Matt Jones is the online sports editor for the Arkansas-Democrat-Gazette and Northwest Arkansas Newspapers.
Killian will start SEC opener
Trey Killian delivers a pitch during Arkansas' game against Arizona State in Surprise, Ariz. on March 2, 2013.
FAYETTEVILLE Arkansas freshman right-hander Trey Killian will start Friday's Southeastern Conference opener on the mound against No. 6 Ole Miss at Baum Stadium.
Killian, the reigning SEC freshman of the week, has thrown 21 innings this season, striking out 22 and walking just one. He threw seven innings without allowing a hit in a start last Saturday against San Diego State, but was taken out of the game because of a pitch count.
"We're just going with the guys that are getting it done," Arkansas coach Dave Van Horn said. "That's always been our philosophy and that's what we tell them when we recruit them. It doesn't matter who you are or what you've done, we're going to go with the guy we think can get it done and I think Killian has been our hottest pitcher so we're going to go with him."
In four appearances, Killian has a 0.86 earned run average. The Mountain Home native will be matched up against Rebels junior right-hander Bobby Wahl, who is 4-0 this season with a 1.99 ERA. Wahl was a preseason all-American and played for the USA Collegiate National Team last summer.
"He's really good, a Friday night SEC starter," said Arkansas outfielder Matt Vinson. "We've faced guys like that a lot, but he's really good. We know what's coming and we're going to have to compete really well.
"Trey competes and that's what I love about him most. He has good stuff, no question....I feel great with him on the mound. I feel he can go out and get a win against anybody in the country on any day."
Senior left-hander Randall Fant will start Saturday and junior right-hander Ryne Stanek on Sunday for the Razorbacks (13-5), which have won six straight games.
Stanek, projected as one of the country's top pitching prospects for this year's MLB Draft, has somewhat struggled this season, throwing several pitches early in his starts. In four appearances this season, Stanek has a 3.71 ERA in 17 innings.
Ole Miss is 17-1 this season and will face Louisiana-Monroe tonight at home.