FAYETTEVILLE – The No. 7 University of Arkansas baseball team steps out of Southeastern Conference play for a midweek game against Missouri State. First pitch of Wednesday’s contest is scheduled for 6:35 p.m. at Baum Stadium and the ballgame will be televised by Cox Sports Television (CST). Mike Nail and Ron Swoboda will handle the play-by-play and color commentary duties for the broadcast.
Arkansas leads the all-time series with Missouri State, 46-20. Last season, the Razorbacks beat Missouri State twice, 10-0 in Fayetteville and 2-0 in Springfield. Arkansas has won six straight and eight of the past 10 meetings between the two teams. The Bears beat the Hogs in the only postseason meeting between the teams, a 9-8 win in extra innings in the 1999 NCAA Fayetteville Regional. Arkansas and Missouri State first met in 1966, a 7-5 victory in Fayetteville.
The Razorbacks carry a 33-8 overall record and are in first place in the SEC Western Division with a 13-5 mark in league play. Arkansas holds a two-game lead over LSU and Ole Miss. In their last outing, the Hogs lost a 2-1 decision in their series finale at Florida. Arkansas’ modest two-game skid is its longest of the season. The club’s last non-conference loss came March 9 to South Dakota State.
Through 41 games, Arkansas is second in the SEC with a .327 batting average. Zack Cox paces the club with his .432 batting average, while leadoff hitter Collin Kuhn is swinging at a .388 clip. Kuhn leads the SEC with 54 runs scored; Cox is second with 48. Kuhn has also been hit by a pitch 21 times this season, one shy of tying the school record of 22 set by Joe Jester in 1999.
Brett Eibner leads the team with 13 home runs, the second-highest total in the SEC. Andy Wilkins has 11 home runs and Kuhn is third on the team with 10 dingers. Wilkins is the team leader with 52 RBI. Tim Carver has the longest current hitting streak for Arkansas at 10 games.
Left-hander Geoffrey Davenport is penciled in to get the start Wednesday against Missouri State. In 16 appearances this season, Davenport is 2-2 with 27 strikeouts and a 3.81 ERA in 28.1 innings of work. This will mark the third start of the year for Ft. Worth, Texas, native. Collectively, the Razorbacks are third in the SEC with their 3.70 team ERA. Arkansas is holding opponents to a .252 batting average.
Missouri State enters the midweek contest with a 17-21 overall record and a 3-6 tally in the Missouri Valley Conference. The Bears are 6-4 in their last 10 ballgames, including a series win over Creighton in their last outing with two victories during the three-game set. Missouri State is 4-14 on the road this season.
Preseason MVC selection Kevin Medrano leads his team with a .430 batting average and 12 doubles. Aaron Conway has a team-best six home runs and Luke Voit leads Missouri State with 27 RBI. The Bears’ offense has a .273 team batting average, while the pitching staff has a 4.57 team ERA. Missouri State last won in Fayetteville during the 2006 season.
Wednesday’s game will mark Arkansas’ ninth television appearance this season and seventh on CST (Ch. 119 in Northwest Arkansas). Fans can also tune in to midweek action on the Razorback Sports Network from ISP. Chuck Barrett will be in the booth as the network’s play-by-play announcer. There will be an audio and video stream available at the online home of Razorback athletics, ArkansasRazorbacks.com.
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