FAYETTEVILLE – Currently on a five-game winning streak, the Arkansas baseball team hits the road for a midweek game at Missouri State on Tuesday. Game time at Hammons Field in Springfield, Mo., is set for 6:35 p.m.
Tuesday’s game will be available on the Razorback Baseball Radio Network from IMG College. Three-time Arkansas Sportscaster of the Year Chuck Barrett will call the action. Live stats and a live blog will be available on ArkansasRazorbacks.com.The Razorbacks, ranked as high as 13th in the country, are 23-8 on the season and are coming off a three-game sweep over LSU last weekend. The sweep over the Tigers was Arkansas’ first series win over LSU since 2004 and the first home series win against LSU since 2001. Bo Bigham and James McCann each hit .364 in the three games against the Tigers. Bigham scored the game-winning run in Sunday’s series finale, while McCann hit a walk-off, three-run homer in Saturday’s series-clinching win.Reigning SEC Freshman of the Week Dominic Ficociello leads the Razorbacks on the season with a .340 batting average with a home run and a team-high 28 RBI. Bigham, currently on a career-long, 11-game hitting streak is batting .313 with a homer, nine RBI and a team-leading 13 stolen bases. Kyle Robinson is tied for the team lead with five home runs to go along with 27 RBI and a .309 batting average. McCann has also hit five homers with a .305 average and 20 RBI. Freshman right hander Ryne Stanek will make his seventh start of the season on Tuesday night. Stanek is 1-0 on the season with a 5.00 ERA. His last appearance came last Tuesday against Texas State when he threw three innings and allowed two runs with four strikeouts.
The Arkansas bullpen has been outstanding all season, including earning all three wins in last weekend’s sweep against LSU. For the season, the Razorback relievers are 15-2 with 10 saves and a 1.94 ERA. Freshman closer Nolan Sanburn has pitched in 13 games and has a 2-1 record with five saves and a 1.93 ERA. Fellow freshman Barrett Astin has appeared in a team-high 14 games, 12 in relief, and is 3-1 with a 2.67 ERA. Redshirt sophomore Trent Daniel has thrown in 11 games and has compiled a 1-0 record with a 2.00 ERA.
A member of the Missouri Valley Conference, Missouri State is 19-11 on the season, including an 11-3 record at home. The Bears have won four of their last five games and are coming off a series win against Wichita State last weekend. Missouri State already has non-conference wins this season against Kansas and Oklahoma State. As a team, Missouri State is batting .313, while the pitching staff has posted a 4.63 ERA.
The Bears are led offensively by Aaron Conway, who is hitting .397 with two homers, 21 RBI and a team-best 12 stolen bases. Brock Chaffin is batting .373 with three round trippers and 21 RBI, while Brent Seifert has hit a team-leading six homers and also leads the team with 26 RBI, while hitting .326. Spiker Helms has a .325 batting average with 17 RBI and one homer.
Missouri State is expected to start sophomore right handed pitcher Pierce Johnson, who is 3-2 with a 7.52 ERA in seven appearances, including six starts. Johnson is coming off a great start last week at Kansas, when he pitched a complete game, striking out 10 and allowing just one run on six hits.
Dan Kickham is the closer for the Bears, saving seven games this season. Kickham has not allowed an earned run in 13.2 innings this season, striking out 12 in his 12 appearances. J.C. Casey has thrown in 10 games, all in relief, and is 1-0 with a 5.40 ERA.
Arkansas and Missouri State have met 66 times previously with the Razorbacks holding a 46-20 edge, including a 15-11 advantage when the two teams meet in Springfield. Arkansas has won the last seven meetings between the two schools, including a 5-4 win in Fayetteville last season.