Future Razorback catcher Tollett envisioning his own CWS appereance

By: Dudley E. Dawson
Published: Sunday, June 17, 2018
Cason Tollett
Cason Tollett

While watching Arkansas play in the College World Series, Little Rock Christian catcher and Razorback commit Cason Tollett (6-2, 205) can’t help but dream about being there himself one day.

He knows full well the resumé of Arkansas coach Dave Van Horn, which has included taking the Razorbacks to the College World Series in 2009, 2012, 2015 and now 2018.

“It is very impressive,” Tollett said. “It is awesome to think I will be able to play for one of the best coaches in the history of college baseball. The success that he has had has been fun to watch every year. To know that I will be playing for him is very cool.”

Tollett, who hit a sizzling .513 with 7 home runs and 48 RBIs this season as a sophomore, knew Arkansas was what he wanted as a freshman and committed to Arkansas on July 25, 2016.

Arkansas battered Texas 11-5 in its College World Series opener on Sunday and will face the winner of Sunday night’s Florida-Texas Tech on Tuesday night at 6 p.m.

“I think it’s an awesome team this year,” Tollett said. “The pitching’s been great and obviously the hitting has been great. It has been really fun to watch.”

He is buddies with Arkansas freshman All-American third baseman Casey Martin, who leads the Razorbacks in hitting at .344 with 13 homers, 46 RBIs, 8 stolen bases and a .571 slugging percentage while also playing solid defensively.

“Being friends with Casey Martin, it has been cool to see him develop through this college season and obviously have the success that he has had,” Tollett said. “It has been amazing to watch it happen.”

He likes what he sees of the team, even the times the Razorbacks (45-19) have not come up winners.

“I think we have a very resilient team,” Tollett said. “They had a little trouble on the road, which is very normal in the SEC. Despite that, it seems like they all come back with a win the next day. We didn’t lose that much, but when we did, we bounced back strong.”

Arkansas will lose a lot of players off this team due to graduation and the Major League Baseball draft, where 11 Razorbacks were selected.

But the Razorbacks will return Martin, fellow freshman All-American Heston Kjerstad and Dominic Fletcher as cornerstones.

“I think we have a lot of good pitching coming in next year and I have caught a lot of them (in summer ball) so I know they are pretty good,” Tollett said. “They are going to get a chance because we will have a young team besides Casey, Heston and Dominic Fletcher. But some of them will get their chance to pitch.”

Even though Tollett hit over .500 this season, he thinks he still can become a better hitter.

“In this new offensive era, I think I can get better at hitting,” Tollett said. “I am pretty good right now, but I can get better. I also will work hard to be able to handle the great pitching we have coming to Arkansas and just get better at that. I just want to become a better all-around player.”

While he still has two high school seasons left, Tollett is excited about the thought of playing in the SEC, which has three teams at the College World Series.

“It is very tough,” Tollett said. “I am playing with and against a lot of future SEC players. It’s great to to play with them. Playing in the SEC has been a dream of mine since I was a young boy. Getting indoctrinated and playing there is going to be amazing.”

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