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No. 4 Seeded Diamond Hogs Face Ole Miss in First Round

BY ANDRES FOCIL
No. 4 Seeded Diamond Hogs Face Ole Miss in First Round

SEC Tournament

May 24-28

Arkansas Razorbacks (38-17, 18-12)

Hoover Met • Hoover, Ala.

Radio: Razorback Baseball Radio Network

Live Stats: Hogwired.com/SECsports.com

TV: Cox Sports/CST 119 (NW Arkansas)

No. 4 Seeded Hogs Face Ole Miss in First Round

Arkansas (38-17, 18-12) is making its 13th appearance in the SEC Tournament, dating back to the Hogs first season in the league in 1992. The Razorbacks are the No. 4 seed and play Ole Miss (36-20, 17-13) in the opening round at 8 p.m. on Wednesday, May 24, at the Hoover Met.

All of the Hogs’ games in Hoover can be heard on RBRN with Chuck Barrett and Rick Schaeffer. The Ole Miss game can also be seen on Cox Sports, channel 119 in Northwest Arkansas.

Arkansas is 14-21 (.400) all time in SEC Tournament play and 2-6 under skipper Dave Van Horn. The Hogs dropped two one-run games to Florida and Alabama last season.

Nick Schmidt will get the start on the mound for Arkansas on Wednesday. The sophomore lefty is 9-2 with a 2.81 ERA and 130 strikeouts in 102.2 innings. Ole Miss will counter with right-hander Will Kline, who boasts a 3-2 record and a 3.06 ERA. It will be his fourth start of the season.

The Hogs and Rebels squared off two weekends ago in Oxford with Ole Miss winning the series two games to one. UA took the opener 12-3 behind Schmidt, while the Rebels won 7-3 and 5-4 in the final two games. UA leads the all- time series, 30-19.

Tournament Schedule

Wednesday – May 24

Game 1: #7 So. Carolina vs #2 Kentucky – 10 a.m.

Game 2: #6 Vanderbilt vs #3 Georgia – 1 p.m.

Game 3: #8 LSU vs #1 Alabama – 5 p.m.

Game 4: #5 Ole Miss vs #4 Arkansas – 8 p.m.(CST)

Thursday – May 25

Game 5: Loser Gm 1 vs Loser Gm 2 – 10 a.m.

Game 6: Loser Gm 3 vs Loser Gm 4 – 1 p.m.

Game 7: Winner Gm 1 vs Winner Gm 2 – 5 p.m.

Game 8: Winner Gm 3 vs Winner Gm 4 – 8 p.m.

Friday – May 26

Game 9: Winner Gm 5 vs Loser Gm 7 – 1:30 p.m.

Game 10: Winner Gm 6 vs Loser Gm 8 – 5:30 p.m.

Saturday – May 27

Game 11: Winner Gm 7 vs Winner Gm 9 – 10 a.m.

Game 12: Winner Gm 8 vs Winner Gm 10 – 1:30 p.m.

*Game 13: Winner Gm 11 vs Loser Gm 11 – 5 p.m.

*Game 14: Winner Gm 12 vs Loser Gm 12 – 8:30 p.m.

Sunday – May 28

#Game 15: Championship Game – 3 p.m.

* – Game 13 will be necessary if the winner of Game 9 also wins Game 11.

* – Game 14 will be necessary if the winner of Game 10 also wins Game 12.

If Game 13 is not necessary, Game 14 would start at 5:00 p.m.

# – If both bracket winners are undefeated, there will be no 5:00 p.m. or 8:30 p.m. games on Saturday and the championship game would be Game 13.

TV: Once again, every game of the SEC Baseball Tournament will be televised live. FOX Sports Net will televise live Games 9, 10, 11, 12 and the championship game Tournament. These games will also air live on the Fox College Sports FCS/Central. In addition, three of those games will re-air on Turner South. CSS (Comcast/Charter Sports Southeast) will televise all of Thursday and Friday’s games.

A Look at the Razorbacks’ Rotation

Wednesday – Nick Schmidt, LHP (9-2, 2.81 ERA) – Schmidt set a career high with 15 strikeouts against Auburn, and won his second straight start to improve 9-2 on the season. He has seven double-digit strikeout performances this season. Schmidt has six wins over ranked opponents this season (TCU, Hawai’i, Tennessee, Vanderbilt, Miss. State and Ole Miss). He didn’t allow a hit until his third start of the season against Louisiana Tech on Feb. 24. He tossed 13.2 hitless innings to open the season. Opposing hitters are now hitting .199 off Schmidt in 102.2 innings.

