Arkansas Razorback Baseball: Hogs Prepare for Houston College Classic

 

The No. 4 ranked Arkansas Razorbacks (9-1) take their first road trip of the season to Houston when they make an appearance in the 12th Annual Houston College Classic March 2 through March 4 at Minute Maid Park.

The Hogs headline the Classic which also features No. 5 Rice, No. 21 Texas, University of Houston, Texas Tech, and SEC East rival Tennessee during the three day event.

Arkansas is scheduled to be the first team playing each day drawing Texas Tech on Friday, Houston on Saturday, and Texas on Sunday.

The hometown Rice Owls are set to be the crowd favorite drawing the last evening game of each day. Rice plays Texas on Friday, Texas Tech on Saturday, and Tennessee on Sunday.

The Hogs head into the weekend led by three players that have started all 10 games and are hitting over .400 on the season- Tim Carver (.462), Matt Reynolds (.429), and Dominic Ficociell (.417).

As a team the Razorbacks have outhit their opponents 111-72, scored more runs 88-33, and produced more RBI 81-29. Much of the Hogs gaudy offensive numbers versus their opponents can be contributed to the excellent work on the mound from head coach Dave Van Horn’s pitching staff.

Van Horn and pitching coach Dave Jorn ended the 2011 season ranked No. 27 in ERA out of the 292 Division-1 teams. The Razorbacks have improved upon last year’s team ERA dropping their average from 3.20 to 2.90 after their two-game series against BYU.

D.J. Baxendale (3-0, 2.25 ERA), Ryne Stanek (2-0, 1.80 ERA), and Brandon Moore (1-0, 2.00 ERA) have each began the season with strong starting pitching efforts for the Hogs.

Reliever Nolan Sanburn and Colby Suggs are tied with the most appearances for the Hogs, each pitching in five games.

Sanburn has the lone Razorback loss but has produced 11 strikeouts in his seven innings pitched. He is trailing starting pitcher Cade Lynch by two KO’s for a share of the team lead.

The one area for improvement among the position players is the high number of errors committed. The Hogs have registered 17 errors to their opponent’s 18 inside the friendly confines of Baum Stadium.

Last year Houston won the three-day event by finishing the weekend 3-0. Rice went 2-1 with their lone loss coming to then No. 3 University of  Texas.

TCU catcher Bryan Holaday earned 2011 MVP honors after hitting .538 with three extra base hits.

 

Friday’s schedule:

Texas Tech at Arkansas, 12:00 p.m.

Tennessee at Houston, 3:30 p.m.

Texas at Rice, 7:00 p.m.

 

Saturday’s schedule:

Arkansas at Houston, 12:00 p.m.

Texas at Tennessee, 3:30 p.m.

Texas Tech at Rice, 7:00 p.m.

 

Sunday’s schedule

Arkansas at Texas, 11:00 p.m.

Houston at Texas Tech, 2:30 p.m.

Rice at Tennessee, 6:00 p.m.

 

*All times are CST

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Tags: 2012 College Baseball 2012 Houston College Classic Arkansas Arkansas Razorbacks Baseball College Baseball D.J. Baxendale Dave Van Horn Dominic Ficociell Houston Matt Reynolds Minute Maid Park Nolan Sanburn Razorbacks Rice Ryne Stanek SEC Tennessee Texas Texas Tech Tim Carver University Of Arkansas

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