Matt Jones is the editor of the Hawgs Sports Network. He is a member of the Football Writers Association of America and National Collegiate Baseball Writers Association, and voter for the Heisman Trophy. He has a bachelor's and master's degree in journalism from the University of Arkansas.
3 Razorback baseball players to transfer
Arkansas pitcher Gabe Starks throws during a College World Series game against Ole Miss on Monday, June 20, 2022, in Omaha, Neb.
FAYETTEVILLE — Three additional baseball players who traveled with Arkansas during the NCAA postseason entered the transfer portal this week.
Pitchers Gabe Starks and Heston Tole, and utility player Max Soliz entered the portal, according to a transfer tracker at D1Baseball.com. An Arkansas team spokesman could not confirm whether they had entered the portal, but on Tuesday Tole announced he will transfer to Texas.
"Huge thank you to everyone in Arkansas for the past two years," Tole wrote on Twitter. "I will be transferring to the University of Texas for the rest of my college career."
All three players were on the travel roster for the Razorbacks during the regional, super regional and College World Series.
Only Starks saw playing time during the postseason. The right hander from Pine Bluff retired the only batter he faced during a June 5 game at Oklahoma State, and allowed 3 runs, 2 hits and 1 walk while recording 2 outs during a loss to Ole Miss at the College World Series on June 20.
Starks did not factor into a decision and had a 4.63 ERA in 12 relief appearances this season. In 11 2/3 innings he struck out 18, walked 10 and had a .205 batting average against.
Tole was 2-0 with 1 save and a 3.77 ERA in 10 relief appearances. He struck out 20, walked 3 and had a .339 batting average against in 14 1/3 innings.
Tole recorded a 1 1/3-inning save during the Razorbacks’ first victory of the year over Illinois State and also factored into decisions in wins over Arkansas State on April 20 and Central Arkansas on April 26. His final outing came during a May 3 game against Missouri State.
As a true freshman, Tole was a breakout pitcher toward the end of the 2021 season. In 12 innings of relief that year he had a 2.25 ERA, struck out 20, walked 2 and had a .195 batting average against.
Starks was also a true freshman on the 2021 team.
Soliz, who was listed as a catcher/outfielder on the roster but started his only game as a designated hitter, appeared in five games as a freshman this season. In 10 plate appearances he was 2 for 9 with 2 runs, 1 RBI and 1 walk.
Seven players from this year’s baseball team have transferred, including four who traveled during the postseason. Backup catcher Dylan Leach announced Monday he will transfer to Missouri. Pitcher Evan Gray (Saint Louis) and infielder Drake Varnado (Arizona State) have also found new schools, while pitcher Mark Adamiak remains listed in the portal.
With the transfers of Leach and Soliz, Arkansas has no catchers returning for the 2023 season. The team’s primary starter this year, Michael Turner, is out of eligibility.
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