be the other two Hogs’ with five-game hitting streaks. Redshirt freshman Matt Willard and true freshman James Ewing have five-game hit streaks going. The frosh duo have hit in every game they have played in an Arkansas uniform. Willard is hitting a cool .438 this season, while Ewing is close behind at .429.
Newcomers Shining for Hogs
Several newcomers have stepped into the everyday lineup and pitching rotation to help Arkansas open with a 13-1 record.
Junior college transfer Chris Rhoads has been outstanding in the Hogs’ starting rotation. The right-hander is 3-1 with a 3.00 ERA in 18 innings of work. Rhoads has struck out 17 and walked just one batter.
Redshirt freshman Matt Willard made the most of his redshirt season and has come out smoking in year two. The New Place, Pa., native is hitting .385 with two doubles and five RBI while making starts at second base, third base and shortstop.
James Ewing, a true freshman from Beaumont, Texas, has flourished in his playing time with early on in his Razorback career. He is hitting .371 in nine starts spread between second base, third base and shortstop. Ewing has two doubles and six RBI.
David Hum and Wayne Hrozek have shared the designated hitter duties and came through with big hits. Hum has five starts and a .211 batting average after cooling off in Hawai’i while Hrozek is hitting .333 in six starts this season.
Razorbacks Climb in National Polls
Arkansas climbed once again in the national polls this week after improving to 13-1 on the season and winning the Rainbow Baseball Tournament last week in Honolulu. The Hogs moved up one spot in the Baseball America to No. 10 while Collegiate Baseball finally took notice of the Hogs and moved them up nine spots to No. 10.
The NCBWA moved UA up one spot to No. 8 and the ESPN/USA Today Coaches’ Poll has the Hogs at No. 10, up four places from last week. SEBaseball.com has the Razorbacks ranked the highest at No. 5 with RosenblattReport.com listing the Hogs at No. 8.
Gentry to Miss Two Weeks with Broken Hand
Arkansas center fielder Craig Gentry should return to the Razorbacks’ lineup at some point during the Cal State Northridge series. The senior has missed eight starts with the broken hand, but has made two appearances as a pinch runner while injured.
Gentry injured the hand in practice on Wednesday, Feb. 15, when he was hit on the hand in practice. He was x-rayed again on Tuesday, March 7, and given clearance to play as long as there in no new pain in the hand.
Schmidt Named Pro-Line Cap National Pitcher of the Week
Nick Schmidt added to his long list of honors on Tuesday, Feb. 14, when the National Collegiate Baseball Writers Association (NCBWA) named the Arkansas left-hander the Pro-Line Cap National Pitcher of the Week. He also captured SEC Pitcher of the Week honors for his efforts.
The sophomore from St. Louis, Mo., quickly displaced any notion of a sophomore jinx in his season debut against perennial power Oklahoma State at the Jaguar Invitational in Mobile, Ala. Schmidt started and pitched the first six innings of the 12th no-hitter in school history. He struck out six and walked three on 87 pitches. It was the first time in 71 years of recorded baseball at Oklahoma State that the Cowboys had been held without a hit in a nine-inning game.
The Combined No-Hitter
Nick Schmidt, Brian McLelland and Devin Collis combined for the 12th no-hitter in Arkansas history on Saturday, Feb. 11, against Oklahoma State in the Jaguar Invitational in Mobile, Ala.
Schmidt threw the first six innings before McLelland came on to hold OSU hitless for a frame. Collis carved up the Cowboys over the final two innings. It marked the first time in 71-recorded years of OSU baseball that the Cowboys had been held hitless in a nine-inning game.
The no-hitter was the first for Arkansas since Scott Roehl’s no-no against Kansas State on March 20, 2001, in Shreveport, La. It was the first combined no-hitter since Brian Cook and Brian Dennison teamed up to hold Evangel without a hit on April 2, 1991.
More on all 12 Arkansas no-hitters can be found on page 116 of your 2006 Razorback baseball media guide.
RosenblattReport.com Tabs Schmidt with National Honors
Schmidt was also recognized as the national pitcher of week by RosenblattReport.com on Tuesday, Feb. 14, after his impressive showing against Oklahoma State. RosenblattReport.com was the only outlet to name Schmidt to one of their preseason All-America teams.
Boyce Climbing Up Arkansas’ Record Books
Charley Boyce is climbing up the Arkansas record books each time he takes the field. The senior from Broken Arrow, Okla., is the school’s all-time leader in career games started with 49. Boyce is second in career victories (28), third in career appearances (72) and second in all-time innings pitched (344.2). Boyce is also eighth in career strikeouts with 209. Boyce has a career ERA of 3.47.
His sophomore and junior seasons also rank as some of the best in school history. Boyce’s 11 wins last season are tied for the third-most in a single season, while his 10 victories in 2004 are tied for eighth. His 19 starts in 2004 are tied for the most in school history. Boyce’s 122.1 innings in 2005 are the second-most in a single season in school history, while his 115.1 innings in 2004 rank eighth.
