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.
Oliver to start Friday
Arkansas pitcher Chris Oliver pitches against Mississippi at Oxford-University Stadium in Oxford, Miss. on Sunday, May 4, 2014. Arkansas won 11-1. (AP Photo/Oxford Eagle, Bruce Newman)
FAYETTEVILLE Arkansas will start right-hander Chris Oliver in Friday's NCAA regional game against Liberty.
Oliver will take the place of Trey Killian at the head of the Razorbacks' rotation in Charlottesville, Va. The junior was Arkansas' Sunday starter for much of the season but started the middle game of the team's final two regular season series because of an injury to Jalen Beeks.
The Razorbacks haven't lost the last four times Oliver has started on the mound, beating Ole Miss twice, Texas A&M and Missouri. Oliver has allowed just three earned runs over his last 26 1/3 innings.
Oliver will be paired against Liberty right-hander Trey Lambert in the first game of the regional. Lambert, a senior, is 11-2 this season with a 2.10 ERA and averages nearly 7 innings per appearance.
Arkansas coaches had indicated Killian, who has a 2.18 ERA in 13 starts, would pitch against Liberty earlier this week. A team spokesman said Killian is the assumed starter Saturday against either Virginia or Bucknell.
Friday's game will start at 6 p.m. and will be televised nationally by ESPNU.