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Arkansas Hosts Georgia in SEC Home Opener

BY ANDRES FOCIL
Arkansas Hosts Georgia in SEC Home Opener

Game 23: #11 Arkansas vs. #25 Georgia

Friday., March 24, 6:35 p.m. – Baum Stadium

Probable Starting Pitchers

UA: 33 Nick Schmidt, LHP (4-1, 1.69 ERA)

UGA: 14 Brooks Brown, RHP (2-1, 3.00 ERA)

Game 24: #11 Arkansas vs. #25 Georgia

Saturday, March 25, 4:05 p.m. – Baum Stadium

Probable Starting Pitchers

UA: 45 Charley Boyce, RHP (2-0, 3.38 ERA)

UGA: 49 Mickey Westphal, LHP (2-0, 3.86 ERA)

Game 25: #11 Arkansas vs. #25 Georgia

Sunday, March 26, 12:35 p.m. – Baum Stadium

Probable Starting Pitchers

UA: 7 Trey Holloway, LHP (2-0, 3.32 ERA)

UGA: 17 Trevor Holder, RHP (2-0, 3.00 ERA)

Arkansas Hosts Georgia in SEC Home Opener

No. 11 Arkansas wraps up its five-game homestand with No. 25 Georgia this weekend at Baum Stadium. The Bulldogs come to town for the Hogs’ SEC-home opener on Friday at 6:35 p.m. The series continues at 4:05 p.m. on Saturday and wraps up at 12:35 p.m. Sunday.

The Razorback Baseball Radio Network will carry all three games with Chuck Barrett and Rick Schaeffer calling the action. RazorZone will also have live audio and a live webcast all weekend.

It will be the first meeting between the Razorbacks (19-3) and Bulldogs (15-4) since 2003. Arkansas took two-of-three games from UGA at Baum Stadium that year and hold a 14-7 edge in the all-time series. The Hogs have won 10-of-12 games against Georgia in Fayetteville.

Both teams are 1-2 in conference action after the opening weekend of play. Georgia lost the first two games to Alabama in Athens, while Razorbacks dropped two games at Florida.

The pitching rotations are set for the weekend series with Hogs’ ace Nick Schmidt taking the mound on Friday night opposite Georgia’s right-hander Brooks Brown. The left-handed Schmidt is 4-1 on the season with a 1.69 ERA and 43 strikeouts in 37.1 innings while Brown is 2-1 with a 3.00 ERA and 37 Ks in 30 innings of work.

Saturday will pit Arkansas’ veteran right-hander Charley Boyce against the Bulldogs’ LHP Mickey Westphal. Boyce is 2-0 and coming off three impressive starts where he has walked just two batters in 18.1 innings. Westphal is 2-0 with a 3.86 ERA in 16.1 innings this season.

Arkansas sends left-hander Trey Holloway to the hill on Sunday. He is 2-0 on the season after his first start in almost two years netted him a 3-2 win at No. 13 Florida last Saturday. RHP Trevor Holder will get the start for Georgia. He is 2-0 with a 3.00 ERA after beating Alabama 6-4 last Sunday.

Arkansas is hitting .310 as a team and scoring 7.5 runs per contest while the pitching staff boasts a 2.72 ERA with opponents hitting just .229. Georgia enters the series scoring 7.6 runs per game with a .312 batting average. The Bulldog pitching staff has a 3.58 team ERA and a .243 opponent batting average while striking out 7.2 batters per game and issuing 2.7 walks.

Scouting the Bulldogs

Georgia enters the weekend with a 15-4 record after a 14-7 win over Georgia State on Wednesday evening. The Bulldogs are 1-2 in SEC play after losing two-of-three games to Alabama at home last weekend. This will be UGA’s second road trip of the season. They went 1-2 at Southern California in early March. The Bulldogs are coached by David Perno who is in this fifth year at his alma mater.

The UGA offense is hitting at a .312 clip overall and .227 in conference play. The Dogs are averaging 7.6 runs and 11.1 hits per game this season. Matt Robbins leads the Georgia attack with a .397 average. Matthew Dunn is close behind with a .362 mark followed by Jason Jacobs .359 average. Josh Morris leads the team in home runs with six while Gordon Beckham paces UGA with 19 RBI.

