Tom Murphy is a reporter for the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette. A graduate of Louisiana Tech University, he is a member of the Football Writers Association of America, and voter for the Heisman Trophy and AP Top 25 football poll.
Charlottesville Regional Report:
Killian doesn't last long
Arkansas' Trey Killian pitches during the third inning of an NCAA college baseball regional tournament game against Virginia in Charlottesville, Va., Saturday, May 31, 2014. (AP Photo/Pat Jarrett)
CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. -- Arkansas starter Trey Killian was pulled after one out in the fourth inning of Saturday's 3-0 loss to Virginia with a blister on his pitching hand.
Killian, who allowed two earned runs on seven hits, had his shortest outing since going 22/3 innings in his first start against South Alabama on March 1. He was replaced by freshman Dominic Taccolini.
Killian said afterward that the blister developed while warming up before the fourth inning.
Arkansas has been confronting some of the nation's best pitchers the past couple of weeks, including Virginia left-hander Nathan Kirby, who was 8-1 with a 1.48 ERA entering Saturday's late game.
The past six pitchers Arkansas has faced, dating to its second game of the SEC Tournament, had a combined record of 46-10 when the Razorbacks played them.
The Arkansas-Virginia matchup late Saturday pitted two head coaches who have led their teams to NCAA regionals in every season they have worked at their current schools.
Dave Van Horn has guided Arkansas to 12 consecutive NCAA regionals, while Virginia's Brian O'Connor has led the Cavaliers to the NCAAs in each of his 11 seasons.
"You're talking about two of the sharpest minds working in college baseball today," ESPN analyst Jay Walker said.
Bucknell Coach Scott Heather said he would start sophomore right-hander Andrew Andreychik (5-4, 3.56 ERA) in today's noon Central elimination game against Arkansas.
Andreychik, who allowed 59 hits and 9 walks while striking out 46 in 602/3 innings, was the Patriot League rookie of the year in 2013.
"At times he's been our best guy," Heather said.
Hit for Heather
Bucknell Coach Scott Heather, a former Arkansas pitcher, holds a special place in his heart for Virginia's Davenport Field. Heather notched his first career head coaching victory here against Harvard last year in an early season tournament, then posted his first NCAA Tournament victory Saturday with a 5-2 decision over Liberty.
"So, except for when we're playing UVA, this place has been pretty good to me," Heather said.
Virginia beat Heather's Bison 12-4 and 9-1 at Davenport Field last year and 10-1 in the opening game of this year's Charlottesville Regional.
Arkansas pitchers hit Liberty's Ashton Perritt twice in the left wrist Friday, causing the outfielder and closer to wear a brace on his wrist Saturday.
Perritt's injury problems didn't end there, as he got tangled up with Bucknell first baseman Rob Krentzman in the fifth inning. As Krentzman jumped to catch an errant throw, Perritt went low and appeared to catch a cleat from the fielder while scrambling between his legs and twisting his own knee in the process.
Perritt came up limping and bleeding from his right elbow but remained in the game, just as he did after both painful plunks against the Hogs.
"Poor Perritt, he's been beat up all year," Liberty Coach Jim Toman said. "Falling and tripping and dodging and sliding."
Out of gas
Liberty Coach Jim Toman said his team hit a wall late in the season, partly because he had to play position players extensive innings and stretch out his best pitchers while trying to win games to keep the Flames RPI high, which ultimately netted an at-large NCAA berth. Liberty went a program-best 23-3 to win the Big South regular season title, but lost its last three games and seven of its last 10.
"I don't know if it was the grind from winning so many close games or we just got tired or we didn't condition them right or they didn't eat right or we didn't get enough rest," Tomas said. "We were a little worn out and beat up physically,"
Sports on 06/01/2014