Arkansas State baseball renews rivalry with Little Rock

Arkansas State baseball prepares for series with Little Rock
Red Wolves Raw: Tommy Raffo after 3/31/21 baseball practice

ARKANSAS STATE (5-14, 0-3 SBC) vs Little Rock (11-8, 3-0)

Thursday, April 1-Saturday, April 3, 2021 6:00 PM CT (Thurs. & Fri.)/1:00 PM (Sat.)

Tomlinson Stadium-Kell Field • Jonesboro, Arkansas • 95.3 The Ticket

ESPN+ (Thursday)ESPN+ (Friday)ESPN+ (Saturday)

LEADING OFF

  • The 2021 campaign marks the program’s 74th season with the Red Wolves amassing a 1,339-1,653-10 all-time record dating back to the inaugural 1948 season.
  • The Red Wolves are entering the weekend series versus Little Rock after going 2-2 last week with wins over Murray State and Illinois State.
  • In the all-time series dating back to 1975, Arkansas State owns a 76-48 lead versus Little Rock. Tommy Raffo is 29-15 as a head coach against the Trojans, 15-8 in Jonesboro. 
  • Arkansas State is beginning a stretch of four consecutive games versus foes from the state of Arkansas, hosting Little Rock and then a midweek contest against Central Arkansas on Tuesday. As a head coach, Raffo is 38-18 versus teams from the Natural State.
  • Brandon Hudson is set to make his second career start on Thursday. He made the most of his first career A-State start, pitching 5.0 scoreless innings to earn the win, allowing just one hit versus Murray State on 3/23.
  • A-State enters the weekend series ranked third in the Sun Belt Conference (58th nationally) in home runs per game (1.11) (as of games played through 3/30). The Red Wolves rank fifth overall in the league with 21 round-trippers. A-State also ranks third in doubles per game in the conference (1.89).
  • Tyler Duncan ranks inside the top 10 in the Sun Belt Conference in six offensive categories.
  • Liam Hicks re-entered the A-State lineup after being out eight games due to injury. Hicks did so by leading the Red Wolves at the plate with a .500 average in three games at Illinois State. 

DUNCAN AT THE DISH

  • Tyler Duncan has had a strong start to the season at the plate for Arkansas State. The senior ranks inside the top 10 in the Sun Belt Conference in nine categories and is among the top 100 in the NCAA in five of those. 
  • The Sooke, British Columbia, native is on pace to put up career-best numbers that surpass his first two seasons in Jonesboro. His 5 homers has matched his previous two years’ total, while his 7 doubles is nearing the 12 he tallied in 2019 and 2020. Duncan is also slugging at a .667 clip, while his average is currently a career best.

GUESS WHO’S BACK? BACK AGAIN?

  • Liam Hicks is back in the Arkansas State lineup after being sidelined for eight games due to injury. He was leading the team in hitting with a .370 clip before going down, but came back in a big way at Illinois State over the weekend.
  • Hicks hit .500 (6-12), reaching base 10 times in 16 plate appearances in the series, upping his average to .410 on the year (which ranks second in the Sun Belt Conference) and boasting a team-best .531 on-base percentage. In Sunday’s series finale, Hicks tallied a career-best four hits in five at-bats.

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