FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. – The Razorback baseball team is set to host its annual Fall World Series starting Wednesday, Oct. 11 at Baum Stadium. This year’s squad will be split up into two teams (Cardinal and White) and will play a best of five series over the course of a week.
Over the seven-day stretch, head coach Dave Van Horn along with his staff of Wes Johnson, Nate Thompson and Craig Parry will get a good look at the crop of Razorbacks that includes a large number of newcomers as well as key veterans that will play big roles in 2018.
Arkansas has one of the most highly touted teams in the nation going into the 2018 season and much of the attention is on its pitching staff. Pitching coach Wes Johnson enters his second year on Van Horn’s staff and will have plenty of strong arms at his disposal such as Blaine Knight, Isaiah Campbell, and Kacey Murphy.
Knight, who was a 29th round MLB Draft pick last summer by the Texas Rangers, decided to forgo an early pro career to play his junior season. Knight is coming off an eight-win season a year ago where he accumulated 96 strikeouts in 90.2 innings. Over his two seasons, the Bryant, Arkansas native has a career 3.17 ERA with 142 strikeouts, the fourth-highest strikeout total of any returning pitching in the SEC.
Offensively, the Hogs return a potent lineup that includes six of its top eight hitters from a year ago. Shortstop Jax Biggers is back after hitting .338 with four home runs and 37 RBIs, as he was the first Razorback primary shortstop to hit over .300 in a season since Scott Hode in 2005.
Arkansas also returns the services of seniors Luke Bonfield and Carson Shaddy, who both combined for 17 home runs and 89 RBIs last year, as well as catcher Grant Koch, who is coming off a summer playing with the Team USA Collegiate National Team.
Koch hit .264 with a career-high 13 home runs and 42 RBIs in Arkansas’ run to the NCAA Regionals before donning the red, white, and blue for Team USA. Koch continued his strong play into the summer to hit a team-leading .372 over 20 games with two home runs and nine RBIs. Koch was the 13th Razorback in history to play for Team USA and comes back as one of the top catchers in the nation.
All five games of the fall series will be open to the public and are free to attend. Restrooms will be available inside Baum Stadium as well.
Pitching matchups and lineups will be announced prior to each game via Twitter. If the series is decided in four games or less, the team will still practice on days that games are scheduled. Those practice times will be announced on social media if needed.
2017 Fall World Series Schedule
Game 1 – Wednesday, Oct. 11 at 3 p.m.
Game 2 – Friday, Oct. 13 at 3 p.m.
Game 3 – Sunday, Oct. 15 at 2 p.m.
Game 4 – Tuesday, Oct. 17 at 1 p.m. (if necessary) (7 inning game)
Game 5 – Wednesday, Oct. 18 at 3 p.m. (if necessary) (7 inning game)
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