Southern California coming to Baum for weekend.
FAYETTEVILLE - Back after splitting four games in San Diego beating Arizona and San Diego State and losing to Cal Poly-San Luis Obispo and the University of San Diego,, Arkansas’ baseball Razorbacks return to Baum Stadium for a Wednesday through Sunday five games in five days homestand against the Dayton Flyers and Pac 12 power University of Southern California Trojans.
The teams bear contrasting records. Dayton, playing all road games in a swing through North Carolina and South Carolina is 1-5 beating only Evansville, in a battle of cold-weather Indiana and Ohio based teams touring the South.
South Carolina-Upstate, Wofford and High Point administered the defeats though the Flyers progressed their final two games of losing a 3-game sweep to High Point falling only 8-7 and 4-3.
Dayton does have a power hitter, Pat Meehan with three home runs and six RBI in six games.
Going into Tuesday’s game with Loyola Marymount, USC is 6-1.
Dayton plays 3 p.m. games against Arkansas today and Thursday.
USC plays a 3-game series against the Hogs at 2 p.m. Friday, 3 p.m. Saturday and 12:30 p.m. Sunday.
Having swept Bucknell three games opening its season the weekend previous to the San Diego trip, Arkansas is 5-2 and looking to play better than last week.
“I would grade it about a C-plus,” Arkansas Coach Dave Van Horn said before the Razorbacks practiced Tuesday. “The good thing was we beat a couple of pretty good teams. You know Arizona is a good club. We pitched extremely well and made all the plays. Then also we beat San Diego State in their own ball park so that's a road win for us. the two games we lost we could have easily won those if we play a little bit better defense. Especially the Cal Poly game. We lost 4-3 and we gave them their first three runs.”
Freshman Caleb Bolden, logging three shutout relief innings against Bucknell, has earned today’s start against Dayton, Van Horns said Tuesday.
Thursday’s starter against Dayton will be determined after evaluating the number of pitchers required against Dayton today and keeping the bullpen strong for the weekend against USC.
Van Horn said he will pitch weekend starters Blaine Knight of Bryant, 1-0, 0.82 ERA, and Isaiah Campbell, 1-0, 2.00 ERA, Friday and Saturday against Southern California and start Kacey Murphy against USC on Sunday after the left-hander’s six shutout logged him the 1-0 victory over Arizona.
Right-hander Keaton McKinney has not pitched since a 2-inning start against Bucknell and has “some soreness,” Van Horn said and will be withheld from the two games with Dayton but “might be available against USC.
Lefty reliever Matt Cronin is 2-0 with a save in three appearances and a 0.00 ERA for 7 1-3 innings and right-hander Jake Reindl, 0-1 but with a save and a 3.00 ERA in three appearances, are the closers.
Freshman left fielder Heston Kjerstad, .409, leads the Razorbacks hitters.