NORTH LITTLE ROCK, Ark.– For the first time since 1986, the Razorback baseball team will play in Central Arkansas when it hosts Louisiana Tech Tuesday at Dickey-Stephens Park in North Little Rock. First pitch of the midweek matchup is scheduled for 7 p.m. Arkansas enters the game with an 11-game non-conference winning streak.
The Razorbacks lead the all-time series with Louisiana Tech, 20-3. The last meeting between the two teams came in 2008, a 9-8 victory for the Hogs in College Station, Texas. Prior to not playing each other in 2009, Arkansas and Louisiana Tech had met in six straight seasons.
Following its series win at Ole Miss last weekend, Arkansas stands at 37-11 on the season and are in first place in the Southeastern Conference Western Division with a 16-8 record in league play. In the latest release of weekly rankings, the Hogs are ranked as high as No. 10 in the NCBWA and USA Today/ESPN polls. The club is No. 12 according to Baseball America and the 14th-ranked team by Collegiate Baseball.
Arkansas is second in the SEC with a .322 team batting average. Zack Cox carries a team-high .446 batting average, the second-highest mark in the conference. The sophomore infielder leads the league with 87 hits and 58 runs scored. Of his 87 hits this season, 68 are singles, which is ties the program’s single-season record. Brett Eibner shares the SEC lead with 17 home runs, while he and Andy Wilkins have a club-best 58 RBI, the fifth-highest total in the league. The Razorbacks have hit at least one home run in eight consecutive games and 13 of their past 14.
On the mound, Randall Fant is penciled in to make his ninth start of the season. The left-handed freshman is 3-1 with a 3.38 ERA in 32 innings of work. The Razorback staff posted a 2.42 ERA during the team’s series at Ole Miss. Coming out of the bullpen, Jordan Pratt made two appearance and earned his first save in closing out Arkansas’ 7-0 win in Sunday’s finale. The Hogs are third in the SEC with a 3.88 team ERA.
Louisiana Tech enters the ballgame with a 25-22 overall record and a 10-10 mark in Western Athletic Conference play. The Bulldogs have won four consecutive games and are 5-5 in their last 10 contests. In its last outing, Louisiana Tech completed a four-game sweep of Sacramento State with a 7-2 victory. The high-scoring team scored 56 runs over the four games.
The Bulldogs are second in the WAC with a .347 team batting average. They are paced by Joey Ford who is hitting .398 with 12 doubles and 42 RBI. Devon Dageford leads Louisiana Tech with 15 home runs and 19 doubles, while Mark Threlkeld has a team-high 55 RBI. The Bulldogs have four of the top 15 hitters in the WAC with Ford, Dageford (.378), Threlkeld (.366) and Alex Williams (.365). Right-hander Josh Barrett (3-4, 7.19 ERA) is scheduled to get the start for Louisiana Tech.
Fans can tune in to the action on the Razorback Sports Network from ISP. Chuck Barrett will have the call as the network’s play-by-play announcer. There will also be an audio stream and live stats available at the online home of Razorback athletics, ArkansasRazorbacks.com.
Download: weekly notebook – may 10.pdf