Hogs get 1 shot to avenge last year

By: Tom Murphy
Published: Wednesday, March 6, 2019
Arkansas designated hitter Luke Bonfield is tagged out by Charlotte infielder Tommy Bullock during a game Wednesday, March 21, 2018, at Hayes Stadium in Charlotte, N.C.
Photo by Sam Roberts, FreezeFrame via Charlotte Athletics
Arkansas designated hitter Luke Bonfield is tagged out by Charlotte infielder Tommy Bullock during a game Wednesday, March 21, 2018, at Hayes Stadium in Charlotte, N.C.

FAYETTEVILLE -- Last March, the University of Arkansas was coming off a three-game weekend sweep at home and was riding high heading into a two-game road series at the University of North Carolina-Charlotte.

Game One of that set, scheduled for BB&T Park in downtown Charlotte, N.C., was rained out before the 49ers prevailed 6-3 the next day at their home park.

Today’s game

ARKANSAS vs. UNC-Charlotte

WHEN 3 p.m.

WHERE Baum-Walker Stadium, Fayetteville

RECORDS UNC-Charlotte 6-5; Arkansas 9-1

STARTING PITCHERS UNC-Charlotte TBA; Arkansas LHP Patrick Wicklander (0-1, 5.40 ERA)

SERIES UNC-Charlotte leads 2-1

RADIO Razorback Sports Network

INTERNET SEC Network-Plus

SHORT HOPS Arkansas is No. 4 in SEC hitting (.296), No. 9 in pitching (3.47 ERA) and No. 10 in fielding (.971). … The 49ers are No. 7 in Conference USA hitting (.270), No. 3 in pitching (3.28) and No. 1 in fielding (.979).

THE WEEK AHEAD

TODAY UNC-Charlotte, 3 p.m.

THURSDAY Off

FRIDAY Louisiana Tech, 6 p.m.

SATURDAY Louisiana Tech, 1 p.m.

SUNDAY Louisiana Tech 1 p.m.

MONDAY Off

TUESDAY Western Illinois, 6:30 p.m.

Today, the No. 10 Razorbacks (9-1), riding a weekend sweep at home and a four-game winning streak overall, will get a single shot at revenge against UNC-Charlotte (6-5) after a frigid forecast canceled Tuesday's game.

First pitch is scheduled for 3 p.m. today at Baum-Walker Stadium.

The Razorbacks have announced freshman left-hander Patrick Wicklander (0-1, 5.40) as their starting pitcher, while the 49ers have not announced a starter.

Arkansas catcher Casey Opitz recalled last year's loss in Charlotte.

"I remember us not playing good and them playing well and them beating us," he said.

Arkansas Coach Dave Van Horn is hoping to get his designated hitter position on a roll after early struggles. Matt Goodheart (.238, 2 RBI), Jordan McFarland (.200, 4 RBI) and Trey Harris (.143, 3 runs) have all gotten shots at the spot.

"We're trying to figure it out," Van Horn said. "Do we platoon with a right-handed hitter against a lefty or vice versa, or just go with a guy? We've given Goodheart a pretty good shot at it, and it hasn't gone great. Harris has had a couple of games and has been on base a lot, finally got a hit the other day. McFarland's had a shot at it. It hasn't gone great.

"We need to find somebody that can maybe grab that spot."

UNC-Charlotte Coach Loren Hibbs said his club has yet to play a game at its scheduled time.

"We've been dealing with rain," Hibbs said. "We're still trying to find ourselves and find a rhythm. We play pretty well for stretches, then we don't play well. Then we miss a little practice time.

"It's almost like when the sun's out or it's dry we get our games in, so very limited practice time."

Hibbs said he would likely piece together the game from a pitching standpoint.

"I thought they were the best team we played last year," he said. "I thought they should have won a national championship. That didn't happen.

"They're so athletic. Talent isn't an issue. Just a great job of recruiting here, and just athletic kids who can move around. They've got a lot of quick-twitch guys, then they've got arms. They've got arm after arm after arm."

Sports on 03/06/2019

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