In preparation for Saturday’s showdown with BYU on the football field at Donald W. Reynolds Razorback Stadium, a slew of faithful Arkansas fans gathered inside Baum-Walker Stadium Friday night to cheer on the Razorbacks newly reloaded baseball squad in an intrasquad scrimmage.
Fans got to see 19 position players and 14 pitchers, including many of the new freshman and transfers, as the Red and Gray teams combined for 11 hits, highlighted by four homeruns. The Gray won the contest, 7-2.
Junior right fielder Kendall Diggs got the crowd stirred early, with a mammoth two-run homer off junior hurler Brady Tygart to give the Gray team the lead, only two batters into the game. That followed a seven-pitch walk by a Missouri grad transfer Ty Wilmsmeyer.
Junior lefty transfer Mason Molina, who was the ace of the Texas Tech staff last season, wasted little time in making an early statement in the bottom of the first, striking out the side in order. Freshman left-hander Hunter Dietz, who throws upward of 95 mph on his fastball, quickly responded in the top of the second, sitting down the first three batters he faced.
Senior catcher Parker Rowland, who is competing behind the plate with junior Hudson White, another Texas Tech transfer, launched a 400-foot solo homerun in the bottom of the second to get the Cardinal on the scoreboard. That was followed by a wild pitch to tie the score at 2-2.
Junior Hudson Polk would keep the long-ball hit-parade going for the catchers when he smashed a 425-foot leadoff homer over the centerfield wall to lead off the third for the Gray.
“The big thing for me was getting outfield reps,” Diggs said of his summer experience. “I got a glimpse of some playing time out there last year (for Arkansas), which was awesome. I was really blessed to get some live-game reps. But that was huge for me this summer, because I played almost every game out there in right field. And I feel like I improved a lot out there.”
Freshman catcher Ryder Helfrick then displayed his defensive prowess and throwing arm behind the play, gunning down graduate infielder Jack Wagner trying to steal second base, in the fourth.