SPRINGFIELD, Mo. — The penultimate midweek game of the season will serve as a trial run of sorts, as Dave Van Horn has tweaked his lineup once again for the Arkansas vs Missouri State matchup.
After center fielder Tavian Josenberger went down with a hamstring injury last week at Georgia and with left fielder Jared Wegner still out with a thumb injury, the Razorbacks are searching for answers in the outfield and will try one possible solution at 6:30 p.m. CT Tuesday. The game will be streamed on ESPN-Plus.
In addition to Jace Bohrofen still sliding over to center, Brady Slavens — the usual starting first baseman — is in left field. He played the corner outfield at Wichita State and got a look there last year before settling in as the designated hitter.
The move allows Van Horn to get Ben McLaughlin in the lineup at first base, opening up the designated hitter spot for Jayson Jones. He is more of an offensive threat than Hunter Grimes, who filled in as the left fielder in Game 3 against Georgia.
Best of Arkansas Sports made the trip to Springfield, Mo., and will provide live, inning-by-inning updates below…
LIVE UPDATES — Arkansas vs Missouri State
On top of the changes in the outfield and at first base, Peyton Holt is getting the nod at second base. Peyton Stovall is here, but not going through warmups. Dave Van Horn indicated on the pregame radio show that he is dealing with an injury.
Tavian Josenberger is not on the trip and “won’t be available for a while” because of a “Grade 1” hamstring injury, according to Van Horn. He will hopefully be back in a couple of weeks.
Right-hander Cody Adcock is making a midweek start on the mound for the third straight week.
T-1st: Missouri State 0, Arkansas 0
Diggs drew a walk to start the game, but Bohrofen flied out to center and then Cali lined out to second. Diggs broke for second on contact and was doubled up on the play to end the inning. It was a 12-pitch inning for Tscherter.
B-1st: Missouri State 1, Arkansas 0
On the third pitch of the home half of the first, Rodriguez hit a home run to right to give the Bears the lead. Nivens put together a nice at bat, fouling off several pitches, but went down swinging. Hull lined out to third for the second out and Stewart struck out to end the inning. It was a 19-pitch inning for Adcock.
T-2nd: Arkansas 2, Missouri State 1
McLaughlin led off the inning with a line drive to left-center and the center fielder nearly made a diving catch, but missed the ball. It resulted in a double. He scored when Slavens singled the other way for an RBI that tied it up. Jones followed with a walk. After a strikeout by Holt, Polk grounded into a tailor made 6-4-3 double play to end the inning, but the first baseman wasn’t able to reel in the high throw from the second baseman. The ball got by him and Slavens raced home on the E4. Bolton grounded into a fielder’s choice to end the inning. Tscherter is up to 29 pitches through two innings.
B-2nd: Arkansas 2, Missouri State 1
After a leadoff walk by Kelly, Gollert ripped a double into the left field corner to put runners on second and third. Cratic made solid contact, but his line drive was right at Bolton for an out. A walk by Socci loaded the bases. McCutcheon, the 9-hole, put together a really solid at bat and fouled off a few full-count pitches, but Adcock won the battle by inducing an inning-ending 4-6-3 double play. He’s thrown 45 pitches through two innings.
T-3rd: Arkansas 2, Missouri State 1
Diggs took strike three to start the inning. Bohrofen made solid contact on a fly ball to right, but it was caught on the warning track. With two outs, Cali hit a single up the middle to make him 20 for 50 (.400) in the month of April. McLaughlin followed with a single through the left side. They were stranded on first and second when Slavens went down swinging.
B-3rd: Missouri State 7, Arkansas 2
The new pitcher for Arkansas is left-hander Zack Morris. He struck out Rodriguez to start his outing, but then walked Nivens. Hull followed with a single to right and Nivens went first to third on the play. With runners on the corners, Stewart hit an RBI single to left. Slavens might have had a play, but got a bad read on it. Morris struck out Kelly and was one strike away from ending the inning, but Gollert poked an 0-2 pitch the other way and into the corner for a two-run double. He was once again a strike away from ending the inning, but this time it was a 1-2 pitch that was singled by Cratic for an RBI.
That was it for Morris. Right-hander Austin Ledbetter enters and promptly gives up a two-run homer to Socci, who hit it in a 1-2 count. He got out of it with a groundout by McCutcheon.
T-4th: Missouri State 7, Arkansas 2
Now pitching for Missouri State is right-hander Trey Ziegenbein. Jones lined out to left, Holt went down swinging and Polk flied out to right in a 1-2-3 inning that required only 11 pitches.
B-4th: Missouri State 8, Arkansas 2
Rodriguez singled to start the inning and Nivens walked. Hull grounded out to short, but it was a slow roller and moved the runners up a base. A walk by Stewart loaded the bases and that’s it for Ledbetter.
The new pitcher is freshman left-hander Parker Coil. He induced a shallow fly ball to center that Bolton should have been able to camp under for an easy out to keep everyone where they were, but Bolton had no idea where it was. Holt was able to run over from second and make the catch, but Missouri State was able to tag up on the play because his momentum was going the other direction. Gollert – who doubled his first two times up – hit a deep fly to center, but Bohrofen tracked it down just before running into the wall.
T-5th: Missouri State 8, Arkansas 2
Bolton and Bohrofen both looked at strike three in a full count, sandwiched around a Diggs fly out to center. Ziegenbein has retired all six batters he’s faced.
B-5th: Missouri State 8, Arkansas 2
Cratic led off the fifth with a single that just got by a diving Holt at second. Socci struck out, but McCutcheon followed with a single on which Cratic went first to third. With runners on the corners, Rodriguez lined out to short and Bolton flipped to third to double up Cratic.
