Hogs Omaha Bound to Battle Creighton
FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. – The No. 20 Arkansas baseball team will play its final nonconference game of the regular season Tuesday evening, traveling to Omaha, Nebraska to take on Creighton at TD Ameritrade Park at 6 p.m. on CBS Sports Network.
Tuesday’s game will be televised nationally by CBS College Sports with Brent Stover and Ray King calling the action. Phil Elson will have the call on the IMG Razorback Sports Network.
• The Razorbacks have not dropped an SEC series over the last seven weekends, posting a record of 14-6 during the stretch with one conference series remaining in the regular season.
• The Razorbacks appeared in all six major polls last week for the first time this year, peaking at No. 20 in Baseball America and D1Baseball.
• Arkansas is the only team in the SEC to go unbeaten in its last seven SEC series, taking down Ole Miss, Auburn, Kentucky, No. 1 Texas A&M, Mississippi State and Alabama, while splitting a rain-shortened two-game set with Tennessee.
• The Arkansas pitching staff has held opponents to two runs or less in six of the last nine games and has a 1.77 ERA in the last seven contests, allowing 12 earned runs in 61.0 innings of work.
• Arkansas has come from behind in seven of its 15 conference wins this year, with four of those coming in the seventh inning or later.
• The Razorbacks are No. 48 in the latest RPI according to D1Baseball.com. Arkansas has jumped 36 spots after sitting at No. 84 heading into the Texas A&M series on April 18 and have also played the 29th toughest schedule in the country to date.
• Andrew Benintendi continues his National Player of the Year quest after going 6-for-7 last weekend with his 16th home run on the year to rank second in the country. He leads the country in slugging percentage at .763.
• Joe Serrano has reached base safely in 18 straight games to set the stage for National Player of the Year candidate, while Tyler Spoon is following up the SEC’s top hitter with a .343 average and a team-best 15 doubles.
• Is the first player in school history with at least 15 home runs and 20 stolen bases in a season.
• Is one of only two players in the country with 10+ home runs and 20+ stolen bases.
• Is second in the country with 16 home runs on the year.
• Leads the country with a .763 slugging percentage.
• Ranks fourth in the SEC with 48 RBI on the year (8 behind leader).
• Had a span of four home runs in six plate appearances against Mississippi Valley State and Kentucky.
• Leads the SEC with a .500 on base percentage.
• Has reached base in 29 of his last 40 plate appearances.
• Has raised batting average 96 points over the last 23 games.
• Has one strikeout over the last 10 games and 40 plate appearances.
• Leads the SEC with a .405 batting average.
• His .405 batting average would be the highest since 2011 when Zack Cox set the school record at .429.
• Has reached base safely in 22 consecutive games.
• Has eight multi-hit games over the last 10 contests.
• Ranks fifth in the SEC with 20 stolen bases on the year.
• Has eight stolen bases over the last 12 games.
• Leads the SEC with 132 total bases.
• Ranks fourth in the SEC with 51 runs scored. (Led team with 45 runs scored all of last year)
Arkansas is 8-5 all-time against Creighton, including four straight wins against the Blue Jays. The last meeting between the two programs came in 2007 during the NCAA Fayetteville Regional with the Razorbacks picking up a 6-0 victory. Of the 13 meetings, 10 came before 1977.
Series Wins Piling Up
Arkansas is the only team in the SEC to go unbeaten in its last seven SEC series. The rain-shortened Tennessee series kept the Razorbacks from attempting to win seven straight conference series for just the third time in program history after accomplishing the feat in the Southwest conference in 1979 and 1990.
A League of His Own
Andrew Benintendi is one of two power-five conference players to rank in the top 25 in the country in batting average and home runs, joining Wake Forest’s Will Craig.
A Golden Award
#BennyBaseball has been named one of 30 finalist for the Golden Spikes Award as the top amateur baseball player in the country. He was one of nine new players added to the list on May 7 and is one of seven candidates from the SEC up for the prestigious award.
Over his last five starts, freshman Keaton McKinney is 4-0 with a 1.89 ERA, two complete games, one shutout and a .193 batting average against. He has only allowed seven earned runs over his last 33.1 innings and is one week removed from earning SEC Pitcher of the Week honors.
Well Done, Guys
Five current Arkansas players graduated last weekend, as Joe Serrano, Tyler Spoon, Krisjon Wilkerson, Jackson Lowery and Lance Phillips all received their diploma from the University of Arkansas. Current student assistants Jake Wise and Tim Carver also graduated, while former players Cade Lynch and Geoffrey Davenport completed their degrees.
The Razorbacks are one of just seven teams in the country to advance to each of the last 13 NCAA Tournaments as they are on the brink of making it 14 straight during the 2015 season. Arkansas has appeared in six consecutive Regional Finals and has won 40 or more games five times in the last six years.
Arkansas will cap the regular season this weekend, traveling to Athens, Georgia for a Thursday-Saturday SEC series against the Georgia Bulldogs at Foley Field.
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