Perhaps the most exiting that happened at Friday night’s Arkansas Baseball Fall Classic scrimmage at Baum-Stadium was an announcement that Razorback head coach Dave Van Horn made after the Gray team’s 3-1 win over the Red.
Van Horn noted that his team would be hosting the Texas Rangers Instructional League team for a two-game set on Wednesday Oct. 12 and Thursday, Oct. 13.
“Do you guys know that we are not done playing outside competition? Van Horn asked the assembled media after the scrimmage before an estimated 4,000 fans. “Can we talk about that yet? I just told the team.
“…We didn’t want it out there (earlier), but we are going to play the Texas Rangers instructional league team here at Baum on the 12th and 13th of October. I think the first game will be at night.”
There are several details to be worked out, including time and length of the contests.
“I don’t know if it is going to be seven or nine innings,” Van Horn said. “It depends on hw much pitching they have. I think they are going to play in Arlington on Tuesday, maybe play TCU or somebody and then we are going to play them twice.
“They tried to get us to come down there, but we kind of talked them into coming here.”
Former Vanderbilt star Kumar Rocker, who was the third overall pick of the 2022 MLB draft by the Rangers, has been pitching for that team.
“They kind of contacted us and said you want to come down here and play our instructional league team. There were some pretty good names on that team, but I think some of them are going to go out to the (Arizona) Fall League before we get to play them then . Maybe even some from the SEC that we’ve seen before that were pretty good.”
Arkansas xxx xxx Bobby Wernes was involved in the discussion.
“I think Bobby Wernes knows some of those guys down there pretty good,” Van Horn said. “We got Bobby to talk them into coming here. We don’t want to go on the road yet…We just need to play here. We are not ready for that.
“I’m not saying that we wouldn’t have done well. It would have been a good trip, it would just have cost money and there is a lot that goes into that, missing school and our schedule in the spring is pretty tough as you have seen since they have changed it as well.”
Jace Bohrofen, who had two of the his team’s seven hits on the night, had a two-run single for the Gray team off Koty Frank in the fourth inning to break a 1-1 tie.
Hunter Grimes and Kendall Diggs both singled and moved up on a fielder’s choice before Bohrofen brought them home.
The first run came in the top of the third when Red second baseman Jude Putz tripled off of Will McEntire and scored when Easton Swofford reached on an error.
Parker Rowland’s home run – the Red’s only hit of the the seven-inning contest – came off Brady Tygart and was a 426-foot bomb in the bottom of the third.
Hagen Smith and Jackson Wiggins were the starting pitchers for rte game with both fanning two of the three batters they faced in the first.
Will McEntire, Gage Wood and Jake Faherty all did the same in their one inning of work.
Arkansas has plans to scrimmage on Sunday at 2:30 as well as Thursday and Friday.
“We will then be in the week the week that we play the Rangers and Smith and those guys will throw a little bit and then won’t throw anymore after that is over,” Van Horn said, “because it changes our fall schedule a little bit. We’ll run little three game Red-White series that next week and the will be it and all the young guys pitching .
“When we get to that time in the fall,, I just don’t want to get anybody hurt.”
Photo by John D. James