Arkansas fall baseball: Day 1 observations

By: Scottie Bordelon Scottie Bordelon's Twitter account
Published: Friday, September 7, 2018
Arkansas infielder Jack Kenley takes bunt practice Thursday, May 31, 2018, in Fayetteville.
( Ben Goff)
Arkansas infielder Jack Kenley takes bunt practice Thursday, May 31, 2018, in Fayetteville.

FAYETTEVILLE — Arkansas’ baseball team, fresh off its run to the College World Series championship series in June, opened fall practice Friday.

The Razorbacks practiced and scrimmaged for roughly three-and-a-half hours on the field at Baum Stadium. Players went through typical infield and outfield work for one hour before a nine-inning scrimmage, which the Red team won 7-1.

Coaches and players were not made available for interviews after the scrimmage.

Redshirt junior Isaiah Campbell, thought to be Arkansas’ No. 1 starter in 2019, got the start for Red and pitched well over four innings. Campbell allowed just one hit and struck out three and did not issue a walk as he worked primarily out of the windup.

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In the fourth inning, Matt Goodheart, a Magnolia, Ark., native and San Jacinto Community College transfer, singled to right, but Campbell responded by inducing a 6-4-3 double play to end the inning. Campbell threw 24 of 33 pitches for strikes.

Jacob Kostyshock, working from the stretch, essentially matched Campbell’s outing in his start for White. The 6-4 junior from Missouri struck out four in four innings of work and allowed one hit — a Curtis Washington one-out double down the line in left. Kostyshock also struck out the side in the second inning.

Angus Denton and Jacob Burton, a pair of hard-throwing right-handers, also stood out in relief for Red. The two combined to strike out seven in five innings and land 46 of 59 pitches for strikes. Junior infielder Jack Kenley, battling for playing time at shortstop alongside Casey Martin, provided the lone blemish in Denton’s three-inning outing with a solo home run that went just right of the video board in right-center field.

Kenley’s solo shot was one of two home runs hit on Day 1. Elijah Trest, a freshman from White Oak, Texas, who is listed on the fall roster as a pitcher, went deep off of Bryce Bartlett, who allowed five runs on five hits in two innings for White in relief of Kostyshock.

Catcher Casey Opitz led White with a pair of hits in three at-bats, including a double down the line in right. He also laced a sharp single to left following Kenley’s home run. Eight different players recorded a hit for Red. Freshman catcher Andrew Stanley finished the scrimmage with 2 RBIs as well thanks to a hard-hit single to left-center off Bartlett.

Martin, who earned Freshman All-American status for his play in 2018, finished the day 1-for-4 with a single to left. Martin started at shortstop for Red.

Practice/scrimmage notes

• Outfielder Heston Kjerstad did not participate in the scrimmage, but did take part in team conditioning at the end of practice.

• Hunter Wilson, an Arkansas fan favorite and utility infielder in 2018, is not listed on the Razorbacks’ fall roster and was not at practice on Friday. It is believed Wilson will transfer in the spring after he earns his degree from Arkansas.

• Arkansas left-hander Matt Cronin pitched to both the Red and White teams to close out the scrimmage. Cronin struggled with command early, walking a pair of batters, before closing his day with two strikeouts. He landed nine of 20 pitches for strikes.

• Former Razorbacks third baseman Bobby Wernes is working with the team as a student assistant. On Aug. 3, Wernes tweeted that his playing days were finished and he would spend the fall in Fayetteville.

• Trevor Ezell, a graduate transfer from Southeast Missouri State, did not take part in infield work or the scrimmage. Ezell is coming off surgery on his throwing shoulder. In late July, Dave Van Horn said if the second baseman is unable to throw this fall, he could slide into a full-time designated hitter role.

• Matt Goodheart was not allowed to run the bases during the scrimmage and was substituted for a pinch runner after singling in the fourth inning.

• Connor Noland is listed on the fall roster, but is not expected to practice with the team until the spring semester. Noland is a scholarship quarterback for the Razorbacks' football team.


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