clock menu more-arrow no yes

Filed under:

Arkansas Super Regional Preview: Let's Meet Missouri State

We should probably get to know the Razorbacks' opponent in this weekend's super regional. They're a deserving national seed, after all.

Jasen Vinlove-USA TODAY Sports

They have two legit aces

Studying the Bears begins with Jon Harris and Matt Hall, a pretty lethal one-two punch as starting pitchers. Harris has a 1.85 ERA and is expected to be a first round draft pick this year. Hall isn't far behind with a 2.17 ERA but leads the NCAA in strikeouts with 163 (and in only 116 innings pitched). According to D1Baseball.com, "Harris has electric stuff and could be a high first-round draft pick, while the wily Hall has a funky three-quarters delivery that helps his 86-89 fastball play up and good feel for his 74-78 breaking ball."

They might bring some seriously awful uniforms

The Springfield News-Leader even did a story on how awful they are (the author says he's come around, which is really just evidence of Stockholm Syndrome). If they can, expect to see these for the game in which Hall is starting for them.

Also fun, just do a twitter search for "Missouri State uniforms"

They'll gladly take walks if Arkansas pitchers give them up

Missouri State ranks 5th in the nation with 303 walks so far this season. There team batting average is decent at .292, but it's not scary. The Razorback pitchers will have to throw strikes, because if the Bears can get on base for free, they will be happy not to swing at pitches out of the strike zone and take their base.

They haven't lost in a while

The Bears are riding a 19-game winning streak after sweeping their regional and conference tournament. Their last loss was on the road at Illinois State on April 24th. They also won a three game series with fellow national seed Dallas Baptist in early April. Also, the Bears are 6-1 against Arkansas schools this year, going 2-0 against UALR, 1-0 against ASU, 2-1 against UCA (yes, UCA beat them in a rain-shortened game on March 1st), and 1-0 against the Hogs.

They've already won one game in Fayetteville this year

Missouri State beat Arkansas 2-0 back on March 31st. Just after the Razorbacks began to turn their season around with their first SEC series win against Ole Miss, the Hogs turned in a stink of an offensive performance against the Bears at Baum. Arkansas and Missouri State each had six hits but the Hogs couldn't get any of their runners around to score, stranding a total of nine runners. MSU scored their two runs on a sac fly and an error.

The Bears started Andy Cheray, so the Hogs didn't get to face Harris nor Hall. Not going to lie, kind of disgruntling knowing a guy with a 4.95 ERA shut out Arkansas for 5.1 innings and his relief pitchers did the same. Of course, the hope for Hog fans is that the team did improve significantly over April and May, and the Razorbacks have faced some great pitchers on other teams as well, such Oklahoma State's Michael Freeman, whom Arkansas beat last weekend.

If the series goes to Sunday, Arkansas could face Cheray again, or they could face Jordan Knutson. They're both good pitchers but not at the level of Harris and Hall. Missouri State's relief pitching is also solid, but not dominant. However, their closer, Bryan Young, is very good with a 1.31 ERA in 41.1 innings pitched.

Arkansas has played well since that awful 2-10 run in March. They've also caught some breaks along the way, such as getting to play the super regional in Baum instead of in Springfield. The atmosphere should be electric.