Thursday – Daryl Maday, RHP (2-1, 2.86 ERA) – Maday will make the first SEC Tournament start of his career on Thursday. He has made his three starts in SEC play with his only loss coming at Ole Miss. He beat Alabama in his first SEC start and then beat Auburn this past weekend. Maday is 2-1 in 17 appearances and five saves. He has worked 37.0 innings and allowed just 11 earned runs while striking out 27 and walking nine. Maday moved into the starting rotation after getting Trey Holloway out of trouble in the first inning at LSU on April 29.

Friday (if necessary) – Shaun Seibert (4-0, 2.77 ERA) – Seibert will make his 10th start of the season if the Razorbacks win one of their first two games. He is 4-0 after beating Auburn last Sunday in Fayetteville. He worked five innings and allowed just one run on five hits, while tying his career high in strikeouts with seven. The sophomore from Edwardsville, Ill., has a 2.77 ERA, which ranks second in the SEC. He has made 16 appearances this season and pitched 55.1 innings with 56 strikeouts and just 14 walks.

Leading off …

• No. 15 Arkansas took care of business this weekend with a sweep of Auburn at Baum Stadium … the sweep of the Tigers was the first ever for the Hogs over Auburn and left Arkansas in second place in the SEC West and tied for third in the overall SEC standings with Georgia.

• UA has won six straight games at Baum Stadium

• LHP Nick Schmidt fanned a career-high 15 on Thursday to helped the Razorbacks knock off Auburn 6-3 … Schmidt allowed three runs and walked just one in eight innings to improve to 9-2 • Catcher Brian Walker crushed two home runs and drove in four runs in the win.

• Devin Collis pitched the ninth inning for his ninth save of the season

• On Friday night, freshman second baseman James Ewing set a career high with four hits, including two doubles and two RBI as Arkansas won the series with a 10-5 victory

• Daryl Maday earned the win on the mound, allowing three runs – two earned – on five hits over five innings.

• In the series finale on Saturday, Shaun Seibert pitched five innings to improve to 4-0 on the year while allowing just one run on five hits … he also tied his career high with seven strikeouts.

• Walker hit his third home run of the weekend in the second inning and Danny Hamblin and David Hum went back-to-back in the third inning as the Hogs cruised to a 11-2 win and the sweep

• It was Hamblin’s team- high 16th home run of the season.

• The Hogs’ offense hit . 349 for the series and averaged nine runs per game.

• Walker led the way, hitting.500 with three home runs and seven RBI … he also threw out both runners that attempted to steal and picked off a runner.

• Schmidt’s 15 Ks on Thursday moved him into second place on Arkansas’ single-season strikeout list with 130 … he is 25 strikeouts shy of David Walling’s school record of 155 set in 1999 … he also tied Charlie Isaacson for seventh place on the career strikeout list with 219 …

• Collis’ ninth save of the season tied him with Jason Stephens (1996) for the fifth most in a single season in school history.

• Jake Dugger continued his outstanding season, hitting .455 for the weekend and driving in eight runs, including a career-high five on Saturday … he is now hitting a career- best .326 with 42 RBI and 12 home runs.

• SS Matt Willard raised his average to .296 with four hits against Auburn and posted a .583 on-base percentage.

• Blake Parker broke out of an 0-for-13 slump by hitting .429 against the Tigers.

• Arkansas got at least five innings out of all three starters this weekend and is now 28-7 when its starting pitcher throws at least five innings.

• Chris Hollensworth missed his sixth straight start with back spasms this weekend, but he did pinch hit on Saturday.

• Arkansas is now 34-2 when leading after seven innings and 32-1 when leading after eight innings.

• The Hogs now have 62 home runs as a team and 40 in SEC play, which is second to Kentucky.

• Seibert (2.77) and Schmidt (2.81) rank second and third in the SEC in ERA.

Cox Sports Picks Up Arkansas/Ole Miss Game

Cox Sports Television, in cooperation with Comcast Sports South (CSS) will carry the Southeastern Conference first round game between No. 4 seed Arkansas and No. 5 seed Ole Miss. First pitch is scheduled for 8:00 pm.Cox Sports Television can be seen in Northwest Arkansas on Channel 119 on Cox Communication systems.

Walker Catching Fire for Hogs

Arkansas catcher Brian Walker is once again on fire at the plate as postseason play rolls around. He is hitting .483 over his last nine games with five home runs and 15 RBI as the Hogs went 7-2. He raised his average from .213 to .259 in that stretch and was named the SEC Player of the Week after going 6 for 10 with eight RBI against Alabama. Walker has new career highs in home runs (8) RBI (36) and doubles (10).

