Brady Tygart will see a little bit more action in his second start back from injury when he takes the mound in Game 2 of the Arkansas vs Mississippi State series on Saturday.
The sophomore right-hander’s pitch count could potentially double, as he is expected to throw 35-40 pitches against the Bulldogs. First pitch is scheduled for 6 p.m. CT and will be nationally televised on ESPN2, with the Razorbacks aiming to clinch the series after taking the opener 6-2.
It will hopefully build off his last outing, in which he threw exactly 20 pitches in one inning against Texas A&M. In that game, his fastball sat 93-95 mph and averaged 94, plus he threw several off speed pitches.
“I was really impressed with how good his stuff was, to be honest,” pitching coach Matt Hobbs told Hogs+ earlier this week. “It had been good, like he had been 90-92 in his live sets and his pens, and then he goes out there and he’s 93-95 with and 83 mph really good slider and his curveball is his curveball. Then the pitch for me is the changeup. The evolution of his changeup has been really exciting to watch.”
Just as it unfolded last week, right-hander Will McEntire is expected to follow Tygart out of the bullpen and throw starter-like innings. Against the Aggies, that meant going 5 2/3 solid innings for the Razorbacks.
As always, Best of Arkansas Sports will be tracking the game and providing live, inning-by-inning updates from Game 2 of the Arkansas vs Mississippi State series below…
LIVE UPDATES — Arkansas vs Mississippi State
Pregame Tidbits (Game 2)
Mississippi State initially didn’t name a starter for Game 2, but has since tabbed senior right-hander Landon Gartman. He was an All-AAC selection at Memphis last year, but has struggled making the jump to SEC play. Across six SEC starts, he has an 8.04 ERA and 1.54 WHIP in 28 innings.
Arkansas is using the exact same lineup as it used in Game 1, meaning Peyton Holt and Mason Neville will make their second and third career SEC starts, respectively.
T-1st: Mississippi State 0, Arkansas 0
Diggs started the game with a line drive into right. The right fielder made a diving attempt at it, but couldn’t reel it in, so it was a leadoff single. Bohrofen tried to bunt for a hit, but had to settle for a sacrifice bunt because the third baseman charged in and made a strong throw to beat him at first by half a step. McLaughlin flied out to right, allowing Diggs to tag up to third, but that’s where he was stranded because Slavens flied out to left to end the inning. It was a 14-pitch inning for Gartman.
B-1st: Mississippi State 0, Arkansas 0
Tygart got ahead 0-2 against Mershon, but ended up walking him. He also got ahead 0-2 against Ledbetter and this time, it ended with a grounder to short. Bolton turned the double play himself, erasing the base runner. Hines gave it a ride, but Bohrofen caught it in deep center. Tygart threw just 12 pitches.
T-2nd: Arkansas 4, Mississippi State 0
Arkansas got the leadoff man on again, this time in the form of a five-pitch walk to Cali. Neville was then hit by a pitch. Holt followed with what essentially served as a swinging bunt, but was nearly an infield single. He hit a chopper to third and the third baseman made a nice play to just get him, but the runners move to second and third with one out. Rowland couldn’t check his swing, striking out for the second out. Bolton worked the count full and then took a pitch that was just outside to get the walk and load the bases.
With two outs, Kendall Diggs delivered a single into left-center. It drove in two runs and put runners on the corners. Bohrofen walked to load the bases again. McLaughlin followed with a blooper to right-center that looked like it’d hang in the air long enough to be caught, but the center fielder ended up having to slide for it and it popped out of his glove as he hit the ground. It’s scored a single and it brought two more home. With runners on the corners, Slavens walked to load the bases again and that’s it for Gartman.
The new pitcher for Mississippi State is right-hander Evan Siary. He got Cali to fly out to shallow center, but Mississippi State nearly botched it. The shortstop had to run back and made the catch.
B-2nd: Arkansas 4, Mississippi State 0
Tygart needed only eight pitches to retire the Bulldogs in order in the second. Jordan flied out to left, Clark grounded out to first and Chance looked at strike three, as Tygart froze him. He’s thrown only 20 pitches.
