FAYETTEVILLE – The Cardinal-White series, the culmination of the fall season for the Arkansas baseball team, begins this weekend with game one scheduled for Saturday at Noon and game two set for Sunday at 1 p.m. All games in the series are free and open to the public.
The Cardinal-White series splits the Razorbacks into two teams who play a best-of-seven series for bragging rights in the clubhouse.
A pair of freshmen will start the series opener on Saturday. Mark Reyes, a left-handed pitcher out of Jessieville, Ark., will start for the Cardinal team, while Chris Oliver, a right-handed pitcher from Farmington, Ark., will toe the rubber for the White team. Reyes was drafted in the 46th round of the 2011 MLB Draft by the Baltimore Orioles, while Oliver was also taken by the Orioles in the 27th round of the 2011 MLB Draft.
In game two, sophomore righty Brandon Moore will get the start on the mound for Cardinal, while junior left hander Randall Fant is the projected starter for White. Moore went 4-1 with a 3.45 ERA last season, while Fant was 3-5 with a 3.89 ERA.
Sophomore Dominic Ficociello leads the Cardinal team at the plate. A freshman All-American in 2011, Ficociello hit a team-leading .335 with four homers and a team-best 50 RBI in his freshman season. Senior Bo Bigham joins Ficociello on the Cardinal roster. Bigham hit .291 with two homers, 20 RBI and 17 stolen bases in 2011. The Cardinal team also features Oklahoma State transfer Dane Phillips, who hit .339 with four home runs and 32 RBI for the Cowboys last season.
On the mound, junior DJ Baxendale anchors the Cardinal pitching staff. An All-SEC selection last season, Baxendale finished the year with a 10-2 record, three saves and a 1.58 ERA, which was the second-lowest ERA in the SEC. The Cardinal team also features a pair of strong relievers in redshirt junior Trent Daniel and sophomore Nolan Sanburn. Daniel went 2-0 with four saves and a 2.91 ERA last year, while Sanburn, a freshman All-American in 2011, had a 2-4 record with a team-high eight saves and a 3.62 ERA.
Jimmy Bosco and Matt Reynolds lead the White team offensively. Bosco, who redshirted the 2011 season after transferring from California, hit .321 with five homers and 20 RBI in 2010 for the Golden Bears. Reynolds started 59 games for the Razorbacks last season and hit .243 with three homers, 22 RBI and 16 stolen bases. Reynolds hit .322 with two homers and 20 RBI over the summer in the Cape Cod League.
The White pitching staff is led by sophomore Ryne Stanek, who finished his freshman season with a 4-2 record, one save and a 3.94 ERA. Stanek finished 2011 strong, throwing a complete game in a win over Charlotte in the NCAA Tournament. Joining Stanek on the pitching staff for White is sophomore Barrett Astin. A freshman All-American last season, Astin appeared in a team-high 27 games last season and had a 5-2 record with three saves and a 2.72 ERA.
Following this weekend’s games, the series continues next week with games three, four and five scheduled for next Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday. First pitch each day is scheduled for 2:30 p.m. The series wraps up next weekend with game six scheduled for 12 p.m. next Saturday and game seven set for 1 p.m. next Sunday. Games five, six and seven are all "if necessary" games.
Cardinal-White Series ScheduleGame 1 – Saturday, October 15 – NoonGame 2 – Sunday, October 16 – 1 p.m.Game 3 – Tuesday, October 18 – 2:30 p.m.Game 4 – Wednesday, October 19 – 2:30 p.m.Game 5 – Thursday, October 20 – 2:30 p.m. (if necessary)Game 6 – Saturday, October 22 – Noon (if necessary)Game 7 – Sunday, October 23 – 1 p.m. (if necessary)