Pitching stands out in Hogs’ scrimmages vs. Rangers

FAYETTEVILLE — During interviews this autumn, Arkansas coaches have expressed optimism about the possibility of the workforce’s pitching personnel in 2023. 

The Razorbacks misplaced nearly all of their place avid gamers, however go back six pitchers who took the mound on the College World Series previous this yr. Arkansas has additionally added a lot of freshman or switch pitchers who’re anticipated to give a contribution subsequent season. 

That intensity was once on show at Baum-Walker Stadium this week because the Razorbacks held batters from the Texas Rangers tutorial league workforce to 8 hits in 16 innings. 

The Rangers’ bats began scorching Thursday, however cooled temporarily because the Razorbacks gained 8-4 in a seven-inning scrimmage. Arkansas out-scored the Rangers 18-6 all over the two-day exhibition sequence. 

“I thought our pitching was really good,” Arkansas trainer Dave Van Horn stated. “It showed that we have depth. We have good arms and a lot of competition, but a lot of camaraderie, and that was really good to see.”

Seven Arkansas pitchers held the Rangers to 4 hits and a pair of walks, and mixed to strike out 5 on Thursday. Austin Ledbetter, Koty Frank and Parker Coil had been particularly efficient between the 3rd and 5th innings as they mixed to retire 9 consecutive batters on 25 pitches. 

Hagen Smith, a 2022 Freshman All-American, allowed one run after a lead-off stroll via Jose De Jesus in the primary inning. De Jesus stole moment base and scored following a couple of groundouts. 

Smith, who grew up a Rangers fan in Bullard, Texas, stated his efficiency was once “OK,” however he was once proud of the workforce’s general efficiency. 

“Our staff this year is showing that we have a lot of strike throwers,” Smith stated, “and we commanded the zone pretty good.” 

The Razorbacks’ pitchers completed the sequence with 20 strikeouts and seven walks in 63 at-bats. Arkansas threw 13 pitchers towards the Rangers and allowed 4 earned runs. 

The Rangers’ simplest multi-run inning Thursday got here towards left-hander Nick Griffin, who allowed a one-out RBI triple to Keithron Moss in the second one inning. Moss later scored on a sacrifice fly to offer the Rangers a 3-0 lead. 

Arkansas tied the scrimmage on Tavian Josenberger’s three-run house run to opposite-field left in the 3rd inning. The Razorbacks went forward 4-3 later in the inning when Jared Wegner bounced a unmarried over the top of the 3rd baseman to attain Caleb Cali from moment base. 

Right-hander Ivan Oviedo didn’t document an out whilst going through six Arkansas batters in the fourth inning. The inning ended — or was once “rolled” — following Wegner’s RBI unmarried. 

Oviedo changed John Gessner, a 22-year-old right-hander from Australia whose simplest blemish in two innings was once a hard-hit unmarried via Peyton Stovall in the primary. Gessner struck out 4 Razorbacks. 

“It wasn’t all about winning these last two days,” Van Horn stated. “We rolled innings and scores really weren’t what they would have been.” 

Josenberger’s 364-foot house run simply cleared the left-field fence and got here on the finish of a seven-pitch combat towards Oviedo. The switch-hitting Josenberger fouled off the primary 3-2 pitch, then drove a 91 mph fastball. 

Van Horn stated Josenberger, a middle fielder who transferred from Kansas, has been a powerful lead-off hitter since he returned from a again damage that restricted him for a short while early in fall observe. 

“He’s been really good at the top of the order since the day he got back in the lineup,” Van Horn stated. “And it’s good to see he’s kind of a little bit of an emotional leader for us, too. I can tell the guys kind of gravitate to him and they respect him. We need a little bit of that.”

Josenberger’s was once the primary of 2 house runs for Arkansas on Thursday. Freshman Reese Robinett blasted a 432-foot house run to heart area in the ground of the 7th to plate two runs. 

The Razorbacks led 6-4 after the highest of the 7th, however batted in the ground of the inning to supply extra are living enjoy for avid gamers on each side. 

Arkansas out-hit the Rangers 9-4. Parker Rowland, a JUCO switch catcher, had two hits. Rowland singled to guide off the four-run 3rd inning, and hit a two-out RBI double in the fourth that scored Jace Bohrofen to offer the Razorbacks a 5-3 lead. 

Both of Rowland’s hits got here towards Oviedo, a 20-year-old second-year professional from the Dominican Republic. 

Robinett’s house run was once towards probably the most Rangers’ oldest avid gamers, 23-year-old right-hander Andy Rodriguez, who signed in this yr’s global draft after enjoying at Miami Dade Community College in Florida. 

The Razorbacks additionally scored an unearned run towards 18-year-old right-hander Daniel Keaney, who signed with the Rangers out of Guilderland (N.Y.) High School previous this yr as an undrafted unfastened agent. 

The Rangers traveled 41 avid gamers to Fayetteville and performed an almost-entirely other lineup Thursday than the person who misplaced 10-2 the day prior to. The simplest participant who began each video games was once designated hitter Tucker Mitchell, who went 1 for three.

Will McEntire, a starter for the Razorbacks on the College World Series, pitched the 6th inning and gave up an RBI double to Liam Hicks, a former Arkansas State catcher. Dylan Carter pitched a scoreless 7th for Arkansas. 

Van Horn stated the pitchers who didn’t throw towards the Rangers may have a “situational-type scrimmage” Friday. Some pitchers will likely be close down for the remainder of the autumn season that concludes subsequent week with the workforce’s Fall World Series, which will likely be performed Monday and Tuesday starting at 1 p.m., and Thursday at a time to be made up our minds. 

The Rangers are 0-4 on their week-long faculty exhibition excursion. They misplaced 8-1 at Oklahoma State on Monday and 8-3 at Oklahoma on Tuesday, and are scheduled to host TCU on Friday at Globe Life Field in Arlington, Texas.

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