Mon April 29, 2024

By Lance Hawley

Sports Razorbacks

Arkansas to Host Missouri State in Mid-week Series

Arkansas Baseball Razorbacks
Arkansas to Host Missouri State in Mid-week Series
By Otis Kirk

FAYETTEVILLE -- No. 2 Arkansas will step out of conference for the final time this regular season when they play host to Missouri State.

Arkansas (37-7, 16-5) is having a very good season and is 29-2 at Baum-Walker Stadium. Missouri State (18-24, 7-11) isn't having the season some expected them to have. The two teams though usually have some great games and these two won't be any different according to Dave Van Horn.

"Yeah, we've played some great games against Missouri State over the years," Van Horn said Saturday. "All the way back to my first year here in 2003. That was probably the best team they ever had there. We played them in a midweek game late in the season and we beat them. They were highly upset. They ended up going to the College World Series that year. I think it's the only time they've ever been."

Van Horn then reflected back on several other games the two teams have played.

"I remember we had a 17-inning game," Van Horn said. "I remember Brett Eibner pitching a midweek game up there and he threw a complete game. We beat them 2-0, the wind was blowing and Brett Eibner hit two solo home runs. I kidded the team after the game and said, 'We didn't need to bring you. Just bring Brett.'

"There's a lot of good memories and games. The game we played in the rain was ridiculous. We were both hydroplaning and overstomping. We've had a lot of good times people can look back on. I'm sure people do that. When [Keith Gutton] retires at the end of the year hopefully he can enjoy his kids, grandkids. Hopefully he gets to do what he wants to do whether that is fishing, gardening, golfing, pro scouting or whatever he wants to do. Good for him."

Gutton has been the head coach at Missouri State for 41 years. Van Horn was in awe of that and doesn't see that feat being duplicated.

"It's amazing and probably never happen anywhere," Van Horn said. "At one school for 40-something years, I don't even know what it is, and Coach (Nate) Thompson worked for him for a few years and enjoyed him. Everytime we play them we seem to get their best shot. I'm sure it will be the same Tuesday and Wednesday."

A familiar name at Missouri State is catcher Dylan Leach who started his career at Arkansas. Leach is hitting .301, 12 home runs and 36 runs batted in.

Right fielder Zack Stewart leads the team hitting .331 with 18 home runs and 45 runs batted in. Left fielder Taeg Gollert is also having a good season. He's got a batting average of .317 with seven home runs and 25 runs batted in. Second baseman Nick Rodriquez is hitting .302, six home runs and 29 runs batted in. Center fielder Caden Bogenpohl is hitting .272 with 14 home runs and 34 runs batted in.

Tuesday night's game will begin at 6:30 p.m,. and then Wednesday starts at 4 p.m. Missouri State is 14-16 on the road. Both games can be streamed on the SEC Network+.