Matt Jones is the online sports director for the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette. A double graduate of the University of Arkansas, he is a member of the Football Writers Association of America and National Collegiate Baseball Writers Association, and voter for the Heisman Trophy.
Arkansas vs. NC State Game 1: How to watch and listen, pitching matchup, forecast, team comparisons
Arkansas coach Dave Van Horn is shown during practice Thursday, June 10, 2021, in Fayetteville.
SCHEDULED GAME TIME Friday, 5 p.m.
WHERE Baum-Walker Stadium in Fayetteville
RECORDS Arkansas 49-11; NC State 33-17
LAST 10 Arkansas 9-1; NC State 7-3
STREAKS Arkansas won 1; NC State won 3
COACHES Arkansas: Dave Van Horn - 749-400 in 19th season at Arkansas and 1,069-559 in 27th season overall in Division I; NC State: Elliott Avent - 922-548 in 25th season at NC State and 1,146-761 in 33rd season overall.
SERIES First meeting
RADIO Razorback Sports Network can be accessed through local FM and AM affiliates, via the Arkansas Razorbacks Gameday app, via the TuneIn app or on ArkansasRazorbacks.com. Blackouts may apply.
TELEVISION The game will be televised by ESPNU and can be accessed via WatchESPN.com and the ESPN app (carrier login required).
ANNOUNCERS Mike Morgan (play-by-play) and Todd Walker (analyst)
PITCHING MATCHUP Arkansas LHP Patrick Wicklander (6-1, 2.17 ERA in 70 2/3 innings) vs. NC State RHP Reid Johnston (8-2, 3.90 ERA in 87 2/3 innings)
FORECAST According to the National Weather Service, Friday will be mostly sunny with a high of 91 degrees and a low of 71 degrees in Fayetteville, and the heat index values could reach as high as 103 degrees. There is a 40% chance of showers and thunderstorms Friday night.
ERA: Arkansas 3.77; NC State 4.91
Earned Runs Per Game: Arkansas 7.43; NC State 6.49
Batting Average: Arkansas .269; NC State .291
Opponent Batting Average: Arkansas .225; NC State .241
Slugging Percentage: Arkansas .481; NC State .503
On-Base Percentage: Arkansas .389; NC State .374
Fielding Percentage: Arkansas .979; NC State .983
Strength of Schedule (Warren Nolan): Arkansas 1; NC State 31
NOTABLE Neither team will be eliminated with a loss Friday. The winner of Friday’s game will move within one victory of advancing to the College World Series, while the loser Friday must win two straight games to avoid being eliminated….Arkansas advanced to the super regionals by going 3-1 in a home regional against NJIT and Nebraska….NC State won the Ruston (La.) Regional with a 3-0 record against Alabama and No. 16 overall seed Louisiana Tech….The Wolfpack went 19-14 in ACC play after a 1-8 start. NC State finished second in the ACC regular-season standings and was runner-up at the ACC Tournament....The super regional will be the first on-field meeting between North Carolina State coach Elliott Avent and Arkansas coach Dave Van Horn, who rank sixth and seventh, respectively, in wins among active college coaches….Van Horn is the active leader in College World Series appearances by a coach with eight. Van Horn has led Arkansas to the College World Series six times and took Nebraska twice….Avent coached NC State to the College World Series in 2013, which was the program's first appearance there in 45 years….Arkansas is looking to advance to its 11th College World Series and third straight. The Razorbacks went to Omaha in 2018 and 2019. No tournament was played last year….Arkansas relief pitcher Zebulon Vermillion will return to the 27-man roster this week. Vermillion was held out of the regional with arm soreness….Arkansas first baseman Brady Slavens is about 80% of full health, Van Horn said. Slavens returned to action last Sunday after a sprained ankle forced him to miss five games….NC State designated hitter Terrell Tatum is the son of former Arkansas running back Terrance Tatum, who played for the Razorbacks from 1982-85. Terrell Tatum’s older brother, Terry, was a redshirt baseball player at Arkansas in 2013….Arkansas is the No. 1 overall seed in the NCAA Tournament. The Razorbacks are attempting to become the first top seed to win the national championship since Miami in 1999….Top overall seeds have advanced to the College World Series 14 times since 1999. Three lost in a home regional and three lost in a home super regional….Arkansas is 29-6 at Baum-Walker Stadium this season. The Razorbacks have a 137-27 record at home since the start of the 2017 season….NC State is 19-3 in road games this season, including two games at Louisiana Tech last week....Arkansas is hosting a super regional for the fifth time. The Razorbacks won home super regionals in 2004, 2015, 2018 and 2019....NC State lost road super regionals in 2003 at Miami, 2008 at Georgia and 2012 at Florida.
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