T-3rd: Arkansas 7, Mississippi State 0
Neville worked the count full before hitting a deep fly the other way. The left fielder appeared to mistime his jump and it hit off the wall for a leadoff double. Holt poked an RBI single into right-center to make it 5-0. Rowland walked, prompting a pitching change.
The new pitcher is right-hander Colby Holcombe. Bolton laid down a sacrifice bunt with two strikes to move the runners to second and third. Diggs followed with a deep fly to left-center that should have been a sacrifice fly, but the center fielder dropped it before a soft collision with the left fielder. Instead of scoring one, it brought in two runs. Diggs ended up on third, but was stranded there when Bohrofen flied out to shallow left and McLaughlin lined out to short.
B-3rd: Arkansas 7, Mississippi State 0
Despite him being at only 20 pitches, Tygart is done after two innings – likely due to the lengthy top halves of the innings. Will McEntire is the new pitcher for Arkansas. He promptly got Hancock to ground out back to him and then struck out Alford and Larry. He threw only 13 pitches.
T-4th: Arkansas 8, Mississippi State 0
The comedy of errors by Mississippi State continued in the fourth. Slavens hit what looked like a routine pop up to shallow right that the second baseman was going to catch easily, but the shortstop collided with him and the ball fell. It’s ruled an E4 and Slavens ended up at second. He then tagged up to third on Cali’s fly out to center. Neville walked to put runners on the corners. Holt delivered an RBI single when the third baseman got caught between hops and it went into left. That was it for the Razorbacks because Rowland grounded into a 4-6-3 double play.
B-4th: Arkansas 8, Mississippi State 0
Mershon looked at strike three to start the inning before Ledbetter broke up the no-hitter with a single into center. He has all three of the Bulldogs’ hits this series. McEntire got behind 3-1 to Hines, but battled back to strike him out. Ledbetter stole second with two outs, but was stranded there when Jordan lined out to left. McEntire is up to 32 pitches through two innings of work.
T-5th: Arkansas 8, Mississippi State 0
Bolton grounded a single up the middle for a leadoff hit. Diggs nearly drove him in, but his fly ball to right was caught just in front of the wall. Bohrofen then flied out to center. With two outs, Bolton swiped second. That’s where he was stranded, as McLaughlin flied out to the track in left.
B-5th: Arkansas 8, Mississippi State 0
Clark grounded out to first and Chance flied out to center. With two outs, Hancock ripped a single into right. It took 13 2/3 innings, but someone other than Ledbetter finally got a hit for Mississippi State. Alford followed with a solid single of his own, with a line drive into left. They were stranded when Holt made a nice play charging a slow chopper by Larry and throwing him out at first. McEntire is up to 45 pitches through three innings.
T-6th: Arkansas 9, Mississippi State 0
In a 3-1 count, Slavens hit an opposite-field leadoff home run to make it 9-0. That was it, though, as Cali popped out to second, Neville went down swinging and Holt flied out to right.
B-6th: Arkansas 9, Mississippi State 2
McEntire got a couple of quick, easy outs to start the sixth, as Mershon grounded out to first and Ledbetter flied out to left. However, Hines reached on a two-out bloop single and moved to second when the ball got by Neville. The error didn’t matter, though, because Jordan crushed a 460-foot bomb to center to get the Bulldogs on the board. Clark followed with a fly ball to the left field corner and Neville never got a great read on it. It fell for a double, prompting a mound visit by Matt Hobbs. McEntire responded by getting Chance to ground out to short, with Bolton making the long throw for the final out.
T-7th: Arkansas 14, Mississippi State 2
Rowland flied out to right to start the inning and Bolton followed with a full-count walk. The 9-hole is now 1 for 1 with a single, two walks and a sacrifice bunt. Diggs followed with a two-run home run to right and that’s it for Holcombe.
The new pitcher is left-hander Tyler Davis. He promptly gave up a double to Bohrofen, who’s sharp grounder nearly made it all the way to the wall in right-center. McLaughlin then walked on five pitches. Slavens chased a pitch out of the zone to strike out. With two outs, Cali hit a three-run to left. Neville struck out to end the inning, but Arkansas is now three outs away from a run-rule win.
