FAYETTEVILLE – The No. 9 University of Arkansas baseball team will close out its nine-game homestand Wednesday with a midweek contest against Saint Louis. First pitch at Baum Stadium is scheduled for 6:35 p.m. The Razorbacks carry a 22-6 overall record and a 6-3 mark in Southeastern Conference play after taking two of three from Kentucky last weekend.
Arkansas has won all eight previous meetings with Saint Louis. The two teams haven’t played since the 2002 season, a 6-4 victory for the Hogs on the road. The other seven meetings have all been played in Fayetteville. Arkansas and Saint Louis first met during the 1987 season in a three-game series at George Cole Field.
At the plate, Arkansas carries a .307 team batting average and is third in the SEC with 39 home runs. Zack Cox leads the team and is second in the conference with his .420 batting average and 47 hits. The sophomore infielder has hit safely in 27 of 28 games this season. After a strong weekend against Kentucky, Collin Kuhn has pushed his batting average to .377, the 11th-best mark in the league. Andy Wilkins leads the club with 10 home runs and 39 RBI.
Wednesday’s probable starter Randall Fant is 1-0 this season in three appearances. In 11.0 innings pitched, the left-handed freshman has a 2.45 ERA with seven strikeouts. As a team, the Razorbacks’ 3.74 ERA is the third lowest in the conference. Drew Smyly, the reigning SEC Pitcher of the Week, leads the conference with a 1.60 ERA and is eighth in the conference with 41 strikeouts.
Saint Louis enters with midweek contest with a 15-14 overall record and a 3-3 tally in the Atlantic 10. Danny Brock is the team’s top hitter with a .409 batting average, 11 home runs and 49 RBI. Jon Myers is second on the Saint Louis team with a .384 batting average. The Billkens are scheduled to start LHP Michael Schrader. In five appearances this season, Schrader is 1-1 with a 9.39 ERA. Opponents are hitting .350 against the Billiken pitching staff.
In the weekly release of national rankings, the Razorbacks are the ninth-ranked team in the National Collegiate Baseball Writers Association poll with a pair of No. 10 selections by Baseball America and the ESPN/USA Today Coaches’ Poll. Arkansas is No. 16 according to Collegiate Baseball. The Hogs have won nine of their last 10 games and are 17-3 on their home field.
Fans can listen to Wednesday’s 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 audio and video streams available at the online home of Razorback athletics, ArkansasRazorbacks.com.
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