The Bulldogs’ rotation will feature right-handers Brooks Brown on Friday and Trevor Holder on Sunday. Left-hander Mickey Westphal will take the hill on Saturday. Brown boasts a 2-1 record and a 3.00 ERA in a team-high 30 innings. He has struck out 37 and walked 11 in five starts. Westphal is 2-0 on the season in three starts. He has a 3.86 ERA and 11 strikeouts to six walks. Holder will be making his third start of the season on Sunday and his seventh appearance. He is 2-0 with a 3.00 ERA in 18 innings of work. Westphal has struck out six and walked two.

The Series – This weekend’s series marks the first time the Bulldogs and the Razorbacks have met on the baseball diamond since the 2003 season. Arkansas won the 2003 series (2-1) and lead the all-time series 14-7. The first meeting between the two schools took place at the 1987 College World Series where the Hogs captured a 5-4 win. UA has won 10-of-12 games over UGA in Fayetteville, while Georgia holds a 5-3 lead in Athens.

A Look at the Razorbacks’ Rotation

Friday – Nick Schmidt, LHP (4-1, 1.47 ERA) – Schmidt dropped his first decision of the year at Florida as two throwing errors (one by Schmidt) led to a come-from-behind Gator win. Schmidt is looking to even his SEC record and win his fifth game of the season against UGA. He has two wins over ranked opponents this season (TCU and Hawai’i). Schmidt allowed his first three hits of the 2006 season against Louisiana Tech on Feb. 24 in the second game of a doubleheader with the Bulldogs. He tossed 13.2 hitless innings to open the season. Opposing hitters are now hitting .129 off Schmidt this season in 37.1 innings.

Saturday – Charley Boyce (2-0, 3.38 ERA) – Boyce will be making his 52nd career start as a Razorback on Saturday against the Bulldogs. He picked up a no decision on Sunday, March 19, at Florida as two seventh inning throwing errors helped erase a 7-0 Arkansas lead. Boyce allowed just one earned run to the Gators over six innings. He has not walked a batter in his last two starts. He has also lowered his ERA from 5.14 to 3.39 over the last two starts.

Sunday – Trey Holloway, LHP (2-0, 3.32 ERA) – Holloway made his first start in almost two years on short notice last Saturday to earn a 3-2 win over No. 13 Florida. Holloway threw 5.1 innings, allowing just two runs on a home run by Gavin Dickey. He did not walk a batter and gave up just four hits.

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 16 hits and seven earned runs in 37.1 innings this season. That translates to a 1.69 ERA and a .129 opponent batting average. He has 43 strikeouts (including 10 vs. La. Tech & 11 at Florida).

Hamblin Scorching

Razorbacks’ junior first baseman Danny Hamblin is on a tear of late to take over the SEC lead in RBI with 32. Hamblin is hitting .360 on the season and leading the Hogs with six home runs, a .640 slugging percentage and a SEC-best five sacrifice flies.

Hamblin had a 14-game hitting streak until this past Sunday. He has hit in 18-of-22 games this season and has also recorded an RBI in 18-of-22 games. Hamblin leads the team in multiple-RBI games with 11 and is second in multiple-hit games with eight.

Ewing X2

Arkansas’ James Ewing in not the only freshman named Ewing to be making a splash on the college baseball scene in his rookie campaign. James has an identical-twin brother, Michael, who is starting at first base for the Southern Miss Golden Eagles.

James, UA’s starting second baseman, is leading the Hogs in hitting with a .382 batting average while driving in 10 runs and collecting three doubles.

Michael is hitting .328 for Southern Miss with two home runs and 11 RBI in 18 starts.

OPS Becoming Telling Stat

OPS or on-base percentage plus slugging percentage has become a popular way of better using statistics to identify a players true productivity at the plate. The following is a quick look at Arkansas’ top hitters according to OPS.

