Back In Action: Arkansas welcomes Mo. State after Sunday rainout


FAYETTEVILLE — Arkansas pitcher Randall Fant didn’t get to throw in the weekend series against Georgia because bad weather cancelled the finale.

The left-hander will get that start tonight, though.

Fant will be on the mound when the Razorbacks (29-15, 13-7 in SEC) play Missouri State in Baum Stadium at 6:35 tonight. It will be the first midweek appearance of the season for Fant, who is 3-1 with a 2.23 earned run average in eight starts.

It doesn’t mean Fant will lose his place in the weekend rotation for Arkansas’ series at No. 23 Kentucky. It’s likely Fant will be on a strict pitch count tonight, which could ensure he’ll be available for his usual Sunday start.

Missouri State (27-12, 11-4 in Missouri Valley Conference) will start left-hander Matt Hall (4-1, 2.64 ERA). The freshman led the Bears to a 4-2 win against Missouri last week, allowing one run on three hits with six strikeouts in seven innings.

Missouri State — which has won six of its past seven games — will be Arkansas’ final regular season nonconference opponent.

The Razorbacks — who also had a midweek game against Oklahoma cancelled because of inclement weather last week — are 16-8 in nonconference games.

Astin earns SEC honor

Arkansas pitched Barrett Astin was named the SEC’s Pitcher of the Week after his performance in last Friday’s 2-0 win at Georgia.

Astin (3-2, 2.02 ERA) threw a career-high eight scoreless innings, allowing four hits with eight strikeouts and two walks. He earned his first win since March 22 and also teamed with closer Colby Suggs to throw Arkansas’ seventh shutout of the season.

Astin is the fifth Arkansas player to earn an SEC weekly awards. Ryne Stanek was named pitcher of the week earlier this season, while outfielder Tyler Spoon, pitcher Colin Poche and Trey Killian each have earned freshman of the week honors.

Poll talk

Arkansas stayed put in both the Baseball America and USA Today Coaches’ polls after going 2-0 last week. The Razorbacks are ranked No. 14 in both polls.

Arkansas is one of eight SEC teams ranked in the Baseball America poll and one of seven in the USA Today Coaches’ poll. Kentucky (26-17, 9-12 in SEC) moved back into both polls at No. 23 after a weekend series win against Ole Miss.