Rutledge tabbed for start against Texas Tech

By: Clay Henry
Published: Monday, April 23, 2018
Arkansas pitcher Jackson Rutledge (99) is congratulated by catcher Grant Koch after recording the final out of a game against Southern Cal on Friday, March 2, 2018, in Fayetteville.
Photo by Andy Shupe
Arkansas pitcher Jackson Rutledge (99) is congratulated by catcher Grant Koch after recording the final out of a game against Southern Cal on Friday, March 2, 2018, in Fayetteville.

— Jackson Rutledge drew the start for Tuesday's game against No. 4 Texas Tech. It's the start of the last midweek series of the season for the No. 7 Arkansas.

It's also a chance for Rutledge to make a push to get more weekend action as the Razorbacks make a push down the stretch in the SEC.

Rutledge (6-8, 260) is the highly touted freshman who lit up the radar gun in the fall, but he's been bothered by a sore arm this spring. He's 3-0 with a 2.08 ERA, but he's thrown only 13 innings in his 10 appearances.

Texas Tech has not announced its starter for the 6:30 p.m. game at Baum Stadium. The Red Raiders will give the Hogs their starter some time during the day of the game.

“We'll know tomorrow,” said Dave Van Horn, the Arkansas coach. “But we'll go with Rutledge.”

Van Horn said there have been no lingering problems with the soreness that shut down the St. Louis, Mo., Rockwood Summit right-hander earlier this spring.

“He's 100 percent,” Van Horn said. “He's ready to go.”

There was thought in the fall that Rutledge might be a weekend starter or a closer, but this is just his second start.

“The difference from the fall to the spring has been his breaking ball,” Van Horn said. “He was landing it for strikes in any count in the fall. The breaking ball hasn't been as good this spring.”

Rutledge was hitting 98 on the radar gun in the fall. It's been more around the 94 this spring.

“His breaker was better in the fall, but he wasn't locating the fastball as well,” Van Horn said. “He's had better command of the fastball this spring. We are hoping he's about ready to get them both going.”

Rutledge will have to contend with a potent Tech lineup that hits .315 as a team.

“They are good,” Van Horn said. “They have a really good offense. It will be a good test for some of our young pitchers.”

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