FAYETTEVILLE – Arkansas closes out a stretch of nine of 10 games away from home this week when it faces Memphis in a two-game midweek series. Tuesday night’s game will be played at Dickey-Stephens Park in North Little Rock and will be televised by CST (channel 119 in Northwest Arkansas)with Todd Kalas and Ron Swoboda on the call. Wednesday night the two teams will meet at AutoZone Park in Memphis. First pitch for both games is set for 6:30 p.m.Tickets for Tuesday’s game at Dickey-Stephens Park are sold out.
Both games will be available on the Razorback Baseball Radio Network from IMG College. Three-time Arkansas Sportscaster of the Year Chuck Barrett (play-by-play) will call the game. Live stats and a live blog of both games will also be available on ArkansasRazorbacks.com.
Tuesday’s game marks the second straight year that the Razorbacks will play a regular season game in Central Arkansas. Last season, Arkansas defeated Louisiana Tech 5-4 in 10 innings in front of a sellout crowd of 10,200 at Dickey-Stephens Park.Arkansas, ranked as high as No. 12 nationally, brings a 15-4 record into the midweek series against the Tigers. The Razorbacks opened Southeastern Conference play last weekend at Auburn, dropping two of three games to the defending Western Division champions.Matt Reynolds led Arkansas at the plate in the series against Auburn, hitting .500 with two RBI and three runs scored. Dominic Ficociello batted .429 in the three-game set with three RBI, while Bo Bigham hit .385.Ficociello leads the Razorbacks on the season with a .426 batting average and has also hit a team-best 10 doubles. Ficociello is second on the club with 23 RBI. Kyle Robinson is hitting .388 and leads the team with four homers and 25 RBI. Reynolds (.379, 2 HR, 12 RBI) and James McCann (.328, 1 HR, 12 RBI) are also both hitting over .300 so far this season.Freshman right-handed pitcher Barrett Astin will make his first collegiate start on Tuesday night for Arkansas. Astin has appeared in eight games out of the bullpen and is 2-0 with a 2.51 ERA. The Razorbacks have not announced a starter for Wednesday’s game.Along with Astin, Randall Fant and Nolan Sanburn are tied for the team lead with eight appearances. Fant is 0-1 with a 3.09 ERA, while Sanburn has two saves to go along with a 1-1 record and a 2.53 ERA. Trent Daniel has made seven relief outings and is 0-0 with one save and a 2.70 ERA.
Memphis enters the midweek series with an 11-6 overall record. The Tigers have won five of their last seven games, but dropped two of three games to Eastern Illinois last weekend. Memphis is hitting .336 as a team, while the Tiger pitching staff has compiled a 4.14 ERA.
Chad Zurcher leads Memphis at the plate, hitting .452 with 13 RBI. Drew Martinez has stolen a team-leading nine bases and is second on the club with a .366 batting average. T.J. Rich is swinging the bat at a .322 clip with two homers and 18 RBI, while Jacob Wilson leads the Tigers with three homers and 20 RBI.
Freshman lefty Erik Schoenrock will make the start on Tuesday night. Schoenrock is 1-0 on the season with a 2.25 ERA in three appearances, including one start. Schoenrock last pitched against Saint Peter’s on March 13, throwing three shutout innings and allowing six hits. Memphis has not announced a starter for Wednesday’s contest.
Ben Paullus has made a team-high seven appearances on the mound, all in relief. Paullus has two saves on the year with a 1.64 ERA. He has struck out 13 batters in 11 innings and is holding opposing hitters to a .111 batting average. Michael Wills has made three outings in relief and is 1-0 with a 0.00 ERA in 4.1 innings.
Arkansas and Memphis have met 31 times previously with the Razorbacks holding an 18-12-1 advantage. The Tigers have won two of the three games played at a neutral site. The two teams last met on February 23, 2003, with Arkansas pulling out a 10-9 win at Memphis.