Mon April 22, 2024

By Lance Hawley

Hogs, UAPB Preview
By Otis Kirk

FAYETTEVILLE -- No. 2 Arkansas will host UAPB on Tuesday night in North Little Rock's Dickey-Stephens Park at 6 p.m.

Arkansas (34-6, 14-4) is coming off a weekend series win over South Carolina. UAPB (13-25) has struggled much of the season. They do have a catcher, Edwin DeLaCruz, who is hitting .519 with 55 hits in 106 at bats. He has added two home runs and knocked in 30 runs.

UAPB has played several in-state schools. They have lost to Arkansas State 10-0 and 7-4. Little Rock beat them 3-2. UAPB did have success against Arkansas Baptist winning four games. UAPB won 20-6, 32-3, 15-1 and 30-2. Two wins over Philander Smith as well including 17-7 and 16-5.

Dave Van Horn was pleased his team was able to bounce back and win Saturday's second game 9-6 after dropping the first game of the double-header 6-3. Arkansas also won on Friday 2-1.

"It was a huge game for both teams really," Van Horn said. "They were trying to get over .500 in the league. We were trying to win a series on the road. After losing the first game the way we did, it kind of got away from us early. Maybe fifth, sixth inning. For us to come back and win game two, that was really big for us."

On Saturday, outfielder Kendall Diggs, who has battled injuries and struggled at the plate went 3 for 9.

"He had a really good day and even lined out a couple times," Van Horn said. "I thought he did well last night. First time playing in a week and feeling a little better. He just didn’t have a lot of luck last night but he swung the bat good. It does a lot for our lineup, brings a veteran hitter in there that can hit the ball over your head all over the field.  He hit a couple of balls, one over the left fielders head, one down the left field line, just missed a home run a couple of times. Just had a great day. He definitely makes our lineup a lot tougher."

UAPB designated hitter and outfielder Carlos Rodriquez-Velez is hitting .305 with four home runs and 30 runs batted in. Shortstop Jaylon Nauden is hitting .388 with two home runs and plated 17 runners. Second baseman Malachi Jeffries is hitting .358 with eight runs batted in.

Arkansas will be at home this weekend to host Florida beginning Friday night at 7 p.m. Tuesday's game against UAPB can be streamed on the SEC Network+.