LITTLE ROCK, Ark. -The Razorback baseball team beat Ole Miss on Wednesday, earning another game Thursday with a chance to advance to the College World Series final. Young players across the state have been inspired by the Hogs’ success.
Luke Martin, 12, proudly wore a Razorback baseball cap when going to batting practice with his dad Wednesday. Martin, who rarely missed a game this season, said he was excited about the evening matchup.
“I think we’re doing it,” Martin said. “I think we’re going to go all the way. I think we’re winning it.”
The Razorbacks won 3-2, avenging a loss to Ole Miss earlier in the week. Scott McKinney owns and manages D-BAT in Little Rock, a batting cage and youth baseball mainstay. He said more than half the kids who come through are Razorback fans.
“We’re right now in the middle of our tournaments winding down for travel baseball, so the kids will be able to see the Razorbacks on television and how far they’ve gone,” McKinney said. “I think it’s motivational to them.”
Martin said his favorite baseball player is Jalen Battles, but he plays catcher and outfield. He said the former is his favorite position.
“You get the ball every single time,” Martin said. “It’s fun to throw out kids.”
McKinney said kids like Martin and others are inspired by the Hogs’ success and dream of one day playing for them. “You know it’s a tough time to get there with a lot of work, but yes, it builds that dream,” McKinney said.