B-7th: Arkansas 14, Mississippi State 2
Hancock hit a fly ball in left and Neville was able to track it down for a running catch. Alford followed with a one-out walk. In an 0-2 count, pinch hitter Aaron Downs singled up the middle and Alford went first to third on the play. Bohrofen’s throw to third got away, allowing Downs to take second on the play, too. That prompted a mound visit by Hobbs. Mershon lined out to third for the second out. Ledbetter lined out to right to end the game.
FINAL: Arkansas 14, Mississippi State 2 (7 innings)
BOX SCORE – Arkansas vs Mississippi State
Starting Lineups – Arkansas vs Mississippi State
|Mississippi State Baseball||Arkansas Baseball|
|1. David Mershon – SS||1. Kendall Diggs – RF|
|2. Colton Ledbetter – CF||2. Jace Bohrofen – CF|
|3. Hunter Hines – 1B||3. Ben McLaughlin – DH|
|4. Dakota Jordan – LF||4. Brady Slavens – 1B|
|5. Kellum Clark – RF||5. Caleb Cali – 3B|
|6. Bryce Chance – DH||6. Mason Neville – LF|
|7. Luke Hancock – C||7. Peyton Holt – 2B|
|8. Slate Alford – 3B||8. Parker Rowland – C|
|9. Amani Larry – 2B||9. John Bolton – SS|
|Pitching: Sr. RHP Landon Gartman||Pitching: So. RHP Brady Tygart|
Baseball Schedule This Week
Tuesday — Lipscomb 8, Arkansas 6 (11 innings)
Friday — Arkansas 6, Mississippi State 2
Saturday — at Mississippi State — 6 p.m. CT (ESPN2)
Sunday — at Mississippi State — 1 p.m. CT (SECN+)
Accountability Check — 2023 Arkansas Baseball Predictions
Best of Arkansas Sports managing editor Andrew Hutchinson published his week-by-week predictions for the 2023 season just before the Razorbacks opened the year at the College Baseball Showdown. Those predictions can be read in full here, but we’ll also be doing weekly “accountability checks” in this space.
Prediction: 1-0 in the midweek / 34-12 overall, 13-8 in SEC play
The annual game at Dickey-Stephens Park is against Lipscomb this year. On paper, this should be a win for the Razorbacks. However, they’d traditionally played really tight games down there, even against bad teams. Lipscomb is decent — picked fourth in the 14-team ASUN — so this one will go down to the wire, but Arkansas avoids the upset.
Actual: 0-1 in the midweek / 33-12 overall, 14-7 in SEC play
We correctly predicted the game would go down to the wire, but we never could have expected the game to go 11 innings. Given all of the injuries, it’s not surprising Arkansas lost the game, especially considering how the Razorbacks have always struggled down there.
Composite College Baseball Top 25
Unlike football and basketball, which have just the AP and Coaches Polls all year (with football adding the CFP rankings late in the season), college baseball has five major polls. (Collegiate Baseball used to be included, but it was dropped to due severe inconsistencies in its rankings.)
To get a better feel for how teams stack up, BoAS has combined those rankings into a single top 25 by using a points system in which a No. 1 ranking = 25 points, No. 2 = 24 points and all the way to No. 25 = 1 point. We will update this each week throughout the season…
|2. Wake Forest||ACC||—||120|
|3. South Carolina||SEC||—||112|
|t-7. Coastal Carolina||Sun Belt||-1||92|
|t-10. Miami (Fla.)||ACC||+7||68|
|t-10. UConn||Big East||+5||68|
|12. Campbell||Big South||-4||66|
|13. West Virginia||Big 12||+8||63|
|t-14. Dallas Baptist||CUSA||+2||60|
|t-14. East Carolina||AAC||-2||60|
|19. Boston College||ACC||-8||32|
|20. Oregon State||Pac-12||+6||30|
|21. Arizona State||Pac-12||-3||23|
|22. Texas Tech||Big 12||-9||15|
|25. Oklahoma State||Big 12||—||9|
MOVED IN: Oregon State (20), UTSA (24)
MOVED OUT: Louisville (23), Indiana (24)
- SEC: 7
- ACC: 5
- Pac-12: 4
- Big 12: 3
- C-USA: 2
- AAC: 1
- Big East: 1
- Big South: 1
- Sun Belt: 1
More coverage of Arkansas baseball from BoAS…