Let’s just get this out of the way: Arkansas State baseball isn’t very good. I’m not just referring to this year’s version of the team, with its penchant for wild pitches, walks and its unflattering team era of 7.29. The entire program needs an overhaul. If new A-State AD Tom Bowen is assigned just one Herculean Trial, it’s to yank A-State Baseball from mediocrity’s orbit and make it competitive.
That being said, the Red Wolves picked a pretty good moment in time to take on the #1 ranked Arkansas Razorbacks.
Arkansas State has won six of its last eight, including two against Sun Belt West contender Georgia Southern behind masterful pitching performances that yielded all of two earned runs. Among the losses, an epic 12-15 defeat at Ole Miss, indicating that the Red Wolves bats are more than capable of producing mid-week runs against a ranked SEC opponent. Arkansas State has never been hotter in 2021, and it will need every degree of that heat in Fayetteville on Tuesday.
If you want to know more about the 36-9 Razorbacks, I suggest you follow Steve Sullivan on Twitter (or just about any sports personality in the state). I’ve glanced at their schedule though, and it appears Arkansas has recently taken two of three from Georgia. They’ve already clobbered three in-state opponents, including poor UAPB 26-1. Do the Red Wolves have any shot at avoiding painful emasculation?
I give it a hard “maybe.” For all its deficiencies, you can’t argue that this team doesn’t have “pluck.” The Red Wolves swept UA Little Rock. They bounced back from a 0-9 loss to the Cajuns to win the next game 16-11. Human Base Hit Liam Hicks leads the entire Sun Belt with a .398 average. Heck, the entire team is raking a respectable .270. If only Red Wolves pitching weren’t coughing up 7 runs an outing!
So yeah. Hard maybe.
PHOTO CREDIT: Meagan Johnson