FAYETTEVILLE — Redshirt sophomore Will McEntire turned in another good performance on Wednesday in a 10-3 win over Arkansas State.
McEntire, 6-4, 225, is a former standout at Bryant High School. On Wednesday, he worked 4.2 innings allowing three hits, one run, struck out five, but walked four. He threw 77 pitches. It appeared McEntire would get the necessary five innings to qualify for the win, but after he walked Brandon Ulmer and surrendered a single to Jared Taylor then Dave Van Horn went to the bullpen.
“You know, what did he walk, 3-4?.” Van Horn said. “They weren’t like four-pitch walks. They were full-count walks, guys battling. Some of his misses were close. You take away maybe two of those walks, I think he had a really good outing. You know four walks in 4 2/3 innings is too much. Usually it’s gonna get you. But he did a good job of keeping the ball down. He worked out of a jam or two. I thought he did a pretty good job. Last week he threw great. This week he threw good. Just probably going to give him the ball again next week.”
The Razorbacks turned double plays in both the third and fourth innings to shut the Red Wolves down. Wednesday was McEntire’s second appearance this season. He has helped solidify the midweek game rotations along with Kole Ramage. Both have pitched extremely well and McEntire is thankful for the opportunity to get on the mound.
“Really, I was just waiting for the chance,” McEntire said. “I knew once I was given the opportunity that I could run with it. I knew they were going to give the young guys a chance; there’s a reason those guys are here. But once I got the opportunity, I knew I could roll with it.”
Like Van Horn, McEntire was concerned with the number of walks he issued, but did praise the defense behind him.
“Really loved the defense behind me,” McEntire said. “Didn’t have my best stuff today, but the two double plays were huge and confidence-boosting.”
Not only did McEntire get his second start of the season, he also earned another promotion of sorts since Van Horn is taking him to Texas A&M this weekend.
“The way our league works, they let us, we don’t have to bring just 27,” Van Horn said. “We can bring 28-30. I guess we can take as many as we want. I guess we’ll take 30 on this trip and then turn in a 27-man roster. You know, you might ask why? So they can see it. Be on the road and see what goes on if they haven’t been there. Like McEntire, he hasn’t been on a road trip with us and we’re gonna take him. He may be on the roster. I don’t know. If we feel like he wouldn’t throw Sunday, maybe not. But at least he’d been there working out with us, getting ready to pitch.”
McEntire is pleased to get to travel since it has been awhile for him.
“My first time traveling was in Houston my freshman year in ,” McEntire said.
In two games, McEntire is 1-0 with an ERA of 1.17 with both appearances being starts. He has worked 7.2 innings, allowed five hits, walked seven, struck out 10 with opponents only hitting .200 against him.
Arkansas and Texas A&M will begin a three-game series on Friday night at 7:30 p.m. and televised on the SEC Network.