Tough Losses in League Play

Arkansas has lost 12 games in SEC play this season with eighth of those losses coming by two runs or less. The Hogs have lost six games in league action by just one run. UA has dropped two more games by two runs and one game by three runs. Only three of the Razorbacks’ losses in SEC action are by more than three runs this season. Two of those one-run losses have been on walk-off home runs in the bottom of the ninth inning.

Hamblin Putting Together Banner Year

Arkansas junior first baseman Danny Hamblin is putting together one of the most complete seasons in the SEC. He is the only player in the SEC to rank in the top 10 in home runs (tied for fifth) and stolen bases (tied for sixth). Hamblin is second in the league with 66 RBI. He also ranks tied for fifth in home runs (16) and in sixth in total bases (126). The slugging first baseman now has 21 multiple-RBI games this season. Hamblin is ranked in the top 10 in five categories in the SEC.

Schmidt Sets Single-Season Career High for Ks

Nick Schmidt set a new career high for strikeouts in the middle of April and continues to rocket up the record books. The left-hander has fanned 130 batters this season in 102.2 innings, which is the second most in a single season in school history. Schmidt has seven double-digit strikeout performances this season. In comparison, he fanned 89 batters as a freshman in 99.2 innings of work.

He is averaging 11.04 Ks per nine innings, which ranks second in the SEC. His 98 strikeouts in SEC play lead the league.

Schmidt enters Wednesday night’s game against Ole Miss 25 Ks shy of David Walling’s school record of 155 in 1999.

Razorbacks Rocket Up in the RPI

The Razorbacks’ 38-17 overall record and 17-10 mark against ranked opponents have them flying high in Boyd’s World Pseudo-RPI. The Boyd’s World RPI is a simulation of the Ratings Power Index, the official NCAA measure of team quality used by the tournament selection committee. The ISR is Boyd’s World take on how to measure the quality of NCAA Division-I baseball teams.

Pseudo-Ratings Power Index (RPI)

Rating Record Team

1 0.644 44-13 Clemson

2 0.634 46-10 Rice

3 0.618 39-17 Alabama

4 0.616 42-14 Georgia Tech

5 0.615 38-18 Texas

11 0.606 38-17 Arkansas

Collis Closing the Door

Senior Devin Collis never did get comfortable on the mound for Arkansas last season. But all of that has changed in 2006, the St. Charles, Mo., native is tied for the third-most saves in the SEC with nine, including five in conference action. Collis has an impressive 2.04 ERA to go along with a 7-3 record in a team-best 30 appearances.

Arkansas’ Keys to Winning

There have been two factors that have proven to be tell-tale signs of Razorback wins in 2006 – scoring first and getting at least five innings out of their starting pitcher. Arkansas is 23-5 when they score first and 28-7 when its starting pitcher throws at least five innings.

Hogs at Their Best Against the Best

The Hogs have an impressive 17 wins against teams ranked in the top-25 this season. The 17 wins against the top-25 teams is the most in the SEC West and second to Kentucky’s 18 in the SEC.

Records Watch

Members of the 2006 Razorback baseball team are beginning to climb up both the season and career record charts as the year progresses.

Hitting

• Danny Hamblin is sixth in school history with 34 home runs; eighth in RBI with 157; ninth in total bases with 374; ranks third in strikeouts with 159.

• Hamblin’s 16 home runs this season are 10th in single season home runs and his 66 RBI is shy of the top 10. His 55 Ks this season are tied for fifth in a single season.

• Jake Dugger ranks third all-time at Arkansas with 127 career walks. He also ranks fourth in career strikeouts with 147. Dugger’s 28 career home runs are tied for 11th.

Pitching

• Charley Boyce holds the school records for starts (55) and innings pitched 380.2. He ranks second in career wins (30) and career appearances (85). Boyce fourth in career strikeouts with 228.

• Boyce also ranks 10th in SEC history with 380.2 innings pitched.

• Nick Schmidt (219) is tied for seventh Arkansas’ all-time chart. His 2.80 career ERA currently ranks seventh in school history for pitchers with more than 100 career innings.

• Schmidt’s 130 strikeouts this season rank second on the single-season list. He is 25 back of David Walling’s 155 in 1999.

• Devin Collis’ nine saves so far this season is tied for fifth in a single season and ranks tied for seventh for a career. He is ninth in appearances with 30 this season. Phillip Stidham holds the school record with 36 appearances in 1991 and 1989.

Injuries Taking Their Toll on Hogs Lineup

Injuries have taken their toll on the Arkansas lineup this season. The Razorbacks have played only 12 games this season with their entire starting lineup and just four when you factor in the losses of SS John Henry Marquardt and 2B Ben Tschepikow early in the season. Arkansas position starters have missed a combined 63 starts this season.

