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Diamond Hogs Return Home for Regular-Season Finale with Auburn

BY ANDRES FOCIL
Diamond Hogs Return Home for Regular-Season Finale with Auburn

Arkansas Razorbacks (35-17, 15-12)

vs.

Auburn Tigers (22-31, 9-18)

Baum Stadium • Fayetteville, Ark.

Radio: Razorback Baseball Radio Network

Live Stats: Hogwired.com •

Webcast: RazorZone

Series Outlook

Game 53: Auburn at #15 Arkansas

Thursday, May 18, 7:05 p.m. – Baum Stadium

Probable Starting Pitchers

AR: 33 Nick Schmidt, LHP (8-2, 2.76 ERA)

AU: 27 Paul Burnside, RHP (2-2, 4.28 ERA)

Game 54: Auburn at #15 Arkansas

Friday May 19, 7:05 p.m. – Baum Stadium

Probable Starting Pitchers

AR: 28 Daryl Maday, RHP (1-1, 2.53 ERA)

AU: 44 Evan Crawford, LHP (5-7, 3.77 ERA)

Game 55: Auburn at #15 Arkansas

Saturday, May 20, 12:05 p.m. – Baum Stadium

Probable Starting Pitchers

AR: 34 Shaun Seibert, RHP (3-0, 2.86 ERA)

AU: TBA

Diamond Hogs Return Home for Regular-Season Finale with Auburn

No. 15 Arkansas returns home to Baum Stadium this weekend for the final SEC series of the season as the Auburn Tigers come to Fayetteville for a three-game set. The final regular-season series of the season will start at 7:05 p.m. Thursday and continue at 7:05 p.m. Friday and 12:05 p.m. Saturday.

All three games can be heard on the Razorback Baseball Radio Network with Chuck Barrett and Rick Schaeffer calling the action. The series will also be webcast live inside the RazorZone at Hogwired.com. Live stats can also be found on Hogwired.com.

Auburn enters the weekend with a 22-31 overall record and a 9-18 mark in the SEC. The Tigers have lost seven straight games and are one of two teams that have been eliminated from the SEC Tournament. AU is hitting .276 as a team with a 4.97 ERA.

Arkansas is 35-17 overall and 15-12 in the SEC. The Hogs are tied for second in the SEC’s Western Division, two games back of Alabama. The Crimson Tide finish the season with a three-game series at Tennessee.

Nick Schmidt will go to the hill on Thursday night in search of his ninth win of the season. He boasts a 2.76 ERA and the second-most strikeouts in the SEC with 115. Auburn counters with right-hander Paul Burnside, who is 2-2 on the year with a 4.28 ERA.

The Razorbacks will send right-hander Daryl Maday to the mound on Friday night opposite Tigers’ left-hander Evan Crawford (5-7, 3.77 ERA). Right-hander Shaun Seibert will start for Arkansas on Saturday. He is 3-0 this season with a 2.86 ERA in 50.1 innings. Auburn is undecided on a starting pitcher for Saturday.

Auburn leads the all-time series 30-20 after winning two-of-three from the Razorbacks last season in Auburn. Arkansas does hold a 11-10 edge in the series in Fayetteville, including clinching the SEC Championship against the Tigers at Baum Stadium in 2004.

Scouting the Tigers

Auburn enters the weekend series with the Razorbacks looking to play the role of spoiler after being eliminated from the SEC Tournament last Sunday. The Tigers are 22-31 overall and 9-18 in the Southeastern Conference. Auburn is coached by second-year skipper Tom Slater. AU has dropped seven straight games dating back to a 7-6 win at Alabama on April 29.

The Tigers are hitting .276 as a team and scoring 5.1 runs per contest. Mike Banucci leads the team with a .375 average and is second in home runs with eight. Tyler Johnstone is second on the club with a .326 batting average and a team-best 15 stolen bases. Andy Bennett is the team’s top RBI man with 47, while Josh Donaldson leads the team in home runs with nine.

The AU pitching staff has a league-worst 4.97 ERA while allowing opponents to hit at a .284 clip. Paul Burnside (2-2, 4.28 ERA) and Evan Crawford (5-7, 3.77 ERA) make up the Tigers’ rotation with Burnside scheduled to pitch on Thursday and Crawford on Friday. It will be Burnside’s second start of the season. Auburn is undecided on a starting pitcher for Saturday’s series finale. Luke Greinke handles the closer’s role for the Tigers with six saves and a 3.76 ERA.

