Matt Jones is the online sports director for the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette. A double graduate of the University of Arkansas, he is a member of the Football Writers Association of America and National Collegiate Baseball Writers Association, and voter for the Biletnikoff Award.
Wise will be a game-time decision
Arkansas catcher Jake Wise tags out Mississippi's Brantley Bell (28) at home plate during an NCAA college baseball game at Oxford-University Stadium in Oxford, Miss., on Saturday, May 3, 2014. (AP Photo/The Daily Mississippian, Thomas Graning)
FAYETTEVILLE Arkansas catcher Jake Wise hasn't been cleared to play after suffering a concussion last weekend.
Wise will be a game-time decision for the Razorbacks' series opener against Texas A&M on Friday night. Wise was injured in a home plate collision last Saturday in a game at Ole Miss.
If Wise can't play, Arkansas will likely play freshman Alex Gosser behind the plate. Gosser, the team's bullpen catcher, has increased his role in practices this week with Wise and reserve catcher Blake Baxendale (hamstring) questionable for the series. Gosser has been redshirting this season.
Baxendale probably won't play as a designated hitter against the Aggies, Arkansas coach Dave Van Horn said Thursday. Clark Eagan or KJ Wilkerson will replace Baxendale in the lineup.
In addition to the injuries at catcher, the Razorbacks (30-20, 11-13 SEC) will be without starting pitcher Jalen Beeks the final two weeks of the regular season. Chris Oliver will pitch Saturday in place of Beeks and Arkansas hasn't named a Sunday starter.
The Razorbacks enter the weekend series one game behind Texas A&M (30-19, 12-12) for fifth place in the SEC West standings. The Aggies are coming off a weekend series win over LSU.