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Midweek series brings New Mexico

BY ANDRES FOCIL
Midweek series brings New Mexico

FAYETTEVILLE – Riding a six-game winning streak, the No. 7 University of Arkansas baseball team will host New Mexico in a midweek series at Baum Stadium. Both games of the Tuesday-Wednesday series are scheduled for a 6:35 p.m. start. The Razorbacks enter the midweek matchup with a 26-6 overall record and a 9-3 mark in Southeastern Conference play.

Arkansas holds a 3-1 advantage in the all-time series with New Mexico. The two teams last met during the 2004 season at the Aggie Baseball Classic in College Station, Texas. During the round-robin event, Arkansas and New Mexico met three times with the Hogs winning two of those meetings. The Razorbacks defeated New Mexico, 8-3, in the first-ever meeting in 1991 in Shreveport, La. The previous four matchups between the two teams occurred on neutral sites.

The Razorbacks are third in the SEC with a .326 team batting average and feature two of the top five hitters in the league. Zack Cox carries an SEC-best .441 batting average and Collin Kuhn is fifth in the conference with his .393 batting average. The Arkansas duo also sits atop the league standing with 42 runs scored each. Andy Wilkins is second in the SEC with a team-leading 10 home runs and 43 RBI.

Monk Kreder has pushed his batting average to .305 during his current 14-game hitting streak. Kuhn has hit safely in 11 consecutive ballgames. As a team, the Razorbacks have totaled at least 10 hits in 11 straight games, the longest such streak since the 2003 team had double-digit hits in 12 consecutive games.

On the mound, the Razorbacks pitching staff has a 3.77 ERA, tied for the third-best figure in the SEC. Opposing hitters have a .254 batting average against Arkansas. DJ Baxendale is scheduled to make his first career start in the midweek opener against the Lobos, while Geoffrey Davenport is penciled in to get the ball Wednesday. Baxendale has made 16 appearances this season and has a 5.33 ERA in 25.1 innings pitched. He is second in the SEC with seven saves. Davenport is 2-2 on the season with a 4.29 ERA in 13 appearances.

New Mexico (21-11, 8-4 Mountain West) has won seven of its last nine games. As a team, the Lobos are hitting .346 and the pitching staff has a 5.73 ERA. Justin Howard and Chris Juarez share the team lead with a .414 batting average. Howard and Rafael Neda each have five home runs. Tuesday’s starter for New Mexico is scheduled to be RHP Richard Olson (3-2, 3.58 ERA). The Lobos will go with LHP Kenny Toves (2-0, 2.57) in Wednesday’s game.

In the weekly release of national rankings, the Razorbacks are the seventh-ranked team in the National Collegiate Baseball Writers Association poll with a pair of No. 8 selections by the ESPN/USA Today Coaches’ Poll and Collegiate Baseball. Arkansas is No. 9 according to Baseball America. With a 9-3 conference record, Arkansas is in first place in the SEC Western Division through the first four weekends of league play.

Fans can listen 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 audio and video streams available at the online home of Razorback athletics, ArkansasRazorbacks.com.



Sports Category : Baseball