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.
Poche gets the nod against LSU
Arkansas pitcher Colin Poche throws against Mississippi Valley State Tuesday, March 25, 2014 at Baum Stadium in Fayetteville. The Razorbacks won 6-0.
FAYETTEVILLE Arkansas will start left-hander Colin Poche on the mound against LSU on Thursday at the SEC Tournament.
The start will be the first for Poche this season against a conference opponent. The sophomore has a 2.55 earned run average this season in 16 appearances, including seven starts.
Poche struggled in his last outing, recording only two outs in the fourth inning against Missouri last Saturday. He allowed four runs in the game and threw four wild pitches.
Poche has a 9.82 ERA in five appearances against SEC teams - all in relief. He pitched well as a midweek starter this season.
Prior to naming a starting pitcher, Arkansas coach Dave Van Horn said whoever starts likely won't throw more than a few innings. The Razorbacks' bullpen will be stretched over the final days of the tournament without starter Jalen Beeks available.
LSU will start its ace right-hander Aaron Nola against the Razorbacks. Nola is 9-1 this season with a 1.42 ERA.
Nola struck out 13 Arkansas batters in a home win last month. In 29 1/3 career innings against the Razorbacks, Nola has recorded 40 strikeouts and has three wins, including one at last year's SEC Tournament.