The Series: Auburn leads the all-time series 30-20 after winning two-of-three from the Razorbacks last season in Auburn. Arkansas does hold a 11-10 edge in the series in Fayetteville, including clinching the SEC Championships against the Tigers at Baum Stadium in 2004. The Hogs are 5-4 against the Tigers since head coach Dave Van Horn took over the reigns of the Arkansas program in 2003.

A Look at the Razorbacks’ Rotation

Friday – Nick Schmidt, LHP (8-2, 2.76 ERA) – Schmidt finally got a little run support on Friday night and turned in his best outing in over a month to improve to 8-2 at No. 22 Ole Miss. He allowed just two runs on four hits and fanned 11. Schmidt has six wins over ranked opponents this season (TCU, Hawai’i, Tennessee, Vanderbilt, Miss. State and Ole Miss). Schmidt didn’t allow a hit until his third start of the season against Louisiana Tech on Feb. 24. He tossed 13.2 hitless innings to open the season. Opposing hitters are now hitting an SEC-best .196 off Schmidt in 94.2 innings.

Saturday – Daryl Maday, RHP (1-1, 2.53 ERA) – Maday is making his third start in SEC play after suffering his first loss of the season last Saturday at Ole Miss. He beat Alabama in his first SEC start, allowing just one run on five hits in six innings of work. Maday is 1-1 in 16 appearances and five saves. He has worked 32.0 innings and allowed just nine earned runs while striking out 22 and walking nine. Maday moved into the starting rotation after getting Trey Holloway out of trouble in the first inning at LSU on April 29.

Sunday – Shaun Seibert (3-0, 2.86 ERA) – Seibert will make his ninth start of the season on Sunday. He is 3.1 inning at Ole Miss last week, allowing three runs on five hits. It was his second straight no decision. He is 3-0 after beating Mississippi State in Starkville, where he worked six innings and allowed just two run on six hits. The sophomore from Edwardsville, Ill., has a 2.86 ERA. He has made 15 appearances this season and pitched 50.1 innings with 49 strikeouts and just 12 walks.

Leading Off …

• Several of the season’s biggest promotions are set for this weekend at Baum Stadium. On Thursday night, the first 1,000 fans will receive a free Razorback Baseball Cell Phone Station courtesy of Dasani Water. Bobblehead Night is Friday, May 19th and the first 1,000 fans through the gates will receive the Dave Van Horn bobblehead. Following the Friday game, the 10th annual Fireworks Night will be held, courtesy of the Razorback Baseball Radio Network.

• Jake Dugger’s diving catch in right field on Saturday not only turned heads at Ole Miss’ Swayze Field, but across the nation with Fox Sports Net carrying the game live. The catch was No. 5 on ESPN Top 10 Plays of the Day on Saturday, May 6.

• No. 10 Arkansas dropped its series with No. 22 Ole Miss last weekend two games to one in Oxford. UA won 12-3 on Friday, but lost 7-3 on Saturday and 5-4 on Sunday.

• The Razorbacks did manage to clinch a berth in the SEC Tournament in Hoover, Ala., that is scheduled to begin Wednesday, May 24. The Hogs can be no worse than a No. 8 seed in Hoover with four teams – Florida, Auburn, Tennessee and Mississippi State – that can’t catch Arkansas in the SEC standings. Arkansas is currently the No. 5 seed for the SEC Tournament

• In Oxford, the Razorbacks took the first game from Ole Miss with Nick Schmidt dominating on the mound and the Hog bats pounding home runs.

• Schmidt pitched seven-strong innings to improve to 8-2 on the year. He fanned 11 for his sixth double-digit strikeout performance of the season, while lowering his opponent batting average to .196.

• Dugger, Brian Walker and Danny Hamblin all connected for home runs on Friday night as the Razorbacks pounded out an SEC-high 17 hits

• The bats however went silent for Arkansas over the final two games in Oxford as UA managed just four hits in a 7-3 loss on Saturday. It was the Hogs’ third loss on Fox Sports Net in their last three tries.

• Sunday was much of the same with the Razorbacks getting just six hits – two from Dugger and James Ewing. Charley Boyce threw 3.1-solid innings of work out of the bullpen.

• UA did tie things up in the top of the eighth inning on Danny Hamblin’s two-RBI double down the left-field line. It was his 21st multiple-RBI game of the season

• Dugger also connected for his 12th home run of the season on Sunday in Oxford with a two-run shot in the sixth inning

• Arkansas 57 home runs as a team are the most since the 1999 club set the school record with 84. UA had 53 home runs in each of head coach Dave Van Horn’s first three seasons.

