Fayetteville, Ark. – With the 2013 college baseball set to begin for the University of Arkansas on Friday, Feb. 15 at Baum Stadium in Fayetteville against Western Illinois, the Razorbacks are not only the consensus No. 1 team in the nation but they have three players listed on the Louisville Slugger preseason All-American teams.
The Hogs will be able to trout out to the mound every Friday in conference play one of the best pitchers in the nation in right-handed pitcher Ryne Stanek. Stanek is listed as a preseason second-team All-American by Louisville Slugger after helping push the Razorbacks to the semi-finals of the 2012 College World Series.
Stanek posted an 8-4 win-loss record last season as a sophomore with a 2.82 ERA in 17 starts. His win total was tied for the best on the team with departed Minnesota Twins draftee D.J. Baxendale. In 92.2 innings pitched Stanek struck out 83 batters limiting the opposition to 36 base on balls and a lowly opponent batting average of .229.
Arkansas manager Dave Van Horn has named Stanek his Friday starter, typically the role of team ace in college baseball, with junior pitcher Barrett Astin his Saturday starter, and senior left-handed pitcher Randall Fant as the team’s Sunday starter.
Fant will miss this weekend’s series against Western Illinois and possibly the series against New Orleans and Evansville over the next two weeks due to a strained hamstring. In his place senior Trent Daniel will get his spot in the rotation.
The Hogs have two players on the second-team All-American list in relief pitcher Colby Suggs and third baseman turned first baseman turned second baseman Dominic Ficociello.
Ficociello followed up a highly successful freshman All-American campaign in 2011 with a solid sophomore season at the plate and a gold-glove worthy performance at first base.
“Fic” was third on the team among regular starters with a .290 batting average, tied for second with 15 doubles, was second in RBI with 41, and tied for second with six homers. In 659 chances he only committed six errors in the field.
Also a third-team All-American is relief pitcher Colby Suggs. Suggs had the best win-loss percentage on the team last season. Coming out of the bullpen Suggs won seven games only losing once last season while posting an ERA of 1.38 in 39 innings pitched striking out 36.
Suggs will also miss the opening series of the year with a reported rib cage injury. The injury is not deemed serious per Van Horn.
Arkansas will get their first challenge of the season against a ranked team at the Coca-Cola Classic in Surprise, Ariz. The Hogs will face Arizona State on Feb. 28 and March 2, then return back to Baum Stadium for series against San Diego State and Alabama A&M before starting conference play against Ole Miss on March 15.
First Team Pre-Season All-Americans
RHP Nick Petree, Missouri St.
RHP Mark Appel, Stanford
LHP Carlos Rodon, N.C. State
RHP Trevor Williams, Arizona St.
RHP Adam Plutko, UCLA
LHP Sean Manaea, Indiana St
Relief Jimmie Sherfy, Oregon
C Mitchell Garver, New Mexico
1B George Roberts, Kent St.
2B L.J. Mazzilli, Connecticut
3B D.J. Peterson, New Mexico
SS Trea Turner, N.C. State
OF Raph Rhymes, LSU
OF Michael Conforto, Oregon St.
OF Boomer Collins, Dallas Baptist
DH Nick Backlund, Mercer
UT (CF/RHP) Michael Lorenzen, Cal. St. Fullerton
Second Team Pre-Season All-Americans
RHP Ryne Stanek, Arkansas
LHP Kent Emanuel, North Carolina
LHP Dillon Overton, Oklahoma
RHP Jonathan Gray, Oklahoma
RHP Chris Rowley, Army
RHP Buck Farmer, Georgia Tech
RHP Konner Wade, Arizona
LHP Corey Littrell, Kentucky
RHP Tyler Skulina, Kent State
RHP Bobby Wahl, Mississippi
RHP Aaron Nola, LSU
Relief Corey Knebel, Texas
Relief Aaron Burke, Coastal Carolina
C Grayson Greiner, South Carolina
C Spencer Navin, Vanderbilt
1B Mason Katz, LSU
1B Conrad Gregor, Vanderbilt
2B Erich Weiss, Texas
3B Kris Bryant, San Diego
SS Adam Frazier, Mississippi State
OF Johnny Field, Arizona
OF Austin Cousino, Kentucky
OF Austin Wilson, Stanford
UT Marco Gonzales, Gonzaga
Third Team Pre-Season All-Americans
RHP Preston Morrison, Texas Christian
RHP Andrew Mitchell, Texas Christian
LHP Brandon Leibrandt, FSU
RHP Mike Compton, FSU
LHP Jordan Montgomery, South Carolina
RHP Colby Holmes, South Carolina
RHP Andrew Pierce, Southern Mississippi
LHP Ben Wetzler, Oregon St.
RHP Jonathon Crawford, Florida
RHP Austin Kubitza, Rice
Relief Preston Hatcher, Western Carolina
Relief Michael Wagner, San Diego
Relief Dan Slania, Notre Dame
Relief Jonathan Holder, Mississippi State
Relief Colby Suggs, Arkansas
Relief Tyler Webb, South Carolina
Relief Ryan Connolly, Coastal Carolina
C Riley Moore, Arizona
C Austin Wynns, Fresno State
1B Brian Ragira, Stanford
1B Johnny Coy, Wichita State
1B Ryan Padilla, New Mexico
2B Steve Wilkerson, Clemson
2B Jordan Hankins, Austin Peay State
2B Dominic Ficociello, Arkansas
2B Tony Kemp, Vanderbilt
3B Colin Moran, North Carolina
3B Eric Jagielo, Notre Dame
3B Joey Cujas, Virginia Commonwealth
3B Alex Blandino, Stanford
3B Jose Trevino, Oral Roberts
SS Hunter Dozier, Stephen F. Austin
SS Parker Hipp, New Mexico State
OF Hunter Renfroe, Mississippi State
OF Phillip Ervin, Samford
OF Brandon Thomas, Georgia Tech
OF Bill Cullen, Virginia Commonwealth
OF Tyler Molinaro, N.C. Wilmington
UT Desmond Russell, Jackson State