FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. – The 2017 Razorback Baseball Fall World Series will get underway Wednesday at Baum Stadium as the baseball team nears the end of its fall workout season.
The intrasquad games, which will be a best-of-five series, will split the roster into two teams (Cardinal, Gray) with Carson Shaddy (Gray) and Luke Bonfield (Cardinal) as the designated player-coaches. First pitch for game one is set for 3 p.m. on Wednesday.
Head coach Dave Van Horn is entering his 16th season as the head Hog and is overseeing a club that includes 16 newcomers and 28 returners. Those newcomers were recently ranked as third-best class in the country by Baseball America, the second top-five class for the Razorbacks in the last three years.
Making up the Gray team are 15 veterans and seven newcomers. On the pitching staff, junior Jake Reindl and redshirt sophomore Isaiah Campbell will shoulder the load along with left-handed relievers Matt Cronin and Weston Rogers.
Reindl returns to the Razorbacks this year as one of the best bullpen arms in the Southeastern Conference as he racked up a 2.31 ERA over 50.2 innings with 49 strikeouts. In conference play, Reindl had a 0.93 ERA in 29 innings with just three earned runs allowed in 10 appearances. His conference ERA was the lowest among all pitchers in the league last year.
Shaddy heads up the gray squad as he returns to the Hogs for his fifth year. Shaddy hit .279 a year ago with eight home runs and 40 RBIs. Over the last two years, the Fayetteville native has totaled 132 hits, 85 RBIs, and 16 home runs to go along with a .305 combined average.
On the Cardinal team, Bonfield leads a team of 13 returners and nine newcomers that has a good mixture of left and right-handed pitchers.
Junior Blaine Knight is arguably the biggest returner on the staff, but he’ll be complemented by sophomore left-hander Evan Lee, who will also have his services utilized in the outfield. Lee had a 3.60 ERA over 15 appearances in 2017 with 17 strikeouts. He also hit .333 in 42 at-bats with eight RBIs and a .451 on-base percentage from the right side of the plate.
Captaining the outfield of the Cardinal team is freshman All-American Dominic Fletcher. Fletcher was, arguably, the best freshman hitter in the SEC last year with a .291 average, 12 home runs, and 37 RBIs. His 12 long balls was just one off from tying the Arkansas freshman record set by Zack Cox back in 2009, but were the most among all freshman in the SEC.
Freshman right-hander Jackson Rutledge will be the game one starter for the Gray team and he’ll go up against Lee for the Cardinal team. Reindl and Knight are scheduled to be the game two starters for the Gray and Cardinal teams, respectively.
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2017 Fall World Series Schedule
Game 1 – Wednesday, Oct. 11 at 3 p.m.
Game 2 – Friday, Oct. 13 at 3 p.m.
Game 3 – Sunday, Oct. 15 at 2 p.m. (7 inning game)
Game 4 – Tuesday, Oct. 17 at 1 p.m. (if necessary) (7 inning game)
Game 5 – Wednesday, Oct. 18 at 3 p.m. (if necessary) (7 inning game)