Diamond Hogs to open ‘23 season vs. Texas
Arkansas will open its 2023 baseball season with a game against Texas at the College Baseball Showdown on Feb. 17.
NEWS & NOTES
The game between the Razorbacks and the Longhorns is scheduled to begin at 7 p.m. at Globe Life Field in Arlington, Texas, according to a schedule posted to the stadium’s website this weekend. Arkansas will also play TCU on Feb. 18 and Oklahoma State on Feb. 19 at the College Baseball Showdown. The game against TCU is scheduled to begin at 7 p.m. and the game against Oklahoma State is scheduled for 2:30 p.m. All games will be shown on FloSports, a subscription streaming website. The Razorbacks are playing in the College Baseball Showdown for the second time. They defeated Texas Tech, Texas and TCU at the inaugural event in 2021. Arkansas has not played Texas or TCU since those games in 2021. The Razorbacks won two of three games against Oklahoma State and eliminated the Cowboys from their home NCAA regional earlier this year. “’It will be great competition to start the season,” Arkansas coach Dave Van Horn said. “And the good thing is we know we’re going to play in comfortable weather. If it’s nice they can open that roof, and if not, close it up. I think we’re going to play in front of some huge crowds for college baseball.” Globe Life Field seats 40,300, but attendance was limited when the Razorbacks went there in 2021 due to covid-19 protocols. Arkansas’ three games there that year were at the maximum allowed capacity of around 15,000. Van Horn previously said the Razorbacks have agreed to play in the 2024 College Baseball Showdown against Oklahoma State, Oregon State and Michigan. KJERSTAD NAMED MVP Former Arkansas baseball star Heston Kjerstad was named most valuable player of the Arizona Fall League, a prominent league for professional baseball prospects. Kjerstad had a .357 batting average and OPS of 1.007. He hit 5 home runs and had 17 RBI in 22 games, and led the AFL in hits (35), doubles (9), extra-base hits (15) and total bases (61) while playing for the Scottsdale Scorpions. In 2020, Kjerstad was drafted second overall by the Baltimore Orioles to become the Razorbacks’ highest draft pick since Jeff King was selected first overall in 1986. Kjerstad’s professional career was delayed by more than a year after he was diagnosed with myocarditis — heart inflammation — according to the Baltimore Sun. Notable past winners of the Joe Black MVP Award include Ronald Acuña, Kris Bryant and Nolan Arenado. SHEARER HONORED Arkansas’ Ben Shearer was voted the 2022 SEC freshman cross country runner of the year by league coaches. Shearer, from The Woodlands, Texas, is the 10th Razorback to earn the award, and the first since Matt Young in 2017. He was twice named SEC freshman of the week during the season and was the top freshman at the SEC Cross Country Championships in Oxford, Miss., where he placed 21st with an 8,000-meter time of 23:57.7. At the Chile Pepper Festival, Shearer recorded the SEC’s fastest time by a freshman this season, 23:49.0 in 8,000 meters.