Omaha, Neb. Arkansas top businessman Peyton Stovall misses the No. 10 batting top he uses in batting drills during the SEC Championship’s Razorbacks appearance in Hoover, Ala.
Baseball equipment manager Mark Taylor gave Stovall a new NCAA Stillwater Regional number and it fit Stovall.
The new student from Haughton, La. , is 12 for 24 (.500) with six consecutive NCAA Championship games since wearing the new jersey.
“I called the hotel where we were staying in Hoover and I couldn’t find it,” Stovall said. “Next thing you know I had to ask Mr. Mark because I couldn’t find my and he gave me number 57. So I was wearing number 57 in all of Stillwater Regional in Oklahoma.
“So when we won the Stillwater regional band and came back, I found my BB [batting practice] higher. We found it in Dylan [Leach’s] Closet. I was like, “We’re winning, I’m going to keep wearing 57.”
“So we have it. We had it in North Carolina. I kept using the 57. We did really well in the regional super and now we are in Omaha. I still have the No. 10 in my bag, but I still hit the 57.”
Just a baseball game
Arkansas hitting coach Nate Thompson said the Razorback just need to stick to their standard methods in the larger environment and buzz of the College World Series at the 24,000-seat Charles Schwab Stadium.
“Yes, it’s a dream for all these guys,” Thompson said after a Friday rehearsal at Creighton Prep. “But you just have to remember it’s just baseball. And what we’ve been doing is working. We don’t need to get out of that and create something new. It’s just to be ourselves and compete with our best self. That’s either good enough or not. But we are. We love where we are.”
Arkansas senior Kole Ramage is the only Razorback to perform at Charles Schwab Field, which was known as TD Ameritrade Park in 2018 when the Razorbacks fell to Oregon in the CWS Championship Series.
Ramage made 1 2/3 closing rounds to Cassie Murphy’s relief in Game 2, one hit and one hit before handing the 3-2 lead to Barrett Loseke. Ramage hit Trevor Larnach and spurted a ball from Adley Rochman to frustrate two runners in the fifth inning, then ducked to start a double play as the Beavers threatened in the sixth inning.
Ramage, who allowed a run in two rounds of Arkansas’s 5-0 loss in Game Three, would have been the Game Two winner if Arkansas had held onto the lead in what became a 5-3 loss.
“Sure, I think it takes a little bit of that pressure off,” Ramage said of his success at CWS. “I’ve played in this park before, so I kind of know how to play and I know what it feels like to be there, so there’s definitely a little pressure on it.”
Arkansas bats coach Nate Thompson spoke on Friday about his older brother being named head coach at Baylor.
The appointment of Mitch Thompson as coach of the Bears was officially announced on Wednesday. He will replace Steve Rodriguez, who resigned in May after seven seasons.
Mitch Thompson was an assistant at Baylor from 1995-2012 and helped the team to three Big 12 championships and the 2005 College World Series. The Bears were a national seed in their final season as an assistant, but lost two singles games to Arkansas at the Super Regional Stadium.
“He’s the perfect guy for the job,” Nate Thompson said of his brother. “No one likes Baylor more than him and he is a good coach as in the country. He is the perfect solution. It is what they need.”
Mitch Thompson left Baylor to become a scout for the Kansas City Royals, but returned to training in 2014 when he was appointed head coach at McLennan Community College in Waco, about 7 miles from the Baylor campus. McLennan was the NJCAA World Series champion last season and won nearly 73% of her games under Thompson with post-season appearances every year.
He was also a member of the College World Series team in Mississippi in 1990 and Auburn in 1994.
He’s a recruiter and coach, and he develops men and raises them to a high standard,” said Nate Thompson. “All he did was win there. Baylor was really good when he was there and I think he would really help them again.”
Galen Battles played on the Arkansas shorts with Thompson at McLennan, and the Razorbacks signed another McLennan player, Hunter Grimes, for the upcoming season.
Arkansas and Stanford will play Saturday for the fifth time in the NCAA post-season.
The Razorbacks defeated the Cardinal 10-4 in the 1985 College World Series, but lost their previous three post-season meetings. Stanford won 2-0 at the 1986 NCAA Midwest Regional in Stillwater, Oklahoma. 10-4 In 1995 the first Midwest Regional in Wichita, Kan. He eliminated the Razorbacks in 2008 with a 5-1 victory at the Palo Alto (California) Regional Stadium.
The Razorbacks are 7-13 all-time against the Pac-10/Pac-12 teams during the NCAA Tournament, including 3-3 in the College World Series.
Arkansas lost 5-3 5-0 to Oregon during the 2018 College World Series after defeating the Beavers 4-1 in Game One. This was the last time the Razorbacks played against the Pac-12 in the post-season.
Arkansas won the College World Series games against Arizona 10-3 in 1979 and Stanford 10-4 in 1985, and lost 7-2 to Arizona in Omaha in 2004.