T-6th: Missouri State 8, Arkansas 2
Cali gave it a ride to dead center, but the center fielder tracked it down on the warning track. McLaughlin flied out to left. Slavens grounded out to second to end the inning. Ziegenbein has now gone nine up, nine down for the Bears on 39 pitches.
B-6th: Missouri State 8, Arkansas 2
Coil retired the Bears in order in the sixth. Nivens grounded out back to the Coil before Bohrofen made a diving grab in center for the second out. Stewart struck out to make it a 1-2-3 inning.
T-7th: Missouri State 8, Arkansas 4
Right-hander Scott Youngbrandt is the new pitcher for Missouri State.
The Razorbacks showed some life in the seventh. After Jones reached on an infield single, Holt hit a line drive to right-center and the center fielder took a horrible angle. It got over him and went to the wall, resulting in an RBI triple. There was a close play at third and it went to review, but was upheld. Reese Robinett pinch hit for Polk, but struck out when he couldn’t check his swing. Harold Coll pinch hit for Bolton next and hit a chopper to third. The third baseman made a nice play to get him, but it still resulted in an RBI because holt scored.
With two outs, Diggs reached on a catcher’s interference and that’s it for Youngbrandt. Now pitching for the Bears is right-hander Reed Metz. He induced a first-pitch grounder from Bohrofen. The second baseman made a tremendous play to field it and fire to second – opting for the force out rather than the easier play at first.
B-7th: Missouri State 8, Arkansas 4
Freshman right-hander Ben Bybee is now pitching for Arkansas. He gave up the back-to-back home runs against Georgia. It was a nice bounce-back inning for him, striking out Kelly and Cratic sandwiched around a pop out by Gollert.
T-8th: Missouri State 8, Arkansas 4
Cali hit it hard, but his grounder was right at the second baseman for an easy out. All three of his outs today have been hit hard. McLaughlin grounded out to first and Slavens went down swinging for the fourth 1-2-3 inning of the night.
B-8th: Missouri State 8, Arkansas 4
Bybee is still on the mound. He got Socci to fly out to right-center, but then walked Izzy Lopez – who came in as a defensive replacement in the seventh. Rodriguez struck out and then Nivens lined out to the wall in right, with Diggs making a nice catch to end the inning.
T-9th: Missouri State 8, Arkansas 4
Jones put a good swing on it, but his final at bat resulted in a fly out to right. Holt was hit by a pitch to give Arkansas a base runner. Rowland flied out to right. Holt took second on indifference, but Coll struck out to end the game.
FINAL: Missouri State 8, Arkansas 4
BOX SCORE – Arkansas vs Missouri State
Starting Lineups – Arkansas vs Missouri State
|Missouri State Baseball||Arkansas Baseball|
|1. Nick Rodriguez – SS||1. Kendall Diggs – RF|
|2. Spencer Nivens – CF||2. Jace Bohrofen – CF|
|3. Mason Hull – 2B||3. Caleb Cali – 3B|
|4. Zack Stewart – RF||4. Ben McLaughlin – 1B|
|5. Cody Kelly – 1B||5. Brady Slavens – LF|
|6. Taeg Gollert – LF||6. Jayson Jones – DH|
|7. Cam Cratic – DH||7. Peyton Holt – 2B|
|8. Anthony Socci – C||8. Hudson Polk – C|
|9. Jake McCutcheon – 3B||9. John Bolton – SS|
|Pitching: RHP Tyler Tscherter||Pitching: RHP Cody Adcock|
Baseball Schedule This Week
Tuesday — at Missouri State — 6:30 p.m. CT (ESPN+)
Thursday — vs. Texas A&M — 7 p.m. CT (ESPNU)
Friday — vs. Texas A&M — 6 p.m. CT (SECN+)
Saturday — vs. Texas A&M — 11 a.m. CT (SEC Network)
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: 2-1 on the weekend / 30-11 overall, 11-7 in SEC play
For the first time since 2018, Arkansas will travel to Athens, Ga., for a series. That year, the Bulldogs won a pair of one-run games to prevent the Razorbacks from winning the SEC West title outright. Georgia should be good this year, but may not be the top-10 team it was that year. Considering who else it plays this season, this might be the Razorbacks’ best shot to win an SEC road series — and I think they get it done.
Actual: 1-2 on the weekend / 30-10 overall, 11-7 in SEC play
No one saw last week coming. After sweeping Tennessee, Arkansas followed it up by getting swept at Georgia. We predicted a series win, which was off by two games. On the bright side, the Razorbacks were already two games ahead of our projected pace, so our overall prediction is almost spot on and our SEC prediction is.
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||—||118|
|3. South Carolina||SEC||+3||117|
|t-6. Coastal Carolina||Sun Belt||+7||96|
|t-8. Campbell||Big South||+4||89|
|11. Boston College||ACC||+9||65|
|12. East Carolina||AAC||-4||64|
|13. Texas Tech||Big 12||+3||63|
|15. UConn||Big East||+4||52|
|16. Dallas Baptist||CUSA||+8||49|
|17. Miami (Fla.)||ACC||—||44|
|18. Arizona State||Pac-12||—||42|
|21. West Virginia||Big 12||N/A||30|
|24. Indiana||Big Ten||+3||13|
|25. Oklahoma State||Big 12||+7||9|
MOVED IN: Duke (20), West Virginia (21), Indiana (24), Oklahoma State (25)
MOVED OUT: Texas (14), North Carolina (15), UCLA (22), Cal-State Fullerton (t-25), Oregon State (t-25)
- SEC: 7
- ACC: 6
- Pac-12: 3
- Big 12: 3
- AAC: 1
- Big East: 1
- Big South: 1
- Big Ten: 1
- C-USA: 1
- Sun Belt: 1
More coverage of Arkansas baseball from BoAS…