Injuries Taking Their Toll on Hogs Lineup

Injuries have taken their toll on the Arkansas lineup this season. The Razorbacks have played only 12 games this season with their entire starting lineup and just four when you factor in the losses of SS John Henry Marquardt and 2B Ben Tschepikow early in the season. Arkansas position starters have missed a combined 59 starts this season.

Tough Losses in League Play

Arkansas has lost 12 games in SEC play this season with eighth of those losses coming by two runs or less. The Hogs have lost six games in league action by just one run. UA has dropped two more games by two runs and one game by three runs. Only three of the Razorbacks’ losses in SEC action are by more than three runs this season. Two of those one-run losses have been on walk-off home runs in the bottom of the ninth inning.

Hamblin Putting Together Banner Year

Arkansas junior first baseman Danny Hamblin is putting together one of the most complete seasons in the SEC. He is the only player in the SEC to rank in the top 10 in home runs (tied for fifth) and stolen bases (tied for eighth). Hamblin is second in the league with 65 RBI. Hamblin also ranks tied for fifth in home runs (15) and in sixth in total bases (121). The slugging first baseman now has 21 multiple-RBI games this season. Hamblin is ranked in the top 10 in five categories in the SEC.

Schmidt Sets Single-Season Career High for Ks

Nick Schmidt set a new career high for strikeouts in the middle of April and continues to rocket up the record books. The left-hander has fanned 115 batters this season in 94.2 innings, which is the third most in a single season in school history. Schmidt has six double-digit strikeout performances this season. In comparison, he fanned 89 batters as a freshman in 99.2 innings of work.

He is averaging 10.93 Ks per nine innings, which ranks second in the SEC. His 115 strikeouts are also second in the league.

Schmidt enters Friday night’s game against Auburn 13 Ks shy of David Walling’s 128 strikeouts in 1998, which is second in school history. Schmidt is currently 40 strikeouts short of Walling’s school record of 155 in 1999.

Razorbacks Rocket Up in the RPI

The Razorbacks’ 35-17 overall record and 17-10 mark against ranked opponents have them flying high in Boyd’s World Pseudo-RPI. The Boyd’s World RPI is a simulation of the Ratings Power Index, the official NCAA measure of team quality used by the tournament selection committee. The ISR is Boyd’s World take on how to measure the quality of NCAA Division-I baseball teams.

Pseudo-Ratings Power Index (RPI)

Rating Record Team

1 0.643 40-13 Clemson

2 0.639 43-10 Rice

3 0.630 38-15 Texas

4 0.617 40-13 Georgia Tech

5 0.616 36-17 Alabama

13 0.604 35-17 Arkansas

Collis Closing the Door

Senior Devin Collis never did get comfortable on the mound for Arkansas last season. But all of that has changed in 2006, the St. Charles, Mo., native is tied for the third-most saves in the SEC with eight, including four in conference action. Collis has an impressive 2.09 ERA to go along with a 7-3 record in a team-best 29 appearances.

Arkansas’ Keys to Winning

There have been two factors that have proven to be tell-tale signs of Razorback wins in 2006 – scoring first and getting at least five innings out of their starting pitcher. Arkansas is 22-5 when they score first and 25-7 when its starting pitcher throws at least five innings.

Hogs at Their Best against the Best

The Hogs have an impressive 17 wins against teams ranked in the top-25 this season. The 17 wins against the top-25 teams is the most in the SEC West and second to Kentucky’s 18 in the SEC.

Records Watch

Members of the 2006 Razorback baseball team are beginning to climb up both the season and career record charts as the year progresses.

Hitting

• Danny Hamblin is tied for sixth in school history with 33 home runs; eighth in RBI with 156; ninth in total bases with 369; ranks third in strikeouts with 155.

• Hamblin’s 15 home runs this season are tied for 10th in single season home runs and two RBI shy of the top 10 in RBI. His 51 Ks this season are tied for ninth in a single season.

• Jake Dugger ranks third all-time at Arkansas with 124 career walks. He also ranks fourth in career strikeouts with 144. Dugger’s 28 career home runs are tied for 11th.

Pitching

• Charley Boyce holds the school records for starts (55) and innings pitched 378.2. He ranks second in career wins (30) and career appearances (84). Boyce is tied for fourth in career strikeouts with 225.

• Boyce also ranks 10th in SEC history with 378.2 innings pitched.

• Nick Schmidt (204) is ninth on Arkansas’ all-time chart. His 2.78 career ERA currently ranks seventh in school history for pitchers with more than 100 career innings.

• Schmidt’s 115 strikeouts this season rank third on the single-season list. He is 13 back of David Walling’s 128 in 1998 and 155 in 1999.

