Here, there and everywhere for Razorbacks March 4

By Otis Kirk
on 2024-03-04 08:44 AM

FAYETTEVILLE — No. 2 Arkansas is 9-2 on the season and the common theme with this team has been dominating pitching.

While the opener saw Hagen Smith struggle mightily, the staff has been outstanding since that inning. They have four quality starters, maybe more but we have seen four, and then a versatile bullpen. Pitchers who can go several innings, Will McEntire, for one, and then specialists who can get an out or give Dave Van Horn an inning or two.

The hitting has frustrated fans at times, but has been good enough to get three run-rule wins in the nine victories. While the offense hasn’t been what many expected, it does appear that Van Horn has multiple options.

For instance, Peyton Stovall was injured and hasn’t played this season. That forced Van Horn to move Peyton Holt from third base to second. That seemed like a natural since Holt was outstanding filling in for Stovall last season. A case could be made late in the season Holt was Arkansas’ best hitter, at least certainly one of them. But freshman Nolan Souza has filled in some for Holt at second base and was outstanding this past weekend during the sweep of Murray State. Souza was 2-for-4 on Sunday with a home run and three runs batted in.

While Holt and Souza have held down second base in Stovall’s absence, Jared Sprague-Lott has been outstanding at third base. He leads the team with a .417 batting average. Missouri transfer outfielder Ross Lovich actually leads the team with a .429 average, but has only played five games. Souza is also hitting .417 but has also only played five games.

Kendall Diggs (.375), Ben McLaughlin (.316), Peyton Holt (.313) and Will Edmunson (.300) are all hitting well in the lineup. Jayson Jones is hitting .233, but leads the team with two home runs and 12 runs batted in.

Two key additions from the transfer portal expected to be outstanding at the plate were catcher Hudson White (.206) and shortstop Wehiwa Aloy (.200) haven’t gotten gong at the plate yet. Tarleton State transfer Jack Wagner, who plays outfield, first base and designated hitter, is hitting .308 in five games.

Football Nearing

The Hogs will open spring practice on Thursday morning at 8:25 a.m. They will also go on Friday, Sunday, Tuesday and Thursday, March 14, before spring break.

The Hogs will be searching for a new quarterback, running back and also will be looking at some new starters on the offensive line. The linebacker spot on defense will be very interesting to watch after four from last year hit the transfer portal including the top two tacklers.

Sam Pittman will speak with the media on Tuesday ahead of the spring drills.

Basketball Does it Again

Just when many felt basketball was turning the corner they fell to Vanderbilt at home. Arkansas put up a very good effort on Saturday in Lexington, but still lost. The loss to Vanderbilt came after Arkansas had played a very good game at Mississippi State and then beat both Texas A&M and Missouri.

The Hogs LSU on Wednesday and then finish up at Alabama on Saturday. Following that the SEC Tournament will take place and that will almost certainly mark the end of the season.

(Last updated: 2024-03-04 08:44 AM)