Razorbacks baseball report:

Goodheart doesn't make trip to Texas

By: Dudley E. Dawson , Matt Jones
Published: Sunday, February 21, 2021

Arkansas' preseason All-SEC designated hitter Matt Goodheart will not play in any of the Razorbacks' games at the College Baseball Showdown. 

Goodheart, a fourth-year junior, did not make the trip with the team to Arlington, Texas, for what was described by a team spokesman as a medical issue not related to covid-19. 

“He's got some stomach issues and he just couldn’t make the trip,” Arkansas coach Dave Van Horn said. “We are hoping to get him back next weekend, but if we don’t we just want him to be healthy and get back."

With Goodheart out of the lineup, junior-college transfer Brady Slavens started at designated hitter for the Razorbacks' 13-9 victory over Texas Tech on Saturday night. Slavens went 1-for-5 and scored two runs.

Slavens batted fifth in the order Saturday, but Van Horn said Goodheart will bat higher when he returns.

“We'll put him in the three hole and push some of our guys down in the order and it makes our line up deeper," Van Horn said. "We are just hoping that Matt feels better soon.”

Goodheart was second-team All-SEC as a sophomore when he led the team with a .345 batting average, hit 5 home runs and had 47 RBI.

Goodheart hit .302 with 3 homers, 3 doubles and 18 RBI in the shortened 2020 season.

Webb Gem

Arkansas left fielder Braydon Webb delivered an early candidate for defensive play of the year Saturday.

Webb made a leaping catch at the wall in left-center field to rob Texas Tech's Cole Stilwell of an extra-bases hit in the third inning.

"He was actually in the deeper part of the park and it's a big warning track, and he knew that fence was coming and he jumped and hit the fence," Arkansas coach Dave Van Horn said. "If he had taken one more step, he would have caught it, but it was extremely hard.

"I think it was kind of a momentum changer at the time. It fired our team up. It was a big-time play."

Moore Steals 2

Robert Moore stole second and third base after hitting a two-out single to left field in the third inning.

The second-year second baseman improved to 5-for-5 on stolen base attempts in his career.

New uniforms 

Arkansas has revived a classic uniform look for the 2021 season.

The team wore red tops Saturday with the word "Arkansas" above a ribbon with the word "Razorbacks." It was the first time the uniform design had been worn since the 2014 season.

Arkansas plans to wear the uniforms several times this year, according to a team spokesman.

Buckminster at First

First-base umpire Seth Buckminster had a call overturned in the seventh inning when Texas Tech first baseman Cole Stilwell missed a tag on Arkansas hitter Cullen Smith. Smith hit a bunt single to lead off the inning, but was initially called out.

Arkansas' dugout challenged the call.

Buckminster is no stranger to Razorback fans. He was the home-plate umpire for the 2017 series finale against LSU when he ejected Arkansas coach Dave Van Horn in the second inning for arguing balls and strikes.

The game Saturday was believed to be his first Arkansas game since then. He worked the game as part of a Big 12 crew that also included home-plate umpire Doug Williams, second-base umpire Chris Griffith and third-base umpire Will Thornwell.

Buckminster is a former MLB umpire who in 2014 had the most calls overturned during the first half of the season, and had 11 calls overturned while working part-time, according to BaseballReference.com.

Big Crowd

The Arkansas-Texas Tech game had an announced attendance of 16,908.

College Baseball Showdown organizers said attendance would be limited to around 15,000 for the games, but did not give a specific number. Globe Life Field has a listed capacity of 40,300.

"Texas Tech, Arkansas fans, they showed up," Arkansas coach Dave Van Horn said. "I don’t know what they were supposed to put in here, but I think they put that many in here, maybe some more, I don’t know.

"But it was just great to see a good crowd and they were spread out, but they were loud for both teams. I think both teams really enjoyed it. Obviously we feel great because we won the game.

"It was a sloppy game and feel fortunate to win it, but just to be out here playing and then have people in the stands, making noise, I think it really motivated both teams."

SEC! SEC!

SEC teams went 3-0 Saturday at the College Baseball Showdown.

No. 7 Mississippi State defeated No. 10 Texas 8-3, and No. 5 Ole Miss defeated No. 11 TCU 7-3.

Mississippi State relief pitcher Landon Sims had 10 strikeouts and retired all 12 batters he faced. He pitched four innings in relief of starter Christian MacLeod.

Luke Hancock and Rowdey Jordan both homered for the Bulldogs, who handed Texas starter Ty Madden the loss in the first game between the two teams since the 1985 College World Series.

Ole Miss won its 17th consecutive game dating to last season despite starting pitcher Doug Nikhazy walking 4 batters and allowing 3 runs in 1 2/3 innings.

The Ole Miss bullpen pitched 7 2/3 innings without allowing a run.

Designated hitter Ben Van Cleve was 2-for 3 with a pair of RBI, and Payton Chatagnier’s two-run double in the seventh inning capped the scoring.

Sunday's Games

Mississippi State is scheduled to host TCU at 11 a.m. and Texas Tech is scheduled to play Ole Miss at 3 p.m., Sunday.

Arkansas and Texas will play the nightcap, which is scheduled to begin at 7 p.m.

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