Matt Jones is the online sports director for the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette. A two-time 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.
Beeks out at SEC Tournament
Arkansas pitcher Jalen Beeks (49) reacts to being pulled from the game afterthre and two-thirds innings with the Razorbacks trailing Mississippi 6-4 in an NCAA college baseball game at Oxford-University Stadium in Oxford, Miss., on Saturday, May 3, 2014. (AP Photo/Oxford Eagle, Bruce Newman)
FAYETTEVILLE Jalen Beeks won't pitch at the Southeastern Conference Tournament.
Beeks should be able to play if Arkansas makes the NCAA regionals next week, coach Dave Van Horn said Monday. The left-hander has missed two consecutive weekends with soreness in his throwing elbow.
Beeks has a team-best 2.11 earned run average among starting pitchers and is 5-4 in 12 starts this season. He struggled in his last outing against Ole Miss, allowing six runs on 10 hits in only 3 2/3 innings.
The Razorbacks will play Texas A&M on Tuesday in a single-elimination game. The winner will advance to play Ole Miss on Wednesday in a double-elimination format.
Arkansas will start Trey Killian against the Aggies on five days rest. Killian allowed only one run in eight innings and took a no-hitter into the seventh in a start against Texas A&M on May 9.
Killian threw to Alex Gosser in that game and that could be the Razorbacks' battery against Texas A&M again on Tuesday. Van Horn said is leaning toward starting Gosser behind the plate Tuesday after the freshman went 2-for-3 and caught seven innings in Arkansas' comeback win over Missouri on Saturday.
Gosser has played in only two games, having his redshirt removed when starter Jake Wise and backup Blake Baxendale were hurt prior to the regular season series against the Aggies. Wise has been one of the league's best defensive catchers this season throwing out 20 base runners, but has struggled at the plate with a .155 batting average during the regular season.
Baxendale, who suffered a hamstring injury against Ole Miss on May 4, likely won't play in the SEC Tournament, Van Horn said. Baxendale had been used primarily as a designated hitter prior to his injury.
Clark Eagan has filled in nicely for Baxendale, going 11-for-24 at the plate with 7 RBIs in the last seven games.