FAYETTEVILLE – Off a sweep of Alabama last weekend, the No. 10 University of Arkansas baseball team takes a midweek non-conference break in a two-game series against Centenary. The midweek series begins Tuesday at Baum Stadium with a 6:35 p.m. first pitch. Wednesday’s finale is scheduled to start at 3:05 p.m.
Arkansas (18-5, 4-2 SEC) comes into the two-game set after a successful Southeastern Conference home opener against Alabama. The Razorbacks trailed by at least three runs at one point of each game but rallied for their first sweep of Alabama since the 2006 season. Zack Cox led Arkansas’ offensive charge against the Crimson Tide, including a 3-for-5 performance with a career-high six RBI in game one. The Louisville, Ky., native was named the SEC Player of the Week for his efforts.
Cox leads the team and is second in the conference with his .435 batting average. He also extended his season-opening hit streak to 23 games. Andy Wilkins leads the team with nine home runs, six doubles and 29 RBI. He hit his 36 career home run in Sunday’s finale against Alabama to move into sole possession of fifth place on Arkansas’ all-time list. As a team, the Hogs carry a .287 batting average with 34 home runs, the second-highest total in the SEC.
On the mound, Sam Murphy is slated to start Tuesday’s ballgame against Centenary. This season, Murphy is 0-1 with an 11.25 ERA. In his last start, a March 24 contest against McNeese State, Murphy worked 2.1 innings as the Razorbacks used five pitchers in the 7-6 win. Collectively, the Razorback rotation is second in the SEC with a 3.25 team ERA. DJ Baxendale is also second in the league with six saves.
Arkansas leads the all-time series with Centenary, 30-8, but the Gents won last season’s meeting, 8-3, played on their home field in Shreveport, La. In the last series played in Fayetteville, the two teams split a midweek set in 2008. Centenary enters the midweek series with an 8-10 record.
Fans can listen to this week’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.