The Rise of Arkansas freshman pitcher Gabe Gaeckle

By Evan Kamikow
on 2024-05-13 21:32 PM

FAYETTEVILLE, Ar. (KNWA/KFTA) – Arkansas freshman pitcher Gabe Gaeckle has continued to turn heads with his performances this season.

His most recent one against Mississippi State picking up league honors as he was name SEC Freshman of the Week.

However, that isn’t the only performance that garnered him attention. Back in February, Dave Van Horn went to Gaeckle in relief in the Oklahoma State game. While the Hogs lost, the freshman struck out six in 2.2 shutout innings.

“That was unbelievable. I think Dallas was one of my favorite games of the year just because of the environment but yeah, I came in and it was a tough situation. To be able to get myself out of it or the team out of it was really, you know, that was really fun. And I’d say that was one of the most fun games I’m pitching this year,” Gaeckle said.

It’s been a year of adjustments for Gaeckle, as a former starter in high school, he’s learned how to become a weapon for the Hogs out of the bullpen.

“I play catch with Brady Tygart every day. And so he’s kind of gave me some points. He helped me with my changeup a lot earlier in the fall, which was good. And so having like, Will McEntire and Koty Frank and all these older guys who have done it for a while has been great for me just to learn from them and kind of figure out a routine to get into while I’m in the bullpen to make sure I’m prepared,” Gaeckle said.

That’s not the only adjustment he’s made. The Ozarks are a far cry from the beaches of Northern California where he’s from.

Luckily, he has former club ball teammate and freshman Hog catcher Ryder Helfrick here with him and his parents, Kelly and Pete.

“He’s got three years of this opportunity to be able to go out and watch him. And if he’s done with baseball, at the end of three years, we’ll never have this chance again. And if everything goes well and he gets to continue to play after college, we’re still probably wouldn’t really have the opportunity to have him in one spot where we could just sit down and watch him. So this just worked out really well. And hopefully we haven’t pestered him too much,” Pete, Gabe’s dad, said.

Gaeckle has been happy to do whatever the Hogs need of him this season and hopefully will get the opportunity to do much more in the postseason.

“It feels good to say anything to really help the team win. And so coming into the season, I didn’t really care what role I was in. I just wanted to pitch for them. And so it’s felt good getting those games, especially when it’s an SEC week and it’s pretty fun pitching in front of the fans,” Gaeckle said.

(Last updated: 2024-05-13 21:32 PM)