Bob Holt is a reporter for the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette. A graduate of the University of Missouri, he is a member of the Football Writers Association of America, and a voter for the Heisman Trophy and AP Top 25 basketball poll. Holt has been awarded Arkansas Sportswriter of the Year twice.
Razorbacks baseball report:
Campbell set for final home start
Arkansas starter Isaiah Campbell delivers to the plate Saturday, June 1, 2019, during the first inning against TCU at Baum-Walker Stadium in Fayetteville.
FAYETTEVILLE -- University of Arkansas pitcher Isaiah Campbell will make his final start at home when the Razorbacks open their NCAA super regional against Ole Miss at 11 a.m. Saturday at Baum-Walker Stadium.
Arkansas Coach Dave Van Horn said on Wednesday that Campbell will start the first game against the Rebels, but added he won't decide until after Saturday's matchup whether Connor Noland or Patrick Wicklander -- both true freshmen -- will start Sunday's game.
The winner of the super regional's best 2-of-3 format will advance to the College World Series in Omaha, Neb.
"There's going to be a lot of emotions," Campbell said of starting Saturday's game. "It's going to be awesome to see this crowd and get to pitch one more time in Baum."
Campbell (11-1, 2.27 ERA) was picked in the second round of the Major League Baseball Draft by the Seattle Mariners on Monday night. The redshirt junior right-hander said he's looking forward to beginning his professional career after the Razorbacks complete their season.
The slotted signing bonus for Campbell is $818,200, according to MLB.com.
Campbell was a 24th draft pick by the Los Angeles Angels last season. He wasn't specific, but indicated the Angels' offer was well above his draft spot.
"I turned down some pretty good money to kind of help myself this year and also help this team get back to Omaha and hopefully win it this year," Campbell said. "We're two wins away, so it's awesome.
"I'm happy to get drafted, but still focused on this team and Omaha and winning and being in that dog-pile this year."
Arkansas commitment Chet Allison, an outfielder at Fresno City (Calif.) Community College, was a 24th round draft pick by the Los Angeles Dodgers.
Allison said Wednesday he's leaning toward coming to Arkansas.
"I think in the long run it will definitely benefit me," Allison told WholeHogSports.com, "They have the best college program in the country there.
"It seems like a good place to get a lot better that will help in the long run."
Allison, a right-handed hitter, was the Central Valley Conference player of the year as a sophomore this season when he batted .446 with 11 home runs and 50 RBI in 45 games.
"He's certainly one of the top five I've ever coached and I've had seven go to the big leagues," said Ron Scott, who is in his 31st season as Fresno City's coach. "He's a big, strong kid that can run and throw and hit, and hit with power.
"He has all those tools that you look for in a professional player."
Scott is the father of Arkansas softball Coach Courtney Deifel.
So far, so good
Two Arkansas high school signees -- outfielder Jason Hodges and catcher Dominic Tamez -- were picked in the 34th round by the Reds and 35th round by the Mariners, respectively.
Razorbacks Coach Dave Van Horn is hopeful the pair will come to Arkansas rather than sign professional contracts.
"So far so good," Van Horn said. "But I say it all the time, [professional teams are] trying to buy these kids out of college. They have a checkbook and we don't. We'll just see what happens."
Las Vegas likes Arkansas' chances to win the College World Series.
The Razorbacks have 5-1 odds to win a national championship, tied with UCLA for second behind Vanderbilt (4-1) by Caesars Palace.
Mississippi State (6-1) and LSU (10-1) are next behind Arkansas and UCLA.
Ole Miss has 15-1 odds to win. Duke and Michigan, which won regionals last weekend as No. 3 seeds, have the highest odds at 50-1.
Up to 95
The seven Arkansas players drafted this year raised the program's total to 95 since Dave Van Horn became the Razorbacks' coach in 2003.
Sports on 06/06/2019
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