FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. - The top-ranked Arkansas baseball team closes its season-opening, eight-game homestand this weekend as it hosts Evansville at Baum Stadium. Game times are set for 3:05 p.m. on Friday and 1:05 p.m. on Saturday and Sunday.
All three games of the weekend series will be available on RazorVision through ArkansasRazorbacks.com and on the Razorback Baseball Radio Network from IMG. Three-time Arkansas Sportscaster of the Year Chuck Barrett and former Arkansas Sports Information Director Rick Schaeffer will call the action on Sunday. Kyle Kellams will have the call for Friday and Saturday's games. A live blog and live stats for each game will be available on ArkansasRazorbacks.com. Fans can also follow updates of each game on @RazorbackBSB, the official Twitter account of the Razorback baseball team.
Single-game tickets for the Evansville series are still available. Tickets are $10 for reserved seats and may be purchased by calling 1-800-982-HOGS (4647), by visiting the online ticket center at ArkansasRazorbacks.com or on gameday at Baum Stadium, while supplies last.
Arkansas picked up a pair of shutout victories on Tuesday as it swept a doubleheader vs. New Orleans. The Razorbacks won the opener, 14-0, and claimed a 3-0 victory in the nightcap. It marked the first back-to-back shutouts for the Razorbacks since March 10 and March 13, 2012, when Arkansas blanked Binghamton and Gonzaga in consecutive games.
Six Arkansas pitchers combined on the two shutouts in the twin bill. The six Razorback hurlers combined to allow just five hits over 16 shutout innings with 15 strikeouts and seven walks. At the plate, Arkansas hit .297 as a team. Jacob Mahan had three hits and drove in four runs in the game one victory, while Willie Schwanke and Tyler Spoon each hit the first homer of their collegiate career and drove in three runs in the first game of the doubleheader. Jake Wise had two RBI and Matt Vinson had a pair of hits to lead Arkansas to a win in game two.
On the season, Arkansas is hitting .302 as a team. Brian Anderson leads the Razorbacks at the plate with a .467 batting average with four RBI. Mahan is hitting .462 with five RBI, while Spoon has a .444 batting average with a home run and a team-leading six RBI. Joe Serrano is 5-for-10 at the plate with two RBI and Vinson has a .348 batting average with three RBI.
The Razorback pitching staff has a 1.47 team ERA through the first five games of the season. Arkansas is scheduled to start a trio of right handers on the mound vs. Evansville. Preseason All-American Ryne Stanek will start the series opener on Friday. In game two, junior Barrett Astin is the scheduled starter. Stanek and Astin each earned victories in their first start of the season last weekend vs. Western Illinois. Freshman Trey Killian is projected to make his first collegiate start in the series finale on Sunday. Killian pitched out of the bullpen vs. WIU and tossed three perfect innings out of the bullpen.
The Arkansas bullpen has a 0.79 ERA on the season. Jalen Beeks has made two scoreless appearances in relief and has a save with four strikeouts in four innings. Michael Gunn, Cade Lynch, Colby Suggs and Tyler Wright have each made one scoreless outing, while Brandon Moore has also pitched in one game and has a 1.80 ERA, allowing a run in five innings.
Evansville enters the weekend series with a 1-2 record after dropping two of three games last weekend at UALR. All three games were decided by one run with the Purple Aces winning the opener, 2-1, before UALR came back to win games two and three.
Evansville is hitting .298 on the season. Six different players recorded four or more hits in the UALR series, led by Kevin Kaczmarski, who went 5-for-12 at the plate and extended his on-base streak to 22 games. Kyle Pollock had three RBI and went 4-for-11 at the plate, while Johnny Day had four hits and drove in two runs.
On the mound, the Purple Aces have a team ERA of 4.68. Sophomore southpaw Kyle Freeland will start the opener on Friday. Freeland picked up a win in his season debut last weekend, throwing seven innings and allowing just one run while striking out eight. Redshirt junior right hander Sam Johns will start Saturday's contest, while senior righty Kyle Lloyd will start the series finale. Johnson allowed four runs in four innings vs. UALR, while Lloyd struck out 10 in five shutout frames.
Jake Naumann and Tyler Miller have each appeared in two games out of the Evansville bullpen. Naumann has a save and has thrown 1.2 scoreless innings with two strikeouts. Miller has allowed a run and struck out two in 2.2 innings. Connor Strain has tossed a scoreless inning in relief with a pair of strikeouts.
Arkansas holds a 6-2 lead in the all-time series vs. Evansville. All eight previous meetings have taken place in Fayetteville. The two teams last met in 2001 with each team winning a game in the two-game series.
For more information regarding Razorback baseball or University of Arkansas athletics, please visit ArkansasRazorbacks.com.
Series Schedule (Times Central and Subject to Change) - Fayetteville, Ark.
Friday, Feb. 22 - 3:05 p.m.
Saturday, Feb. 23 - 1:05 p.m.
Sunday, Feb. 24 - 1:05 p.m.
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