Richard Davenport covers recruiting for the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette. He appears weekly on The Red Zone w/ JB on 92.1 FM Fayetteville, The Morning Rush w/ Tye & Tommy on 95.3 FM in Fort Smith; 96.3 FM in Hot Springs; 104.3 FM in Harrison/Mountain Home, 99.5 FM in Fayetteville and The Zone w/ Justin & Wess on 103.7 FM in Little Rock.
The Recruiting Guy:
JUCO catcher commits to Diamond Hogs
Arkansas State catcher Parker Rowland (8) warms up before an NCAA baseball game against Missouri State Wednesday, March 10, 2021, in Jonesboro. (AP Photo/Brandon Dill)
Arkansas gained the commitment of switch-hitting catcher Parker Rowland on Wednesday.
Rowland (6-3, 220 pounds) of Eastern Oklahoma State College played two seasons at Arkansas State before transferring to junior college. He received an extra year of eligibility because the 2020 season was canceled by covid-19.
At EOSC he hit for a .408 average, 12 home runs, 10 doubles and 78 RBI in 184 at-bats. He had an on-base percentage of .509.
He was named all-region and earned a regional Gold Glove award after fielding .988. He threw out 12 of 27 (44%) of attempted base stealers.
EOSC coach Matt Parker, a Searcy native, said Rowland lost about 30 pounds since arriving at the school.
He thinks Rowland is capable of hitting from both sides in the SEC.
“He’s a switch-hitting catcher that can continue to switch hit,” Parker said.
EOSC’s top three pitchers are headed to LSU, Oral Roberts and Houston.
“It’s a top-line pitching staff that he had a chance to handle every day,” Parker said. “I think he’s proven he can do it behind the dish, and obviously with the offensive year he had, say, ‘I can do it the plate as well.'"
Rowland is the only catcher who has publicly committed to play for the Razorbacks next season. Arkansas must replace starting catcher Michael Turner, who ran out of eligibility, and reserve catcher Dylan Leach, who transferred to Missouri.
Rowland is the second EOSC player to commit to the Razorbacks this year. Infielder Isaac Webb committed in March.
Nine junior college players have committed to play at Arkansas next season.
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