FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. – The Southeastern Conference released its 2015 Preseason All-SEC Baseball Team Thursday morning with senior closer Jacob Stone earning second team honors as a relief pitcher, while the Razorbacks were picked to finish fourth in the western division by the league’s head coaches.
Stone became one of the league’s dominant relievers in 2014, making 24 appearances and posting a 4-0 record with four saves and a 0.94 earned run average. He recorded 31 strikeouts and allowed just four extra base hits in 38.1 innings of work.
The Fort Worth, Texas native opened his Razorback career last season with nine consecutive scoreless appearances and allowed just one earned run over his first 17 outings. He turned into the primary closer over the final two weeks of the 2014 season, earning saves in three of Arkansas’ final four wins of the year, including two saves in the SEC Tournament and one in the NCAA Charlottesville Regional against Liberty.
While Stone earned preseason All-SEC accolades, the Razorbacks were picked to finish fourth in the SEC West behind LSU, Alabama and Texas A&M. Defending National Champion and consensus preseason No. 1 Vanderbilt was picked atop the SEC East and selected to capture the 2015 conference championship.
Arkansas will open the conference portion of its schedule at the preseason favorite, traveling to Nashville, Tennessee to take on the Commodores March 13-15.
The Razorbacks open the 2015 season Friday afternoon, hosting North Dakota at 3:05 p.m. Sophomore James Teague will make his second collegiate start as Arkansas looks for its 21st consecutive opening day victory.