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Hogs host ORU in midweek matchup

BY ANDRES FOCIL
Hogs host ORU in midweek matchup

FAYETTEVILLE – Winner of 11 consecutive games, the No. 4 University of Arkansas baseball team will take on Oral Roberts in a Tuesday midweek contest at Baum Stadium. First pitch of the matchup is scheduled for 6:35 p.m. and the game will be televised by Cox Sports Television (Ch. 119 in Northwest Arkansas). Mike Nail and Ron Swoboda will have the call for the broadcast.

"It’s normally an intense matchup for a midweek when we play Oral Roberts," head coach Dave Van Horn said. "They’re coming off a couple losses after winning a couple of games handily so I’m sure they will come in here trying to get back on a winning track."

Arkansas leads the all-time series with Oral Roberts, 62-34. Last season, the Razorbacks won a pair of games against ORU, 9-6 in Tulsa and 3-2 in Fayetteville. In the last 10 meetings between the two programs, each team has won five matchups. The Hogs are 23-3 at home and their current winning streak is the longest by Arkansas since the 2005 club won 12 in a row.

The Hogs’ carry a .332 team batting average, the second-highest figure in the Southeastern Conference. Zack Cox leads the team with an SEC-best .444 batting average. He has hit safely in 36 of Arkansas’ 37 games this season and has reeled off nine consecutive games with at least two hits. Collin Kuhn is sixth in the SEC with a .392 batting average, while Bo Bigham is 10th at .372. As the Razorbacks’ leadoff hitter, Kuhn leads the conference with 50 runs scored.

Andy Wilkins and Brett Eibner are tied for the team lead with 11 home runs each. Wilkins is second in the SEC with 52 RBI. Monk Kreder is riding a 19-game hitting streak which has pushed his batting average to .317. He hit his second home run of the season in Arkansas’ 13-5 win over Georgia in the series finale.

The Razorbacks are third in the SEC with their 3.62 team ERA and are holding opponents to a .250 batting average, the second-lowest mark in the league. Drew Smyly is tied for fourth in the SEC with a 1.99 ERA. DJ Baxendale is second in the conference with seven saves. Randall Fant, Tuesday’s probable starter, is 3-0 with a 1.80 ERA in five appearances this season.

Oral Roberts enters the midweek matchup with an 18-16 overall record and are 6-2 in Summit League play. Tyler Saladino is the club’s leading hitter with a .336 batting average. He also leads the Golden Eagles with seven home runs, 28 runs scored and 44 hits. Chris Elder has a team-high 33 RBI. The ORU pitching staff logs a 6.07 team ERA. In their last outing, the Golden Eagles split a four-game series at Southern Utah.

Fans can tune in to midweek action on the Razorback Sports Network from ISP. Chuck Barrett will be in the booth as the network’s play-by-play announcer. There will also be an audio stream available at the online home of Razorback athletics, ArkansasRazorbacks.com.



Sports Category : Baseball