FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. – After dropping two games of a three-game Southeastern Conference home series against Mississippi State last weekend, the University of Arkansas baseball team will try to get back on track when it travels to Springfield, Mo., Tuesday to face Southwest Missouri State.
Head coach Norm DeBriyn’s Razorbacks (16-17) need a win over the Bears (16-10) to get back to the .500 mark and take some momentum into this weekend’s series with SEC Western Division and overall leader Ole Miss at Baum Stadium. SMS is coming off a 2-2 split of a four-game Missouri Valley Conference series last weekend at Evansville.
Junior left-handed pitcher Jared Manatt (0-1, 7.62 ERA) is scheduled to make his third start of the season for the Razorbacks.
Senior outfielder/designated hitter Scott Crossett leads the Razorbacks with a .301 batting average. Freshman infielder Brett Hagedorn leads the Hogs with 25 RBI while junior outfielder Michael Conner’s eight home runs lead UA in that category.
Sophomore outfielder Dante Brinkley leads the Bears with a .351 batting average. Junior infielder Ryan Howard’s 24 RBI lead SMS in that category while junior infielder Matt Gardner leads the team in home runs with six.
Although Arkansas won last year’s only meeting between the teams and leads the all-time series by a 35-16 margin, SMS has won three of the last four in the series. The Bears won the last meeting in Springfield, 9-3, on March 2, 1999. The teams met later that year in the NCAA Fayetteville Regional when SMS rallied from an 8-2 deficit after seven innings to defeat the Hogs 9-8 in 10 innings and send the host Razorbacks into the losers’ bracket.
Game time is set for 6:30 p.m. CT at 6,000-seat Price Cutter Park, home of the Texas-Louisiana League’s Ozark Mountain Ducks.