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LOD College World Series Preview: Arkansas Razorbacks
The College World Series is set. After a regional round that saw many teams play in monsoon like weather and a Super Regional that saw six of its eight series go to a game three, we finally have our last eight teams standing. Let’s take a look at the schools that have punched their ticket to Omaha. Our third team on the list is the Arkansas Razorbacks.
Arkansas Razorbacks (44-19), Number Five National Seed, Ninth CWS Appearance, Zero CWS Titles
Yet another team out of the deepest conference in college baseball. Navigating the SEC was no easy task this year, but the Razorbacks managed to find themselves tied at the top of the SEC west. They took care of business in front of their home fans as the Hogs went an eye-popping 34-3 in Fayetteville. Road games were a whole different story as the club went 7-13 on the road. This may raise some concerns over the long trip to Omaha, but the good news is that Arkansas has held their own against decent competition at neutral sites. Oh, by the way, they’ve put up some offensive totals this season that would make their football program jealous.
It was set to be a pretty tough Fayetteville regional, but the Razorbacks had no trouble with it. They won each of their opening games by a score of 10-2, the first over Oral Roberts and the second over Southern Miss. Arkansas would meet Dallas Baptist in the third game of the regional where they would edge out a 4-3 win to sweep the bracket.
It was a relatively uneventful super regional between the Razorbacks and SEC rival South Carolina. While it did go all three games, none of the contests were very close. After losing a rare game at home in game two, Arkansas poured it on the Gamecocks in the rubber match and beat them by a final of 14-4. Those 14 runs came on just 11 hits.
Top Position Player
It’s tough to find a place to start with this group. The Razorbacks have four hitters in their lineup that are batting at least .325 with 13 or more homers. I like Casey Martin, Heston Kjerstad, and Eric Cole, but the big name to watch for me will be Carson Shaddy. Shaddy is slashing .341/.437/.653 with 13 homers and 52 RBI in just 53 games.
Blaine Knight started 17 games for the Razorbacks this year and went a perfect 12-0. The Baltimore Orioles third round draft pick has a four pitch repertoire that features a mid to high 90’s fastball and a good slider he can use for an out pitch. The 6’3 right hander posted a 2.84 ERA while striking out 92 and walking 23 in 101.1 innings.
First CWS Game: Sunday June 17th vs Texas
Featured Image Courtesy of: Ben Goff via wholehogsports.com