FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. – Arkansas head baseball coach Dave Van Horn added 18 newcomers to the Razorbacks’ roster this fall as the Hogs begin preparations for the much anticipated 2006 season.
Fall practice is not slated to start until Sept. 15 and will continue through Oct. 12, but the new Razorbacks have already begun their morning lifting and running schedule.
The class of newcomers consists of 16 freshmen, one junior college transfer and one sophomore walk-on. Fourteen of the newcomers are position players, while three freshmen pitchers and one junior college transfer have arrived to bolster the staff.
“This is an exciting group of players that we have on campus,” Van Horn said. “Not only have we added quality arms to the rotation and bullpen, but we have loaded the depth chart with athletes throughout the lineup.”
Five of the Hogs newcomers are from the state of Texas with four more from Arkansas and four from Oklahoma. Coach Van Horn and his staff also pulled one player from Louisiana, Tennessee, Missouri, Nebraska and California.
The new pitchers include freshman right-hander Brett Bollman (Claremore, Okla./Claremore HS), left-hander Chad Coldiron (Fayetteville/Fayetteville HS) and right-hander Michael Wild (Plano, Texas/Jesuit College Prep). Chris Rhoads (North Little Rock/North Little Rock HS) is the lone junior college transfer out of Platt (Kan.) Community College.
“We feel like all four of these pitchers can come in and help right away,” Van Horn said. “They give us an opportunity to solidify our starting rotation and help in the bullpen.”
The position players are extremely athletic and versatile with several vying for playing time in the infield that is minus last year’s starting shortstop and second baseman.
The position players include the following: Taylor Ardoin (Ville Platte, La./Sacred Heart/INF), Kevin Carby (Tulsa, Okla./Booker T. Washington HS/INF), Jerrod Carroll (Abilene, Texas/Abilene HS/INF/OF), James Ewing (Beaumont, Texas/Westbrook HS/INF), Logan Forsythe (Memphis, Tenn./Christian Brothers HS/INF/OF), Tyler Goodro (Omaha, Neb./Creighton Prep/1B/C), Thomas Hauskey (Springdale/Springdale HS/C), Wayne Hrozek (The Woodlands/The Woodlands HS/OF), Hunter London (Edmond, Okla./Deer Creek HS), Nick Makris (Pine Bluff, Ark./Pine Bluff HS/INF), Tommy McClain (El Cajon, Calif./Valhalla HS/C), Mitch McCuistian (Claremore, Okla./Claremore HS/INF), Brad Secrist (Joplin, Mo./Joplin HS/INF/OF) and Brandon Barr (Corpus Christi, Texas/C).
Carby, the infielder from Booker T. Washington High School in Tulsa is the lone Razorback signee to spurn the MLB draft and come to school. Carby was an 18th-round pick of the Los Angeles Dodgers.
“We had a need for athletic middle infielders and that is what we went out and tried to recruit,” Van Horn said. “Many of these players were shortstops in high school, so they are the most athletic guys out there. That athleticism allows these players to not only fill needs in the middle infield, but at first and third base and in the corner outfield spots.”