FAYETTEVILLE – After a split of its midweek series, the No. 14 University of Arkansas baseball team welcomes Wisconsin-Milwaukee to Baum Stadium for a three-game set this weekend. Friday’s game one is scheduled for a 3:05 p.m. (CT) start. First pitch on Saturday and Sunday are set for 2:05 p.m. and 1:05 p.m., respectively.
Arkansas (9-3) snapped a two-game skid with a 21-2 win over South Dakota State in its last outing. The run total is the highest for the team this season and the most since a 20-run effort against Mississippi State in a March 27, 2009, matchup last year. The Razorbacks also pounded out a season-high 18 hits. Arkansas scored 10 runs in the eighth inning against the Jackrabbits.
This weekend’s matchup will be a rematch of a three-game series played during the 2007 season. The Razorbacks won all three games and outscored UWM, 44-6, including a 28-run performance in game two of the series-opening doubleheader. The 2007 series is the only meeting between Arkansas and Wisconsin-Milwaukee.
The Razorbacks are paced at the plate by Collin Kuhn who carries a .395 batting average. He hit his first home run of the season in Arkansas’ last game. Kuhn also has a team-best .547 on-base percentage and seven stolen bases. Tim Carver and Zack Cox are hitting .390 and .383, respectively, to round out the top three hitting Hogs. With 12 RBI, Carver has surpassed his season total of 10 from a year ago, while Cox has hit safely in all 12 games this season for Arkansas.
As a team, the Razorbacks lead the Southeastern Conference with 17 home runs, stand second with 97 RBI and are fourth with 102 runs scored. Individually, Andy Wilkins leads Arkansas in those three categories with five home runs, 18 RBI and 15 runs scored. He also has a team-leading four doubles and 12 walks.
On the mound, Arkansas is fourth in the conference with a 2.94 team ERA. Opponents are hitting just .237 against the Razorback arms, the second-lowest mark allowed by an SEC team this season. Mike Bolsinger, Drew Smyly and Brett Eibner are penciled in to start this weekend’s contests. The trio has a combined 5-1 record and 2.03 ERA with 48 strikeouts and just 12 walks.
Out of the bullpen, DJ Baxendale is second in the conference with four saves. In his last three outings, the Razorback freshman has allowed two hits and struck out four in 5.2 innings of work.
Wisconsin-Milwaukee (4-5) won three of four at last weekend’s APSU Riverview Inn Invitational. The Panthers dropped the opener to host Austin Peay, but rallied to win their last three, a doubleheader sweep of SIU-Edwardsville and a win over Dayton in the finale. This will be UWM’s second trip to the Natural State as the team opened its 2010 season at Arkansas State.
Paul Hoenecke, the reigning Horizon League Player of the Week, leads the Panthers with a .484 batting average and 10 RBI. Ben Long and Dan Buchholz share the team lead with three home runs. As a team, Wisconsin-Milwaukee is hitting .307. The Panthers are scheduled to start RHP Kyle Schmidt, RHP Chad Pierce and RHP Jordan Hebert this weekend.
This series will mark the Razorbacks’ final preparation for next week’s SEC opener at LSU. Fans can listen to midweek action on Razorback Sports Network from ISP with Chuck Barrett in the booth as the network’s play-by-play announcer. There will also be a video and audio stream available at the online home of Razorback athletics, ArkansasRazorbacks.com.