CWS Primer: Arkansas Razorbacks
A Familiar Face Returns To Omaha
Omaha History: 7th CWS appearance, 0 Titles
Team Overview: Arkansas became the third SEC team to find their way to this year’s College World Series. And just like their conference-mates the Razorbacks feature a dominating pitching staff. In their final super regional game against Baylor they shutout one of the top offenses in the country for ten innings for a 1-0 win. Arkansas’ team ERA of 2.90 ranks them ninth in the country. They rank sixteenth in strikeouts per nine innings, and they rank ninth in fielding percentage. Their elite pitching and defense helped disguise a very average offense that doesn’t even rank in the top 50 in runs scored. The Razorbacks are a throw-back team that will try to win by out-executing their opposition.
Road To Omaha: Arkansas battled out of their regional without losing a game as the two seed. In the super regional they knocked off nationally seeded Baylor after dropping their first game. It was a crazy ride for Arkansas. They needed back-to-back bean balls to escape elimination against the Bears. Then, they scraped together a 10th inning run to eliminate the Bears 1-0 on Monday.
Players To Watch: Both of Arkansas’ players to watch come from their deep pitching staff. Ryne Stanek was their most effective starter. Stanek went 7-4 with a 2.91 ERA while striking out 80 batters in 86.2 innings. However, the real strength of the Razorback staff comes from their bullpen. Barrett Austin, Cade Lynch, and Colby Suggs might be the best backend bullpen arms in the entire CWS. All three pitchers feature ERA’s of 2.15 or lower. Suggs’ numbers might be the most ridiculous. He went 7-0 with a 1.22 ERA while striking out 35 batters in 37 innings of work.
Will Take Home The Title If…: If the Razorbacks continue to get amazing production from their pitching staff they could raise the trophy when it’s all said and done. If Arkansas can get a lead heading into the seventh inning their bullpen makes it nearly impossible for them to lose.
A Quick Trip If: If Arkansas’ anemic offense can’t produce enough run support it could be lights out for what’s sure to be one of the crowd favorites.
Why Omaha Should Cheer For Them: Former Husker head coach Dave Van Horn is the man in charge for Arkansas now. Cheering for him is like a stroll down memory lane, and it’s a lane full of pleasant memories at that. Van Horn led the Huskers to multiple CWS appearances.