Player On-Base % Slugging % OPS

Craig Gentry .705 .490 1.195

Danny Hamblin .640 .417 1.057

Chris Hollensworth .582 .462 1.044

Jake Dugger .534 .438 .972

Stephen Robison .474 .460 .934

Matt Willard .462 .459 .921

James Ewing .436 .485 .921

Razorbacks in the National Polls

Arkansas slipped a little this week after losing two games to No. 13 Florida in Gainesville. The Hogs dropped one spot to 10th in the Baseball America poll and two spots in the USA Today/ESPN Coaches’ poll to No. 10. The Razorbacks held steady in the Collegiate Baseball rankings at No. 10

Arkansas fell to No. 8 in the National Collegiate Baseball Writers Association poll. The Razorbacks fell the most in the two internet polls with SEBaseball.com dropping the Razorbacks six spots to No. 10 and RosenblattReport.com moving UA down four places to No. 11.

Boyce Looking for Career Win No. 30

Arkansas senior right-hander Charley Boyce will be looking to become only the second Razorback pitcher in school history to record 30 win over a career. Scott Tabor (1979-82), the school’s all-time wins leader with 34, is the only other Hog to accomplish the feat.

Boyce has a career record of 29-18 and a 2-0 mark this season. He posted six wins in 2003, 10 wins in 2004 and 11 wins as a junior last season.

Newcomers Shining for Hogs

Several newcomers have stepped into the everyday lineup and pitching rotation to help Arkansas open with a 16-1 record.

James Ewing, a true freshman from Beaumont, Texas, has flourished early in his Razorback career. He is leading the team with a .382 batting average. Ewing has won the everyday job at second base. He has three doubles and 10 RBI.

Redshirt freshman Matt Willard made the most of his redshirt season and has come out smoking in year two. The Newtown, Pa., native is hitting .365 with two doubles, a home run and eight RBI. With the loss of John Henry Marquardt, Willard is now the Hogs’ starting shortstop.

David Hum and Wayne Hrozek have shared the DH duties in 2006. Hum has 10 starts and a .243 batting average while Hrozek is hitting .367.

Junior college transfer Chris Rhoads has thrown quality innings for the Hogs’ as a starter early in the season and now out of the bullpen. The right-hander is 3-1 with a 3.27 ERA and one save in 22 innings of work.

Gentry Sparking the Hogs’ Offense

Arkansas center fielder Craig Gentry returned to the Razorbacks’ lineup March 10 against Cal State Northridge. The senior had missed eight starts with a broken hand. Since that time Gentry has been on fire with a .429 batting average, five doubles, a triple, a home run and six RBI. He has swiped six bases and laid down two sacrifice bunts.

Arkansas Running Wild Again This Season

Dave Van Horn’s Razorbacks are up to their old tricks again this season. Arkansas has swiped 44 bases in 62 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 Hogs would need to average 2.77 stolen bases per game in a 56-game regular season to surpass the 1983 club.

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 starts with 51.

He is just 10.2 innings shy of Scott Tabor’s school record of 368 innings pitched. Boyce has thrown 357.1 innings in his Razorback career. Boyce is second in career victories (29) and third in career appearances (74). He is also eighth in career strikeouts with 215. Boyce has a career ERA of 3.40.

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.

Collis & Maday Handling Closer Duties

Senior left-hander Devin Collis and right-hander Daryl Maday have provided an effective 1-2 punch closing out games for the Razorbacks.

Collis quickly took hold of the role as the Hogs’ closer. The St. Charles, Mo., native has four saves and a 1.93 ERA, eight strikeouts and two walks in 14 innings.

Maday earned the first save of his career in the season opener against George Mason. The Bristol, Wis., native served as a setup man for several weeks before beginning to share the closers role with Collis. Maday also has five saves this season after saving the Hogs’ 3-2 win at Florida on March 18. He has a 0.93 ERA in 9.2 innings this season.

Game-Winning Hits

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.

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 80-12 (.870) in regular-season non-conference games since Van Horn arrived in 2003 and 42-2 (.955) since the beginning of the 2005 season.

Arkansas has been even better at home with a 50-3 mark in non-conference games since 2003 and 21-0 at home in non-conference game since the start of 2005. The Hogs have won 23 straight non-conference games at Baum Stadium dating back to a 6-4 loss to Oral Roberts on April 13, 2004.

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.

Schmidt 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.

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.

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

All three of this weekend’s games with Georgia will be webcast 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 be 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.

• He was also named the 15th-best sophmore prospect by Baseball America.

• 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.

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.

Hogs Believed to Lead Country in Actual Attendance in 2005

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 at 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: Georgia Release.pdf



Sports Category : Baseball