BIRMINGHAM, Ala. – Arkansas freshman pitcher Barrett Astin has been named the Southeastern Conference Freshman of the Week, as announced on Monday afternoon by the league office.
A native of Forrest City, Ark., Astin played a crucial role in both games of Arkansas’ doubleheader sweep of Ole Miss on Saturday, earning a save in the first game and a win in the second game. The two wins against the Rebels in the doubleheader clinched the outright SEC Western Division title for the Razorbacks, the fourth for the program since joining the SEC and the first since 2007.
In the first game of Saturday’s doubleheader, Astin came in with two runners on and two outs in the top of the seventh and forced a ground ball off the bat of Will Allen to end the contest and pick up his second save of the season.
In the nightcap on Saturday, Astin entered with nobody out and a runner on in the top of the third and got out of the jam, getting a strikeout and a double play to end the threat. Astin then proceeded to throw three more scoreless innings, keeping the Razorbacks in the game before the team rallied to take the lead with three runs in the bottom of the sixth. With the performance, Astin earned his fifth win of the season, improving his record to 5-1.
In the doubleheader, Astin threw 4.1 shutout innings, allowing just two hits and striking out three.
Astin has been one of the most effective relievers out of the Razorback bullpen in 2011. He has appeared in a team-high tying 23 games and has compiled a 5-1 record with two saves and a 2.74 ERA. His numbers have been even better in conference games, posting a 3-1 record with two saves and a 2.43 ERA.
Arkansas, the 2011 SEC Western Division champions, open play at the SEC Tournament on Wednesday. The Razorbacks earned the tournament’s No. 2 seed and will face No. 7 seed Alabama at 9:30 a.m. at Regions Park in Hoover, Ala.