BY DUDLEY E. DAWSON
Arkansas sophomore right-handed pitcher Brady Tygart will return to the mound Friday night at a place Texas A&M head coach Jim Schlossnagle has dubbed the classiest place in the SEC.
Tygart (1-0, 5.68 ERA, 1 save in four appearances) has not pitched since suffering an ulnar collateral sprain on March 1, but has been announced as starter for the Razorbacks (31-11, 12-7) as they face the Aggies (25-17, 9-10) in a 7 p.m. game that will be televised by ESPNU.
It is the second game of a three-game series at Baum-Walker Stadium with Arkansas taking 7-5 win over Thursday night.
Tygart, 3-4 with 8 saves last season as a freshman All-American, was electric in his season debut whole picking up a save in 1 2/3 innings of relief in a 3-2 win over Texas.
He had allowed just one run on two hits in his first three appearances before giving giving up four runs on five hits in 1 2/3 innings of work against Eastern Illinois in the game he was injured.
Schlossnagle had praise for what Van Horn has built at Arkansas.
“Coach Van Horn, in my opinion, and there are other great atmospheres, but in my mind this is the classiest program in the league,” Schlossnagle said. “They do it right and the fans are great. They get on you, but that’s alright and part of it. This is the standard in my mind.”
Scholssnagle noted it is one of the reasons he left a successful run at TCU to take over at Texas A&M.
“If you want to play in the SEC, this is everything that you want to be a part of,” Schlossnagle said. “The reason I left TCU – and I love TCU – but to come to A&M and be a part of building something like this here (at Arkansas). It (A&M) is already a great school and we already have a great fan base.
“But we don’t have the ballpark that these guys have and that is what are trying to get to.”
Texas A&M will likely start right hander Nathan Dettmer (1-3, 6.02) – who is 10-8 in his career – on Friday night as it looks to piece innings together as is Arkansas.
The Aggies have won the last four games that Dettmer has started this season even thought he has pitched just 16 1/3 innings in those starts and just 5 2/3 total in his last two outings.
“We are in the same situation,” Schlossnagle said. “It is not the kind of baseball that you want to play, but you just run kids out there that can throws strike and hope you can play defense behind them.”
Photo by John D. James