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SEC Tournament Notes – vs. South Carolina

BY ANDRES FOCIL
SEC Tournament Notes – vs. South Carolina

SEC Baseball Tournament

Arkansas Razorbacks (40-18, 18-12)

vs.

South Carolina Gamecocks (42-17, 17-13)

Regions Park • Hoover, Ala.

Radio: RBRN / XM Satellite

Live Stats: SECsports.com • TV: Fox Sports Net

Game Outlook

Game 59: #2 Arkansas vs. #3 South Carolina

Saturday, May 26, 10 a.m.

Regions Park – Hoover, Ala.

Radio: RBRN/XM Satellites

TV: Comcast Sports Southeast

Probable Starting Pitchers

UA: 42 Duke Welker, RHP (5-5, 4.04 ERA)

USC: 27 Blake Cooper, RHP (7-1, 4.50 ERA)

Series History

Arkansas leads the all-time series: 23-18

SEC Tournament: South Carolina leads, 4-2

Neutral Site: South Carolina leads, 4-3

In Hoover: South Carolina leads, 3-1

SEC Tournament Notes – vs. South Carolina

Arkansas faces South Carolina in the first semifinal game of the 2007 SEC Tournament at 10 a.m. Saturday at Region Park. It will mark the second game between the Hogs and Gamecocks in this tournament and just the second since 2004 when UA took two-of-three games from USC in Columbia.

RHP Duke Welker will make is 17th start of the season and his first against the Gamecocks. He is 5-5 on the season with a 4.04 ERA in 84.2 innings.

The back-to-back 6-0 shutouts of Alabama and South Carolina mark the first since 1989 when the Hogs blanked Western Michigan 15-0 on March 3 and Iowa State 1-0 on March 10.

It is just the third time in 14 SEC Tournament appearances that the Razorbacks have won the first two games. The 1998 team won the first three games before losing to Auburn in the title game and the 1995 team won the first two games of the SEC Western Division Tournament in Starkville.

Dave Van Horn’s Hogs are now 4-1 against top-10 competition this season.

Arkansas’ 516 strikeouts as a team this season are the second-most in school history. UA’s 9.00 strikeouts per nine innings is currently the best of all time, ahead of the 8.49 per in 1995.

Arkansas is now 16-23 all time in the SEC Tournament.

The Hogs are 35-9 this season when they score first.

The Razorbacks are 8 for 17 (.471) with runners in scoring position during the first two games of the SEC Tournament. UA is also 9 for 24 (.375) with two outs, including eight two-out RBI.

The Arkansas pitching staff boasts a .086 opponent batting average (5 for 58) in the first two games of the SEC Tournament and has not allowed a run.

Danny Hamblin is now hitting .327 over the last 41 games with 20 home runs, 12 doubles, 48 RBI, a .788 slugging percentage and a .398 on-base percentage with 43 runs scored. He began the year hitting

.119 (5 for 42).

Logan Forsythe leads the Hogs at the plate in the SEC Tournament with a .600 batting average (3 for 5) with a 1.200 slugging percentage and four RBI. He has also drawn three walks and has a .750 on-base percentage. He was 3 for 3 against USC with a three-run home run and a RBI single.

Casey Coon has also been a big cog in the Hogs’ offense, hitting .571 (4 for 7) with a RBI and a .625 on-base percentage. Coon is also 2 for 2 in stolen bases.

Coon’s RBI against the Gamecocks was his 68th of the season, which ties Danny Hamblin’s 2006 campaign for the 10th-most RBI in a single season in school history.

Wayne Hrozek drove home the Hogs’ first run in the second inning on Wednesday vs. Alabama with a two-out single up the middle to extend his hitting streak to five games.

The Razorbacks now have three players with 50 or more RBI (Coon, 68; Hamblin, 58; Forsythe, 50).

Jess Todd is 5-0 over his last six starts with a 0.91 ERA and 64 strikeouts in 49.2 innings. He has 74 strikeouts in 54.2 innings since returning to the Hogs’ rotation against Florida on April 15.

Todd fanned a school-record 17 batters in eight innings. He broke the previous record of 16 by David Walling vs. Eastern Illinois on Feb. 20, 1998, and Warren Hemm vs. SMU on March 26, 1976.

The 17 strikeouts were also an SEC Tournament record, breaking Florida’s Rob Bonanno old record of 15 against Georgia in 1994.

Todd struck out the first nine batters of the game – all swinging – which is believed to be a UA record.

Arkansas’ 6-0 win over Alabama mark the first victory in the SEC Tournament since 2004. The Hogs went 2-2 that season with wins over Ole Miss and Tennessee. UA had lost five straight in the SEC Tournament.

The 6-0 shutout vs. the Crimson Tide on Wednesday was the Razorbacks’ first shutout of an SEC team away from Baum Stadium since April 1, 1994, when Todd Abbott no-hit Vanderbilt in Nashville.

Nick Schmidt’s complete-game shutout was the first by a Razorback since Gary Hogan Jr. did it on March 23, 2002, against Alabama.

The two hits allowed by Schmidt were the fewest in SEC Tournament history.

Download: Arkansas Saturday Note Updates – USC.pdf



Sports Category : Baseball