Boyce Gets No. 30

Arkansas senior right-hander Charley Boyce became just the second Razorback pitcher in school history to record 30 wins over a career. He collected win No. 30 on Sunday against Alabama, pitching 2.1 innings of scoreless relief. Scott Tabor (1979-82), the school’s all-time wins leader with 34, is the only other Hog to accomplish the feat.

Boyce has a career record of 30-20 and a 3-2 mark this season. He posted six wins in 2003, 10 wins in 2004 and 11 wins as a junior last season.

Schmidt Named Semifinalist for Brooks Wallace Award

LHP Nick Schmidt was named a semifinalist for the Brooks Wallace Award this week. The award is given to the nation’s top collegiate baseball player by the Collegiate Baseball Foundation in Lubbock, Texas.

The selection committee for the Wallace Award is comprised of a national panel of preeminent coaches, sports information directors, former winners and beat media who most closely follow the sport.

Schmidt Accepts Invitation to 2006 USA Baseball Team Trials

Arkansas sophomore left-handed pitcher Nick Schmidt has accepted an invitation to the 2006 USA Baseball National Team Trials on June 22-July 1 in Durham, N.C. The trials will be held in exhibition games with the New England Collegiate League. Schmidt is one of 20 players to accept the initial invitation with 16 more players to be announced at a later date. The USA Baseball National Team will consist of a 22-man roster that will be chosen from the 36-player pool that will be announced on July 2. Schmidt, a native of St. Louis, is 9-2 on the season with a 2.80 ERA. Schmidt was also selected to the team trails last season, but did not make the 22-man roster.

Bullpen Getting it Done When it Counts

The much questioned Arkansas bullpen is quietly getting things done, even if it stops the hearts of many Hog fans in the process. It may not always be pretty, but the Razorbacks are now 34-2 when leading after seven innings and 32-1 when leading after eight innings. UA’s only loss when leading going into the ninth inning came on Saturday, April 23, in the second game of a doubleheader at Mississippi State when Brian LaNinfa hit a one-out walk-off home run. The Hogs are 4-2 when tied going into the ninth inning.

Team Saves Record Falls

Arkansas set a new team saves record last weekend against Alabama. The Hogs’ pitching staff now has 19 saves in 38 wins this season, breaking the old record of 17 set in 1989. Devin Collis leads the way with nine, while Daryl Maday has five, Chris Rhoads has three and James Gilbert and Brian McLelland have one each.

Newcomers Shining for Hogs

Several newcomers have stepped into the everyday lineup and pitching rotation to help Arkansas open with a 38-17 record.

James Ewing, a true freshman from Beaumont, Texas, has flourished early in his Razorback career. He is leading the team with a .375 batting average. Ewing has won the everyday job at second base. He has nine doubles and 18 RBI.

Redshirt freshman Matt Willard made the most of his redshirt season and has come out smoking in year two. The Newtown, Pa., native is hitting .296 with six doubles, two home runs and 20 RBI.

David Hum and Wayne Hrozek have shared the DH duties in 2006. Hum has 24 starts and a .286 batting average while Hrozek is hitting .279 in 24 starts.

Junior college transfer Chris Rhoads has thrown quality innings for the Hogs’ as a starter early in the season and now out of the bullpen. The right-hander is 3-2 with a 3.57 ERA and three saves in 45.1 innings of work.

Logan Forsythe had his redshirt pulled in late March and has started 23 games. He came alive against Alabama four hits to raise his average 29 points. He currently has a .182 (16 for 88) with three home runs, nine RBI, a double and eight walks. Forsythe set a career high with four RBI on Saturday, May 6.

Boyce Climbing Up Arkansas’ Record Books

Charley Boyce is climbing up the Arkansas record books each time he takes the field. The senior from Broken Arrow, Okla., is the school’s all-time leader in career starts (55) and career innings pitched (380.2). Boyce is second in career victories (30) and career appearances (85). He is also fourth in career strikeouts with 228.

His sophomore and junior seasons also rank as some of the best in school history. Boyce’s 11 wins last season are tied for the third- most in a single season, while his 10 victories in 2004 are tied for eighth. His 19 starts in 2004 are tied for the most in school history. Boyce’s 122.1 innings in 2005 are the second-most in a single season in school history, while his 115.1 innings in 2004 rank eighth.

Ewing X2

Arkansas’ James Ewing in not the only freshman named Ewing to be making a splash on the college baseball scene in his rookie campaign. James has an identical-twin brother, Michael, who is starting at first base for the Southern Miss Golden Eagles.

