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Diamond Hogs Visit Streaking Commodores

BY ANDRES FOCIL
Diamond Hogs Visit Streaking Commodores

Series Outlook

Game 31: #12 Arkansas at #16 Vanderbilt

Friday, April 7, 6 p.m. – Hawkins Field

Probable Starting Pitchers

UA: 45 Charley Boyce, RHP (2-1, 5.45 ERA)

VU: 14 David Price, LHP (4-2, 1.78 ERA)

Game 31: #12 Arkansas at #16 Vanderbilt

Saturday, April 8, 2 p.m. – Hawkins Field

Probable Starting Pitchers

UA: 33 Nick Schmidt, LHP (5-2, 1.69 ERA)

VU: 26 Matt Buschmann, RHP (3-3, 4.27 ERA)

Game 31: #12 Arkansas at #16 Vanderbilt

Sunday, April 9, 1 p.m. – Hawkins Field

Probable Starting Pitchers

UA: 7 Trey Holloway, LHP (2-0, 3.10 ERA)

VU: 35 Cody Crowell, LHP (4-0, 1.76 ERA)

Diamond Hogs Visit Streaking Commodores

No. 12 Arkansas travels to Nashville this weekend for a three-game SEC series with No. 16 Vanderbilt at Hawkins Field. The Commodores are in second place in the SEC East with a 7-2 record.

The Razorbacks (23-7) are looking for their second straight series win in conference play after beating Tennessee twice last weekend in Fayetteville. UA is tied for third in the SEC West with a 4-5 record.

Friday night will pit Vanderbilt’s ace left-hander David Price against the Razorbacks’ veteran right-hander Charley Boyce. Price is 4-2 on the season with a 1.92 ERA and 80 strikeouts in 52.2 innings of work. Boyce is coming off of a rough outing last weekend but has a strong-track record against the Commodores. He is 2-0 all time against VU with a 0.84 ERA in 21.1 innings over four appearances and two starts.

The Hogs’ ace Nick Schmidt will take the hill on Saturday opposite Vanderbilt right-hander Matt Buschmann (3-3, 4.27 ERA). Schmidt is 5-2 this season with a 1.69 ERA in 53.1 innings of work. He has fanned 67 on the year with 35 of those coming in three conference starts.

The Commodores feature freshman Cody Crowell on Sunday. The left-hander is 4-0 on the season with a team-best 1.76 ERA. Left-hander Trey Holloway gets the start for Arkansas. He is 2-0 with a 3.10 ERA.

The Razorbacks lead the all-time series 20-9 after sweeping Vanderbilt in Fayetteville last season. UA is 9-4 in Nashville after winning two-of-three games at Hawkins Field in 2004.

Arkansas is hitting .296 as a team and scoring 7.0 runs per contest while the pitching staff boasts a 3.23 ERA with opponents hitting just .236. The Commodores enter the series scoring 5.9 runs per game with a .286 batting average. The VU pitching staff is one of the best in the country with a 2.69 team ERA with opponents batting .211. The Commodores’ staff strikes out 9.8 batters per game while issuing just 2.9 walks.

Scouting the Commodores

Vanderbilt enters the game with a 20-9 overall record and a 7-2 mark in Southeastern Conference play. The Commodores are is second place in the SEC East, just one game behind No. 1 South Carolina (8-1).

The Vandy pitching staff boasts a 2.69 ERA and strikes out almost 10 batters per nine innings. VU is led by one of the best pitchers in the country in ace left-hander David Price. He is 4-2 on the season with a 1.92 ERA after blowing the save on Wednesday night against Austin Peay by surrendering a ninth-inning home run. Price has struck out 80 batters this season in just 51.2 innings. RHP Matt Buschmann will start on Saturday he 3-3 on the season with a 4.27 ERA. Freshman left-hander Cody Crowell goes to the hill on Sunday. He is 4-0 on the season with a team-best 1.76 ERA. Price and Crowell have been even better in SEC play with 0.38 and 0.74 ERAs, respectively.

The Commodores offense is hitting just .286 and scoring 5.9 runs per game overall, but has been much better in conference play with a .316 batting average. Ryan Flaherty is the Dores’ leading hitter with a .354 batting average, one home run and 19 RBI. Pedro Alvares provides the power in the Vandy lineup with six home runs and 21 RBI. He cracked a grand slam in the 14th inning on Wednesday to beat Austin Peay. Dominic de la Osa is the Commodores’ only other everyday player above .300 at .303. He also leads the team in stolen bases with eight.

A Look at the Razorbacks’ Rotation

Friday – Charley Boyce (2-1, 5.45 ERA) – Boyce will be making his 54th career start as a Razorback on Friday night against the Commodores. Boyce is coming off of a rough outing last weekend against Tennessee but has a strong-track record against Vandy. He is 2-0 all time against VU with a 0.84 ERA in 21.1 innings over four appearances and two starts. The opening weekend at Florida he left in the seventh inning with a 7-0 lead but throwing errors helped erase the Hogs’ lead. Boyce allowed just one earned run to the Gators over six innings.

