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Razorback Roundup — May 11

BY ANDRES FOCIL
Razorback Roundup — May 11

BASEBALL (31-17, 14-12): Arkansas was swept by No. 21 Alabama over the weekend in three close games. The Razorbacks lost a pitcher’s duel on Friday, 2-1, then dropped a wild game on Saturday, 8-6, and the finale, 6-5. Arkansas is still 10-8 against ranked teams this season and 5-4 against teams among the top 10. Of Arkansas’ 12 SEC losses this season, six have been one-run games and one other was a two-run loss. Since mid-April, Arkansas has lost seven SEC games by a combined 13 runs. Freshman Collin Kuhn hit .364 over the weekend and hit the first three home runs of his career. Junior Dallas Keuchel pitched 7.2 innings and scattered eight hits on Friday while giving up just two runs. Keuchel’s loss on Friday dropped the junior left-hander’s record to 7-2 overall and 6-2 in SEC play, and his ERA dropped to 3.99. Freshman James McCann also hit the first home run of his career, an opposite field shot on Saturday. In a weekend full of freshmen in the lineup, Jarrod McKinney hit .571 in two games. McKinney was 4-7 with a run scored, two RBI, a double and two stolen bases. Scott Lyons had a 23-game errorless game streak halted on Saturday when he was charged with an error on a play to his left, but Andy Wilkins’ string of 39 games without a miscue continues. Junior Mike Bolsinger has been tremendous out of the bullpen and has not allowed an earned run in five consecutive appearances, dropping his ERA to 2.32. The Razorbacks face Oral Roberts on Tuesday before closing out the regular season against Ole Miss, Thursday-Saturday.MEN’S BASKETBALL: Head coach John Pelphrey has been making the rounds speaking at several Razorback Club meetings across the state.WOMEN’S BASKETBALL: Razorback freshman All-American Ceira Ricketts was selected as one of 27 players to attend USA Basketball’s U19 World Championship team trials. The SEC Newcomer of the Year by Associated Press, Ricketts departs for Colorado Springs, Colo., this week to participate in the tryouts at the U.S. Olympic Training Center from May 14-18.FOOTBALL: Since the NFL Draft, several former Razorbacks signed free agent contracts or were invited to join rookie camps. The following players were signed to free agent contracts: OT Jose Valdez (Falcons), TE Andrew Davie (Jets), CB Jamar Love (Patriots), QB Alex Mortensen (Titans) and WR Marcus Monk (Panthers). Quarterback Casey Dick was invited to the New York Jets’ rookie camp. MEN’S GOLF: The Razorbacks, ranked ninth in this week’s Golfstat.com poll, head to Stillwater, Okla., for 2009 NCAA Regional competition on Thursday. The three-day event includes host and fourth-ranked Oklahoma State, No. 16 Texas Christian, No. 21 LSU, No. 28 Chattanooga, No. 33 Pepperdine, No. 40 Michigan State, No. 46 Baylor, No. 52 Northwestern, No. 59 Tulsa, No. 61 Denver, No. 84 Wichita State and No. 137 Oral Roberts. Arkansas is one of 10 SEC members to advance to regional tournaments this year. The Razorbacks are looking for a top five finish to advance the team to the 2009 NCAA Championships in Toledo, Ohio, later this month. WOMEN’S GOLF: The 16th-ranked Razorbacks concluded their season with a tie for ninth place at the 2009 NCAA West Regional in Tempe, Ariz. Lone senior Lucy Nunn concluded her Razorback career, leading Arkansas with a three-day 219. Junior Alex Schulte finished the event with a one-under 71 and head coach Shauna Estes-Taylor returns four of the traveling five next year.MEN’S OUTDOOR TRACK AND FIELD: No. 5 Arkansas competes at the SEC Outdoor Championships May 14-17 at the University of Florida in Gainesville. Arkansas sports four defending champions in individual events and is also the defending team champion. Head coach Chris Bucknam and the Hogs will be in the hunt for Arkansas’ 93rd conference title overall (cross country, indoor and outdoor), its 24th conference outdoor title and its 15th SEC outdoor title.WOMEN’S OUTDOOR TRACK AND FIELD: No. 19 Arkansas competes at the SEC Outdoor Championships May 14-17 at the University of Florida in Gainesville. Arkansas sports one defending champion in junior Katie Stripling in the pole vault and also returns the top finisher from the 2008 event in the 5,000 meters, the 3,000-meter steeplechase and the 4×400-meter relay. Head coach Lance Harter and the Hogs earned a bronze finish at the 2008 event at Auburn University.SOFTBALL (27-27, 10-16): For the second consecutive season, the Razorbacks have earned a spot in the NCAA Tournament. Arkansas is the No. 2 seed in the Norman Regional, which begins play Friday. The Razorbacks begin play with a 5 p.m. contest against third-seeded Tulsa at the OU Softball Complex. North Dakota State and host Oklahoma are the other two teams. The regional round follows a double-elimination format and concludes with the regional championship game played Sunday. This marks Arkansas’ fourth appearance in the NCAA Tournament and the program’s first back-to-back selections. In their last outing, the Razorbacks couldn’t overcome a fast start by No. 3 Alabama and dropped an 8-0 decision in the first round of the SEC Tournament in Knoxville, Tenn. It was the Razorbacks’ first trip to the conference tournament since 2006 and their second under head coach Jamie Pinkerton. Shortstop Brittany Griffiths was named to the SEC All-Freshman team when league post-season awards were announced last week. She became the third Arkansas softball player named to the team, joining 2007 members and current teammates Jessica Bachkora and Miranda Dixon. Bachkora and Dixon made news off the field of play as they were named to the 2009 ESPN The Magazine All-District 6 Academic first team. Dixon is a repeat first-team performer while Bachkora was part of the second team last season.MEN’S TENNIS (10-14, 2-9): Senior Blake Strode was announced as the No. 15 seed in the NCAA Men’s Tennis Singles Championship two weeks ago. The draws for the tournament, which runs May 20-25, will be announced May 19. Strode also garnered Southeastern Conference honors as he was named the SEC Scholar-Athlete of the Year and first-team All-SEC.WOMEN’S TENNIS (15-7): The No. 14 Razorbacks advanced to the Sweet Sixteen of the NCAA Women’s Tennis Championship with wins over Oral Roberts and No. 28 TCU in the tournament’s first and second rounds, respectively. It took Arkansas less than an hour and a half to down the Golden Eagles, 4-0, Saturday at the George M. Billingsley Tennis Center. Facing TCU Sunday, the Razorbacks were forced to come from behind after dropping the doubles point with losses at No. 1 and No. 3 doubles. Victories by Aurelija Miseviciute, Nanar Airapetian and Kate Lukomskaya tied the match at 3-3 and left senior Ela Kaluder to battle against Katriina Tuohimaa for the 4-3 win. Kaluder took the first set but Tuohimaa refused to fall in the second, forcing a match-deciding tiebreaker. In the tiebreaker, both players traded several mini breaks early but it was the Razorbacks who gained the game-winning advantage, taking the match and sending Arkansas to the Sweet Sixteen, 7-5, 7-6 (6). The Razorbacks play No. 3 seed Duke on Friday at 9 a.m. in College Station, Texas.OLYMPIC SPORTS PRESS CONFERENCE:Tuesday at 1 p.m. in the Barnhill Arena interview room.



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