James, UA’s starting second baseman, is hitting with a .378 batting average while driving in 16 runs and collecting seven doubles. Michael is hitting .318 with seven home runs and 35 RBI.

Game-Winning Hits

Coming through with the game-winning base hit is not an easy thing to do. Here we will track the Razorback players that come through in the clutch this season. Danny Hamblin and Jake Dugger are leading the way for Arkansas this season with six game-winning hits each. Brian Walker has five.

The Combined No-Hitter

Nick Schmidt, Brian McLelland and Devin Collis combined for the 12th no-hitter in Arkansas history on Saturday, Feb. 11, against Oklahoma State in the Jaguar Invitational in Mobile, Ala.

Schmidt threw the first six innings before McLelland came on to hold OSU hitless for a frame. Collis carved up the Cowboys over the final two innings. It marked the first time in 71-recorded years of OSU baseball that the Cowboys had been held hitless in a nine-inning game.

The no-hitter was the first for Arkansas since Scott Roehl’s no-no against Kansas State on March 20, 2001, in Shreveport, La. It was the first combined no-hitter since Brian Cook and Brian Dennison teamed up to hold Evangel without a hit on April 2, 1991. More on all 12 Arkansas no-hitters can be found on page 116 of your 2006 Razorback baseball media guide.

Hogs Post 3.15-Team GPA During Fall Semester

The Arkansas baseball team proved they were truly student-athletes during the 2005 fall semester with an impressive 3.15-team grade point average.

The 3.15-team GPA was the highest of any male team on campus with 26 of 41 players earning a 3.0 or better GPA. Razorback position players compiled a 3.27 GPA, while the pitching staff put together a 3.0 GPA during the fall.

Senior right-handed pitcher Charley Boyce and former shortstop Scott Hode received their degrees in December, while Trey Holloway and Josh Smith are scheduled to graduate in May.

Two Hogs, freshmen Taylor Ardoin and Brad Secrist, earned perfect 4.0 GPAs during the fall. Eleven Razorbacks posted GPAs of 3.5 or better during the fall, including Brian Walker (3.91), Thomas Hauskey (3.86), Lee Land (3.83), Brandon Barr (3.83), Brian McLelland (3.82), Hunter London (3.75), Trey Holloway (3.69), Jake Dugger (3.60), Shaun Seibert (3.60), James Ewing (3.60) and Danny Hamblin (3.53).

Hum Granted Release

Freshman transfer David Hum was granted his release by Notre Dame on Wednesday, Feb. 22, and cleared to play two days later. Hum made his first appearance in a Razorback uniform in the second game of a doubleheader with Louisiana Tech on Friday, Feb. 24.

Hogs Believed to Lead Country in Actual Attendance

The NCAA and Southeastern Conference recognize paid attendance as their method of ranking attendance, but Arkansas keeps both an actual attendance and paid attendance. In 2005, the Hogs also set a school record in actual attendance with 146,902 fans showing up at Baum Stadium. That averages out to 5,247 fans per game and is believed to have led the country last season.

In an informal survey by the Baton Rouge (La.) Advocate, Arkansas led all SEC schools in actual attendance. The Razorbacks’ average of 5,247 fans in actual attendance would rank fifth nationally on the NCAA’s paid attendance rankings. LSU finished second in The Advocate’s survey of actual attendance with 3,922 fans per game. Below is a breakdown of both paid and actual attendance at Baum Stadium over the past three seasons and a look ahead to the 2006 season.

Year Tickets Sold Actual Attendance

2006 (26 Games) 186,617 (7,178) 145,058 (5,579)

2005 200,378 (7,156) 146,902 (5,247)

2004 (regular season) 134,525 (4,204) 91,779 (2,868)

2004 (w/postseason) 188,753 (4,840) 146,007 (3,743)

2003 100,372 (3,585) 60,510 (2,161)

Razorbacks Pick Captains for 2005

The Razorbacks selected their 2006 captains by a vote of the team prior to the start of the season. Senior pitcher Charley Boyce, junior first baseman Danny Hamblin and sophomore catcher Brian Walker were chosen to represent the Razorbacks this season.

Player Number Corrections from Media Guide

There are a few numbers changes from your 2006 Arkansas baseball media guide. The new numbers are reflected on the roster page on page seven of this notes package. The corrected numbers are #30 Chris Rhoads, #37 Tommy McClain, #40 Brett Bollman, #43 Hunter London and #44 Brad Secrist.

Download: SEC Tournament Release.pdf



Sports Category : Baseball