Arkansas Running Wild Again This Season
Dave Van Horn’s Razorbacks are up to their old tricks again this season. Arkansas has swiped 28 bases in 38 attempts for an average of 2.00 per contest. UA was second in the SEC a year ago with 108 stolen bases after leading the league in 2004 with 112 pilfers. The school record for stolen bases in a season is 155 set in 1983. The Razorbacks would need to average 2.77 stolen bases per game in a 56-game regular season to surpass the 1983 club.
Collis Handling Closer Duties
Senior left-hander Devin Collis has quickly taken hold of the role as the Hogs’ closer in 2006. The St. Charles, Mo., native has four saves in six appearances this season with a 1.08 ERA, seven strikeouts and two walks in 8.1 innings. Collis was 2-0 without a save and a 4.69 ERA in 48 innings last season.
Coming through with the game-winning base hit is not an easy thing to do. Here we will track the Razorback players that come through in the clutch this season. Jake Dugger is leading the way for Arkansas this season with four game-winning hits.
Date Opponent Player Result (Inning)
2/11 vs. Oklahoma State Brian Walker 1B, 2 RBI (6th)
2/12 at South Alabama Jake Dugger HR, 2 RBI (6th)
2/17 vs. #18 TCU Wayne Hrozek 2B, 2 RBI (1st)
2/18 vs. Stephen F. Austin Jake Dugger 1B, RBI (3rd)
2/19 at Texas-Pan American Jake Dugger 1B, RBI (5th)
2/24 Louisiana Tech Jake Dugger HR, 2 RBI (6th)
2/25 Louisiana Tech Danny Hamblin 1B, RBI (1st)
3/2 #24 Hawai’i James Ewing 2B, RBI (3rd)
3/3 Texas-Arlington Brian Walker 2B, RBI (4th)
3/4 Texas-Arlington Ben Tschepikow HR, RBI (1st)
Live Stats on Hogwired.com
New and improved live stats for Razorback baseball games are available to everyone on Hogwired.com this season. Up-to-the-minute scoring, boxscores and play-by-plays can be found under the ‘Live Stats’ link on the left side of the Hogwired.com homepage. Once in the live stats page click on the camera icon next to the event you want to follow.
RazorZone to Feature Live Webcast
Both games of Friday’s double header with Louisiana Tech from Baum Stadium will be available live in the RazorZone. The video board feed normally reserved for in-house televisions and suite holders will be streamed in the RazorZone at Hogwired.com. All home games that do not conflict with televised games or the SEC Game of the Week on FSN will be streamed on RazorZone. There will also be selected road games at Florida and LSU that can been seen on the RazorZone. The RazorZone is a subscription package ($9.95 a month) through Hogwired.com that features live audio, video and special features of Razorback athletics.
Preseason Polls Tout Razorbacks
Arkansas is ranked among the nation’s best in the 2006 preseason rankings. Prognosticators have the Hogs anywhere from 14th to 33rd in the preseason polls.
Baseball America ranks the Razorbacks 18th in the nation, while Collegiate Baseball has the Hogs all the way down at 33rd. The NCBWA picked Arkansas at No. 19, while the USA Today/ESPN Coaches’ Poll ranks the Razorbacks 23rd.
The two major internet rankings, SEBaseball.com and RosenblattReport.com have the Hogs ranked 15th and 14th, respectively.
Defending national champion Texas is a consensus preseason No. 1 with Florida or Clemson holding down the No. 2 spot.
Hogs Post 3.15-Team GPA During Fall Semester
The Arkansas baseball team proved they were truly student-athletes during the 2005 fall semester with an impressive 3.15-team grade point average.
The 3.15-team GPA was the highest of any male team on campus with 26 of 41 players earning a 3.0 or better GPA. Razorback position players compiled a 3.27 GPA, while the pitching staff put together a 3.0 GPA during the fall.
Senior right-handed pitcher Charley Boyce and former shortstop Scott Hode received their degrees in December, while Trey Holloway and Josh Smith are scheduled to graduate in May.
Two Hogs, freshmen Taylor Ardoin and Brad Secrist, earned perfect 4.0 GPAs during the fall. Eleven Razorbacks posted GPAs of 3.5 or better during the fall, including Brian Walker (3.91), Thomas Hauskey (3.86), Lee Land (3.83), Brandon Barr (3.83), Brian McLelland (3.82), Hunter London (3.75), Trey Holloway (3.69), Jake Dugger (3.60), Shaun Seibert (3.60), James Ewing (3.60) and Danny Hamblin (3.53).
Hum Granted Release
Freshman transfer David Hum was granted his release by Notre Dame on Wednesday, Feb. 22, and cleared to play two days later. Hum made his first appearance in a Razorback uniform in the second game of a doubleheader with Louisiana Tech on Friday, Feb. 24.
Baseball America’s Preseason Look at the SEC
Baseball America tabbed the Razorbacks 18th nationally headed into the 2006 in its preseason poll. The publication also picked the Hogs second in the SEC’s Western Division behind Mississippi State and just ahead of LSU.
That projected finish also nabs Arkansas a NCAA Tournament according to Baseball America.