Saturday – Nick Schmidt, LHP (5-2, 1.69 ERA) – Schmidt won his fifth game of the season last Friday against Tennessee. He tossed his first complete game of the year and struck out 11. Schmidt has fanned 35 batters in 22.2 innings over his three SEC starts, including a career-high 13 against Georgia. He does have three wins over ranked opponents this season (TCU, Hawai’i and Tennessee). 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 an SEC-low .159 off Schmidt this season in 53.1 innings.

Sunday – Trey Holloway, LHP (2-0, 3.10 ERA) – Holloway has been solid in his three starts in SEC play this season. He threw a career-high seven innings against the Georgia on March 26, allowing just one run on four hits. He made his first start in almost two years on short notice against Florida on Saturday, March 18. Holloway earned a 3-2 win over No. 13 Gators. He 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.

Hog Bats Sluggish on SEC-Friday Nights

Arkansas has struggled at the plate on Friday nights during SEC play this season. The Razorbacks’ lineup is batting an anemic .187 while averaging just three runs per game. That stretch includes losses to Florida (6-3) and Georgia (2-0). The Hogs are fresh off of their best Friday night of the season last weekend against Tennessee with a 6-1 win. Blake Parker provided UA starter Nick Schmidt with more runs in one swing of the bat – four – than Arkansas had produced in its last 23 innings of SEC play on Friday night – three.

David Hum Named SEC Freshman of the Week

Arkansas freshman designated hitter David Hum was named the SEC Freshman of the Week on Monday after hitting three home runs in two starts against Tennessee last weekend at Baum Stadium.

The Little Rock native and graduate of Catholic High School finished the series with a .500 (4 for 8) batting average and four RBI. He slugged 1.625 and posted a .556 on-base percentage.

Hum went 2 for 3 on Saturday with his first career home run. He also singled and drew a walk against the Vols starter Craig Cobb.

Hum followed that up on Sunday with two home runs and a career-best three RBI. He is the third Razorback this season to hit two home runs in a game. Hum has started 14 games this season and is hitting .275 with two doubles and eight RBI to go along with his three home runs.

Arkansas High in RPI & ISR

The Razorbacks’ 23-6 overall record and 7-5 mark against ranked opponents have them flying high in Boyd’s World Pseudo-RPI and ISR rankings. 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.

Iterative Strength Ratings (ISR)

Rating Record Team

1 127.3 24-7 Cal State Fullerton

2 122.3 24-8 Rice

3 121.9 21-5 Nebraska

4 121.4 21-8 Clemson

5 121.1 24-4 Mississippi State

8 119.9 23-7 Arkansas

Pseudo-Ratings Power Index (RPI)

Rating Record Team

1 0.680 21-8 Clemson

2 0.660 23-9 Alabama

3 0.639 24-7 Cal State Fullerton

4 0.638 24-8 Rice

5 0.638 23-7 Georgia Tech

10 0.621 23-7 Arkansas

Hogs Battling Injuries Once Again

The Hogs’ training room has looked like a MASH unit over the past couple of weeks. Ben Tschepikow and James Ewing have left the chores at second base up to outfielder Stephen Robison and freshman Logan Forsythe.

Tschepikow underwent back surgery on Thursday, March 30, and is out for the remainder of the season while Ewing is sidelined with a stress fracture in his foot. He will not return until at least the Kentucky series.

RHP Josh Smith will also miss the entire season after undergoing back surgery earlier this spring.

Razorback Notebook

• No. 13 Arkansas used a dramatic-ninth inning last Sunday to win its SEC series with No. 21 Tennessee at Baum Stadium. The Razorbacks used more than their fair share of the long ball to post a 3-1 record during the week against Top-25 competition.

• Arkansas’ Blake Parker and Craig Gentry hit ninth-inning home runs on Sunday, April 2, for a 13-11 come-from-behind victory over the Vols.

• The Hogs smashed seven home runs on Sunday to tie the second-most home runs in a single game in school history. The two teams combined for 11 home runs, which is an SEC record.

• UA hit 13 home runs during the three-game series and 14 for the week. Arkansas entered the three-game series with the Volunteers with just 18 home runs on the year.

• Arkansas lost its first non-conference game at Baum Stadium in 23 tries with a 10-5 loss to Missouri State on Tuesday.

• The Hogs are 7-5 against Top-25 teams this season.

• The last week started with a 4-3, 11-inning win over No. 17 Wichita State at Eck Stadium Tuesday. It was the first win for Arkansas at Eck Stadium since a 3-2 win over the Shocker in the 1998 Midwest I Regional.

• Arkansas returned home for its SEC series with Tennessee on Friday night. Nick Schmidt struck out 11 and tossed his first complete game of the season in a 6-1 win. Blake Parker came through with a grand slam to provide the offense in the win.

• The Hogs’ pitching staff ran into hot-hitting Tennessee on Saturday as the Volunteers roughed UA up for a season-high 19 hits in a 11-6 UT win • Chris Hollensworth continues to lead the Hogs in hitting with a .389 average after hitting .400 during four games last week.

