Arkansas Baseball Talent on Display in GAC


Sporting life Arkansans are blessed with an opportunity to watch top-performing athletes play at every level of college, in every sport and in every corner of the state. We are lucky like that around here.

And the fact is, Arkansas baseball talent has been on display in a big way this season in the Great American Conference, with three teams ranked nationally – the Southern Arkansas University Muleriders (ranked anywhere from 5th to 8th nationally), the Arkansas Tech Wonder Boys (9th nationally), and the UAM Boll Weevils are ranked 26th.

Here are a few briefs on latest with these three teams:

MAGNOLIA, Ark. – A 2-2 week for the Southern Arkansas baseball team, which was highlighted by a 7-2 win over NAIA-ranked No. 7 LSU-Shreveport and a 16-1 win in the series opener against East Central, has resulted in the Muleriders remaining ranked within the top-10 in all three national baseball polls released on Monday.

In the College Baseball Lineup poll, the Muleriders (29-10) saw no change as they remained their No. 5-ranked team. In the poll, the Muleriders fell from No. 4 to No. 6. In the Collegiate Baseball Newspaper poll, the Muleriders dropped one spot from No. 7 to No. 8.

The Muleriders will have another four-game week ahead of them as they will start play this Wednesday afternoon at Arkansas Tech. On the weekend, the Muleriders will take a break from conference play, but they will welcome in former conference foe and nationally-ranked No. 6 Delta State. That three-game series is set to begin with a doubleheader on Saturday, April 12 at 3 p.m. and conclude with a single game on Sunday, April 13 at 1 p.m.

Arkansas Tech climbed in the latest poll.

RUSSELLVILLE, Ark. – The Arkansas Tech Wonder Boys baseball team (28-8, 16-5 Great American Conference) has moved into the top ten nationally, improving six spots to a No. 9 ranking in this week’s Collegiate Baseball Newspaper poll, the CBN announced Monday.

The Wonder Boys have put together a nine-game winning streak, dating back to Tech’s 8-5 win over SAU on March 22. The streak is the longest winning streak for Arkansas Tech since the 1998 season, when the Wonder Boys won nine straight en route to a Gulf South Conference-West Division title.

Tech has also had nine-game winning streaks during the 1989, 1993, 1995, and 1996 season, but the Wonder Boys have not won more than nine since the 1988 AIC Championship season, when Tech reeled off 11 wins in a row.

The UAM Boll Weevils are on an amazing streak of sweeps.

DURANT, Okla. – The 23rd-ranked University of Arkansas at Monticello baseball team defeated Southeastern Oklahoma State twice on Saturday by scores of 13-2 and 4-1 to record the team’s third consecutive Great American Conference series sweep.

UAM (27-11, 17-7 GAC) used four homeruns to highlight its first game victory on Saturday. The Weevils plated four runs off four hits in the first inning, then went to the long ball for its next two runs, back-to-back solo shots from senior Ray Johnson and junior Bronson Gillam in the top of the third inning.

The Weevils added three more in the fifth, highlighted by back-to-back RBI singles from senior Chad Miller and sophomore Corey Wood.

Senior Tyler Caruthers put UAM up 10-2 with an RBI single in the top of the seventh. UAM went deep in back-to-back at bats again the eighth, this time a two-run shot by senior Ben Agredano and a solo blast from Johnson, his second of the game.

Johnson went 3-for-4 in the win with a double in the fifth in addition to his multi-homerun performance. Agredano also finished with three hits. Senior Alex Lang, senior D’Marco Poindexter, Miller and Wood all had two hits in the win.

Senior Kade Garlington (8-2) earned the win for his GAC-high eighth victory of the season. He allowed two runs off five hits with four strikeouts and two walks in the first seven innings.

In the second game, pitchers Austin Braddock, Kregg Snook and Jeff Harvill combined to allow only two hits in the scheduled seven inning contest. Braddock (3-0) earned the win after keeping Southeastern (16-19, 7-14 GAC) scoreless on just one hit in the first four innings. Snook gave up the lone Southeastern run off one hit in two innings of work, and Harvill picked up his eighth save of the year by striking out the side in the bottom of the seventh.

UAM took advantage of two Southeastern errors and two wild pitches to plate three runs in the top of the second inning. Ray Johnson gave UAM its fourth run with an RBI single in the fourth.

And earlier this week, two players, Ray Johnson of UAM and Ryan Taylor of Arkansas Tech, were honored with Conference Player and Pitcher of the Week awards.

RUSSELLVILLE, Ark. – Arkansas Monticello’s Ray Johnson and Arkansas Tech’s Ryan Taylor earned the Great American Conference’s baseball Player and Pitcher of the Week awards for the 10th week of the 2014 season, the conference office announced on Monday.

GAC BASEBALL PLAYER OF THE WEEK – Ray Johnson, Arkansas-Monticello, LF, Sr., Bossier City, La.
Johnson led the Boll Weevils to a sweep of Southeastern Oklahoma State by collecting seven hits during the three-game series. He homered and drove in a pair of runs in the opening game. He followed up that effort with a multi-hit home run game in game two and an RBI single in the finale. He hit .636 with a 1.636 slugging percentage in the series.

GAC BASEBALL PITCHER OF THE WEEK – Ryan Taylor, Arkansas Tech, RHP, Sr., Olathe, Kan.
Taylor dominated Northwestern Oklahoma State in securing a series sweep for the Wonder Boys as he threw a 7.0-inning shutout. He held the Rangers to only three hits and did not allow a runner to reach third base. He struck out 11 hitters and did not issue a walk. The 11 strikeouts represent a season-high for a Wonder Boy pitcher.

NOTABLE PLAYER OF THE WEEK NOMINEES                                                                    

  • Sage Boehner, CF, Sr., Arkansas Tech (Led Wonder Boys to a 4-0 week; hit .438 with a home run, seven RBI and seven runs)
  • Keegan Ghidotti, OF, Jr., Ouachita Baptist (Scored seven runs and drove in six as Tigers swept Southern Nazarene)
  • Luc Pomales, IF, Jr., East Central (Hit .667 as the Tigers won their series with No. 4/5 Southern Arkansas)

NOTABLE PITCHER OF THE WEEK NOMINEES                                                                  

  • Icezack Flemming, RHP, Jr., East Central (Beat No. 4/5 Southern Arkansas as he struck out eight over 7.0 innings)
  • Logan Holthaus, RHP, Sr., Harding (Recorded 20 ground-ball outs to throw HU’s second 9.0-inning complete game this year)
  • Jonathan Johnson, RHP, Sr., Southwestern Oklahoma State (Beat Harding with a 9.0-inning complete game; struck out five)
  • Dylan Lynn, RHP, Sr., Southern Arkansas (Hurled a complete-game vs ECU; struck out six in his 7.0-inning outing)
  • Davis Ward, RHP, Sr., Ouachita Baptist (Shut out Southern Nazarene; recorded six strikeouts in 8.0 innings of work)

Arkansas Baseball Talent on Display in GAC

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