On the individual front BA did not name any Hogs to the first-team preseason all-conference team. But several Razorbacks were singled-out by the publication after a polling of the league’s coaches.
• Sophomore LHP Nick Schmidt was named the SEC’s fourth-best prospect in the 2007 MLB Draft.
• Senior center fielder Craig Gentry was selected as the best defensive outfielder in the SEC.
• Senior RHP Charley Boyce was picked to have the best control.
Schmidt Named 15th-Best Sophomore by Baseball America
The Razorbacks left-handed pitcher Nick Schmidt was named the 15th-best sophomore in the country by Baseball America. The publication lists the top 50 collegiate baseball players in each class as chosen by the Major League scouts.
SEBaseball.com Tabs Schmidt Preseason Pitcher of the Year
Sophomore left-handed pitcher Nick Schmidt was named the 2006 Preseason Pitcher of the Year in the Southeastern Conference by SEBaseball.com. Schmidt posted an 8-2 last season with a 2.80 ERA in 99.2 innings. He also led the team in strikeouts with 89.
RosenblattReport.com Selects Schmidt and Hamblin 3rd All-Americans
Danny Hamblin and Nick Schmidt earned preseason All-America honors by RosenblattReport.com.
Hamblin got the nod after leading Arkansas in almost every offensive category as a sophomore. The Rowlett, Texas, native hit .341 with 19 doubles, 10 home runs, a .420 on-base percentage and a .573 slugging percentage.
The left-handed Schmidt was named to the third-team after a stellar freshman campaign. As the Hogs’ No. 1 starter, he posted an 8-2 record with a 2.80 ERA and 89 strikeouts in 99.2 innings. Schmidt was named the SEC Freshman of the Year by SEBaseball.com and was on everyone’s freshmen All-America team in 2005.
Hamblin Named First-Team All-Conference by SEBaseball.com
SEBaseball.com named Arkansas first baseman Danny Hamblin and LHP Nick Schmidt to its first-team preseason All-SEC squad. Schmidt was a freshman All-American a season ago after an 8-2 record, a 2.80 ERA and 89 strikeouts. Hamblin led almost every offensive category for the Razorbacks as a sophomore with a .341 batting average, 19 doubles, 10 home runs and 49 RBI.
The Hogs also had two second-team selections by SEBaseball.com in center fielder Craig Gentry and starting pitcher Charley Boyce. Gentry produced outstanding numbers for the Razorbacks a season ago after taking over in center field in late March. The Fort Smith native hit .311 with 12 doubles and 18 stolen bases. Boyce pitched out of just about every role for the Hogs in 2005, finishing with an 11-10 record and a 3.53 ERA in 122.1 innings.
Florida’s Matt LaPorta was selected as SEBaseball.com’s Hitter of the Year.
Butler Joins Hogs’ Staff
Todd Butler joined the Razorbacks’ staff at the beginning of July as the hitting coach and recruiting coordinator. He came to Arkansas after eight years as an assistant coach for Alabama and three seasons as the head coach at his alma mater McNeese State. He was an assistant coach at Alabama from 1995-2000, helping the Tide to three College World Series appearances and four SEC Tournament Championships. He served as the Crimson Tide’s hitting coach and outfield coach in his first stint in Tuscaloosa.
In 2001, Butler took over the reigns of the McNeese State program and guided the Cowboys to a 90-83 (.520) record in three seasons. He led McNeese State to a Southland Tournament Championship and a trip to the NCAA Houston Regional in 2003. Butler returned to Alabama in the summer of 2003 and has served as the team’s recruiting coordinator, hitting instructor, infield coach and first base coach for the past two seasons.
Bubbs Merrill is now the volunteer assistant and Clay Goodwin assumed the student assistant position.
Hogs Believed to Lead Country in Actual Attendance
The NCAA and Southeastern Conference recognize paid attendance as their method of ranking attendance, but Arkansas keeps both an actual attendance and paid attendance. In 2005, the Razorbacks also set a school record in actual attendance with 146,902 fans showing up at Baum Stadium. That averages out to 5,247 fans per game and is believed to have led the country last season.
In an informal survey by the Baton Rouge (La.) Advocate, Arkansas led all SEC schools in actual attendance. The Razorbacks’ average of 5,247 fans in actual attendance would rank fifth nationally on the NCAA’s paid attendance rankings. LSU finished second in The Advocate’s survey of actual attendance with 3,922 fans per game. Below is a breakdown of both paid and actual attendance at Baum Stadium over the past three seasons and a look ahead to the 2006 season.
Razorbacks Pick Captains for 2005
The Razorbacks selected their 2006 captains by a vote of the team prior to the start of the season. Senior pitcher Charley Boyce, junior first baseman Danny Hamblin and sophomore catcher Brian Walker were chosen to represent the Razorbacks this season.
Player Number Corrections From Media Guide
There are a few numbers changes from your 2006 Arkansas baseball media guide. The new numbers are reflected on the roster page on page seven of this notes package. The corrected numbers are #30 Chris Rhoads, #37 Tommy McClain, #40 Brett Bollman, #43 Hunter London and #44 Brad Secrist.
Download: Cal State Northridge Release.pdf