• Devin Collis’ eight saves so far this season is tied for sixth in a single season and ranks tied for ninth for a career. He is tied for ninth with 28 appearances this season. Phillip Stidham holds the school record with 36 appearances in 1991 and 1989.

Boyce Gets No. 30

Arkansas senior right-hander Charley Boyce became just the second Razorback pitcher in school history to record 30 wins over a career. He collected win No. 30 on Sunday against Alabama, pitching 2.1 innings of scoreless relief. 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 30-20 and a 3-2 mark this season. He posted six wins in 2003, 10 wins in 2004 and 11 wins as a junior last season.

Hamblin/Schmidt Named to Wallace Watch

LHP Nick Schmidt and first baseman Nick Schmidt were named to the Brooks Wallace Award watch list this week. The award is given to the nation’s top collegiate baseball player by the Collegiate Baseball Foundation in Lubbock, Texas.

The selection committee for the Wallace Award is comprised of a national panel of preeminent coaches, sports information directors, former winners and beat media who most closely follow the sport.

Schmidt Accepts Invitation to 2006 USA Baseball Team Trials

Arkansas sophomore left-handed pitcher Nick Schmidt has accepted an invitation to the 2006 USA Baseball National Team Trials on June 22-July 1 in Durham, N.C. The trials will be held in exhibition games with the New England Collegiate League. Schmidt is one of 20 players to accept the initial invitation with 16 more players to be announced at a later date. The USA Baseball National Team will consist of a 22-man roster that will be chosen from the 36-player pool that will be announced on July 2. Schmidt, a native of St. Louis, is 8-2 on the season with a 2.77 ERA. Schmidt was also selected to the team trails last season, but did not make the 22-man roster.

Bullpen Getting it Done When it Counts

The much questioned Arkansas bullpen is quietly getting things done, even if it stops the hearts of many Hog fans in the process. It may not always be pretty, but the Razorbacks are now 31-2 when leading after seven innings and 29-1 when leading after eight innings. UA’s only loss when leading going into the ninth inning came on Saturday, April 23, in the second game of a doubleheader at Mississippi State when Brian LaNinfa hit a one-out walk-off home run. The Hogs are 4-2 when tied going into the ninth inning.

Team Saves Record Falls

Arkansas set a new team saves record last weekend against Alabama. The Hogs’ pitching staff now has 18 saves in 34 wins this season, breaking the old record of 17 set in 1989. Devin Collis leads the way with eight, while Daryl Maday has five, Chris Rhoads has three and James Gilbert and Brian McLelland have one each.

Newcomers Shining for Hogs

Several newcomers have stepped into the everyday lineup and pitching rotation to help Arkansas open with a 34-14 record.

James Ewing, a true freshman from Beaumont, Texas, has flourished early in his Razorback career. He is leading the team with a .378 batting average. Ewing has won the everyday job at second base. He has seven doubles and 16 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 .288 with four doubles, two home runs and 20 RBI.

David Hum and Wayne Hrozek have shared the DH duties in 2006. Hum has 22 starts and a .283 batting average while Hrozek is hitting .279 in 22 starts.

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 3-2 with a 3.65 ERA and three saves in 44.1 innings of work.

Logan Forsythe had his redshirt pulled in late March and has started 23 games. He came alive against Alabama four hits to raise his average 29 points. He currently has a .183 (16 for 87) with three home runs, nine RBI, a double and eight walks. Forsythe set a career high with four RBI on Saturday, May 6.

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 (55) and career innings pitched (378.2). Boyce is second in career victories (30) and career appearances (84). He is also tied for fourth in career strikeouts with 225.

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.

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 hitting with a .378 batting average while driving in 16 runs and collecting seven doubles. Michael is hitting .318 with seven home runs and 35 RBI.

RazorZone to Feature Live Webcast

All three games with Auburn 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. The RazorZone is a subscription package ($9.95 a month) through Hogwired.com that features live audio, video and special features of Razorback athletics.

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. Danny Hamblin and Jake Dugger are leading the way for Arkansas this season with six game-winning hits each.

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.

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.

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 Hogs 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.

Year Tickets Sold Actual Attendance

2006 (running total – 23 Games) 161,694 (7,030) 121,487 (5,282)

2005 200,378 (7,156) 146,902 (5,247)

2004 (regular season) 134,525 (4,204) 91,779 (2,868)

2004 (w/postseason) 188,753 (4,840) 146,007 (3,743)

2003 100,372 (3,585) 60,510 (2,161)

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: Auburn Release.pdf



Sports Category : Baseball