• He also leads the team and is tied for the SEC lead in doubles with 14.

• Danny Hamblin cracked his team-high eighth home run on Sunday.

• He also leads the SEC in RBI with 40 RBI.

• Craig Gentry hit his third home run of the season and second of the UT series on Sunday with a walk-off shot to left-center field in the ninth.

• Jake Dugger found his stroke at the plate over the weekend, hitting .500 against the Vols with two home runs, two doubles and three RBI.

• Parker broke out of a 1-for-27 slump with his Friday night grand slam. He had not homered since the season-opener, but hit home runs in all three games of the series

• He lined a shot off the top of the 45-foot batter’s eye in center field in the ninth inning on Sunday

Rhoads Thriving in Bullpen Role

Chris Rhoads has taken to his new role out of the bullpen with two saves in seven relief appearances. He has allowed just two earned runs in 15 innings out of the bullpen while striking out striking out 11 and walking just four. He is 3-2 on the season with 27 Ks and just five walks in 33.2 innings.

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 allowed just 23 hits and nine earned runs in 44.1 innings of work this season. That translates to a 1.83 ERA and a .189 opponent batting average. He has 56 strikeouts, including three double-digit strikeout performances (10 vs. La. Tech, 11 at Florida & 13 vs. Georgia).

His 13 strikeout performance against Georgia was a career best and the most by a Arkansas pitcher since Denny Walling fanned 14 against South Carolina on May 16, 1999.

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 Slugging % On-Base % OPS

Chris Hollensworth .633 .471 1.104

Craig Gentry .608 .427 1.035

Jake Dugger .604 .444 1.048

Danny Hamblin .574 .396 .970

James Ewing .436 .485 .991

Matt Willard .413 .430 .843

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 54.

He is just 4.1 innings shy of Scott Tabor’s school record of 368 innings pitched. Boyce has thrown 363.2 innings in his Razorback career. Boyce is second in career victories (29) and third in career appearances (754). He is also tied for ninth in career strikeouts with 219.

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.

Newcomers Shining for Hogs

Several newcomers have stepped into the everyday lineup and pitching rotation to help Arkansas open with a 21-5 record.

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 .350 with two doubles, a home run and 11 RBI. His 11th-inning RBI single at Wichita State led the Hogs to a 4-3 win.

David Hum and Wayne Hrozek have shared the DH duties in 2006. Hum has 13 starts and a .275 batting average while Hrozek is hitting .340 in 12 starts. Hum came alive this past weekend with three home runs in two games against Tennessee.

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 2.67 ERA and two saves in 33.2 innings of work.

Logan Forsythe had his redshirt pulled this past week, starting the Hogs’ last six games. He is hitting .205 (8 for 39) with three home runs, a double and a walk. His first home run came on his 21st career at bat and allowed the Razorbacks to take Wichita State into extra innings before earning the win.

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. He will miss the next several weeks with a fractured foot.

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 wins 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 29-19 and a 2-1 mark this season. He posted six wins in 2003, 10 wins in 2004 and 11 wins as a junior last season.

Gentry Sparking the Hogs’ Offense

Arkansas senior center fielder Craig Gentry has been one of the most reliable bats in the Hog’s lineup this season. He is hitting .354 with three home runs, seven doubles and 13 RBI. Gentry missed 10 starts earlier in the season with a broken hand but immediately stepped back into the lineup and produced. Hit two home runs against Tennessee, including a walk-off two-run shot on April 2.

Arkansas Running Wild Again This Season

Dave Van Horn’s Razorbacks are up to their old tricks again this season. Arkansas has swiped 51 bases in 74 attempts for an average of 1.70 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.

Road Warriors

The Razorbacks have bucked the trend in the SEC and hit the road throughout the 2006 non-conference slate. Arkansas beat No. 17 Wichita State on Tuesday, March 28, 4-3 to improve to 12-3 away from home this season. UA has played 15 of its 30 games on the road this season. The Hogs are 5-2 in true road games and 7-1 in neutral site games way from Baum Stadium.

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 81-13 (.862) in regular-season non-conference games since Van Horn arrived in 2003 and 43-3 (.935) since the beginning of the 2005 season.

Arkansas has been even better at home with a 50-4 (926) mark in non-conference games since 2003 and 21-1 at home in non-conference game since the start of 2005.

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 .307 for Southern Miss with two home runs and 12 RBI in 20 starts.

James is out until at the very least the Vanderbilt series with a stress fracture in his foot.

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., started and pitched the first six innings of the 12th no-hitter in school history against Oklahoma State. 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. Schmidt was also recognized as the national pitcher of week by RosenblattReport.com RosenblattReport.com was the only outlet to name him 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.

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 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 ahead to the 2006 season.

Year Tickets Sold Actual Attendance

2006 (15 Games) 102,015 (6,801) 71,822 (4,788)

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)

Download: Vanderbilt Release.pdf



Sports Category : Baseball