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DeBriyn Seeks 1,100th Win in Season Opener

DeBriyn Seeks 1,100th Win in Season Opener
The University of Arkansas opens its 79th season of baseball Sunday, Feb. 4, when the Razorbacks host Missouri Southern for a 1:30 p.m. CT contest at Baum Stadium at George Cole Field.


Led by 32nd-year head coach Norm DeBriyn, Arkansas returns 15 lettermen and six starting position players from last year’s team that finished with a disappointing 24-30 and failed to earn an NCAA postseason bid for the first time since 1997. An 8-20 Southeastern Conference record left the Hogs in sixth place in the SEC Western Division and locked them out of the SEC Tournament for the first time since joining the league prior to the 1992 season.


Now in their 25th season under head coach Warren Turner, the Missouri Southern Lions return 14 lettermen and six position starters from a 2000 squad that went 32-23-1 and finished third in the Mid-America Intercollegiate Athletics Association with a 17-11 conference mark.


LHP Wes McCrotty (1-6, 9.49 ERA in 2000) is expected to get the opening-day start on the mound for the Razorbacks and will be followed by several other hurlers out of the bullpen.

Missouri Southern has yet to announce a starting pitcher.


Arkansas leads the all-time series on the diamond by a 41-1-1 margin. UA is 11-0 against Missouri Southern in season openers, 12-0 in home openers.

The Lions’ only win in the series was a 9-8 victory in Joplin, Mo., in 1979.

When the Hogs and Lions met on March 12, 1976, at old George Cole Field, two baseball rarities came together. UA hurler Rich Erwin recorded the first no-hitter in Razorback history, but did not earn a victory. The Razorbacks and Lions went into extra innings tied 0-0. With daylight fading and still no runs across the plate for either team, the game was called with two outs in the top of the 11th inning due to darkness. Erwin had the first-ever UA no-hitter but failed to record a victory while the Hogs were left with one of just six ties in their 78-year baseball history.


Arkansas owns a 28-6 record in season openers since 1967, including a 26-5 mark under head coach Norm DeBriyn. The Razorbacks have won six-consecutive season openers since a 7-3 loss at TCU to open the 1994 season.


With a career record of 1,099-593-6, Norm DeBriyn can begin his 32nd season at Arkansas with his 1,100th career coaching victory with a Razorback victory over Missouri Southern in the season opener. A victory would make DeBriyn the 17th NCAA Division I baseball coach to reach the 1,100 win plateau. DeBriyn enters the 2001 season tied with Illinois head coach Richard Jones for ninth on the career victories list among active NCAA Division I coaches.

The Ashland, Wis., native has eared conference coach-of-the-year honors seven times. In 1999, he was named Southeastern Conference Coach of the Year after guiding the Razorbacks to a 22-8 SEC record and their first SEC overall and Western Division titles.

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