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Razorbacks collect All-SEC honors

BY ANDRES FOCIL
Razorbacks collect All-SEC honors

HOOVER, Ala. – Zack Cox, Brett Eibner and Drew Smyly, members of the No. 12 University of Arkansas baseball team, have garnered All-Southeastern Conference honors, as announced Tuesday by the league office. Cox was named to the first team, while Eibner and Smyly earned spots on the second team. The all-conference honors are the first for all three Razorbacks.

Cox, the first-team third baseman, led all hitters with an SEC-best .432 batting average during the regular season and upped that figure to .446 during conference play. The sophomore infielder hit six of his eight home runs and collected 50 of his 92 hits during SEC action. Cox is the first Razorback to eclipse the 90-hit mark since the 1997 season; the school record is 97 (Matt Erickson, 1996). During the SEC season, Cox also logged a 16-game hitting streak, had a .530 on-base percentage and posted a .679 slugging percentage.

The Louisville, Ky., native opened the 2010 season with a 24-game hitting streak, just six games shy of the program record. Cox led the Razorbacks with 32 multi-hit games during the regular season and hit safely in 49 of the 53 games he played during the year. He had a career-high six RBI in Arkansas’ March 26 victory over Alabama and earned SEC Player of the Week honors for his performance that week against McNeese State and Alabama.

Eibner, one of the three outfielders for the second team, finished the regular season with 18 home runs, tied for the third-best mark in the SEC. He also totaled 61 RBI during the year; his home run and RBI figures are both career highs. Eibner’s power numbers increased during conference play with 11 home runs and 36 RBI against SEC opponents. The junior two-way player has a .689 slugging percentage at the plate with a three wins and a save on the mound.

In the SEC opener at LSU, Eibner tallied two home runs and four RBI to lead the Razorbacks to a 6-3 victory. The big hits continued for the Houston, Texas, native with a grand slam in the series finale at Mississippi State which helped Arkansas cap its first-ever sweep in Starkville. On the mound, Eibner struck out a season-high 10 hitters in a game-two start against Mississippi State. He also tossed a season-high seven innings in a win over Georgia.

Smyly was selected as one of the three starting pitchers for the All-SEC Second Team. He is 8-1 with a 2.58 ERA through 14 appearances this season. Smyly’s win total and ERA are the second- and third-best marks in the SEC, respectively. He is tied for second in the conference with 92 strikeouts and is holding opposing hitters to a .226 batting average. Smyly won six consecutive starts during SEC play and hasn’t allowed more than three earned runs in any start this season.

The Little Rock, Ark., native tossed his first career complete game April 16 in a 10-2 win over Georgia. He added a second complete-game performance April 30 against Auburn, the SEC’s top offense. Smyly is the first Razorback pitcher with at least two complete games in one season since Nick Schmidt (5) and Jess Todd (2) during the 2007 season. In addition to an 11-strikeout effort against Wisconsin-Milwaukee, he also tallied 10 strikeouts against Florida, a career high during an SEC game.

Cox is the 13th player in program history to earn first-team honors. The selections of Cox, Eibner and Smyly push Arkansas’ total to 20 All-SEC performers since joining the league in 1992. This marks the first time multiple Razorbacks have been recognized since Schmidt and Todd were first-team members in 2007.

Download: 2010 All-SEC.pdf



Sports Category : Baseball