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Kjerstad picks up All-American honor from ‘Collegiate Baseball’ on Tuesday

Arkansas outfielder Heston Kjerstad has become the 28th All-America recipient in school history after being named to the Collegiate Baseball first team after a shortened 2020 season.

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Arkansas outfielder Heston Kjerstad has become the 28th All-America recipient in school history after being named to the Collegiate Baseball first team after a shortened 2020 season.

It is the first All-America accolade for Kjerstad since earning freshman All-America status in 2018. The award marks the fourth consecutive year a Razorback has picked up the honor.

A junior majoring in recreation and sport management, Kjerstad wrapped his third season with the Razorbacks, beginning the year on the USA Baseball Golden Spikes Award watch list for the second-straight season, while also earning Preseason First Team All-SEC accolades from the league’s coaches.

The accolades did not stop there, with Kjerstad gaining recognition from five outlets en route to unanimous first team preseason All-America honors.

The Amarillo, Texas, native put up video-game numbers in 2020, finishing the year with a .448/.791/.513 clip at the plate over 67 at-bats.

He recorded 30 hits, five doubles and six homers, with 20 RBIs and 19 runs scored.

Kjerstad quickly backed up the initial praise, putting together a .538/1.667/.643 line at the plate in the opening series against Eastern Illinois.

He went 7-for-12 overall over the three games, recording five extra-base hits, including four home runs, two in the opener and two in the finale. He also had 10 RBIs, scoring six times and walking twice, finishing with 20 total bases.

Every hit during the opening weekend brought in at least one run, while his four homers made him the first Razorback since at least 2002 to accomplish the feat in the first series of the year.

The performance at the plate earned him Collegiate Baseball National Player of the Week and SEC Co-Player of the Week, both honors for the first time in his career.

The hits kept coming, all season, as Kjerstad recorded at least one hit in every game of 2020, with multiple hits in 10 of the 16 contests.

All three games at the Shriners Hospitals for Children College Classic featured multi-hit performances, placing him on the all-tournament team behind a .538 batting average during the weekend.

His fifth dinger of the year came in Houston against Texas, but one of his biggest home runs of the season came in the final weekend of the season against South Alabama.

Tied at three and facing a 2-2 count with two outs in the ninth inning, Kjerstad rocketed a two-run homer over the wall in right field to clinch the series win.

It was the first walk-off home run by a Razorback in exactly seven years and helped exorcise the demons of what had a been a rough five-game stretch heading into the series.

As the season came to a close quicker than anyone imagined, the constants that everyone on the Hill anticipated and hoped for remained the same.

Kjerstad led the team in seven offensive categories, pacing the conference in hits (30), total bases (53) and slugging percentage (.791), as well as a close second in batting average (.448), while getting recognized by D1 Baseball as the best hitter in the SEC in the outlet’s wrap-up of the year.

Information from Razorback Sports Communications is included in this story.

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Hogs Baseball

O’Gara on Razorbacks’ flying high in spring with high rankings all over

As Arkansas’ active programs continue to rise in the rankings and win SEC titles, Saturday Down South’s Connor O’Gara is impressed.

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As Arkansas’ active programs continue to rise in the rankings and win SEC titles, Saturday Down South’s Connor O’Gara is impressed.

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Hogs Baseball

Rain shortens Hogs’ 11-4 win to finish sweep over Blackhawks

Arkansas picked up its first series sweep of the season, defeating Southeast Missouri State in a rain-shortened, five-inning game.

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Only the rain could stop the Razorback offense.

Arkansas picked up its first series sweep of the season, defeating Southeast Missouri State in a rain-shortened, five-inning game on Sunday afternoon at Baum-Walker Stadium.

The Hogs broke out for 11 runs over the first four innings before the elements wreaked havoc.

With the win, the Razorbacks start the season with a perfect 7-0 record for the second straight year and for the eighth time in the Dave Van Horn era (19 seasons).

Arkansas’ offense was hot from the start despite the steady rain, launching three home runs and collecting double-digit hits for the second game in a row.

Right fielder Cayden Wallace and first baseman Brady Slavens hit back-to-back dingers in the second inning to give the Hogs an early 2-0 lead.

Shortstop Jalen Battles’ second-inning RBI single made it 3-0, providing starter Lael Lockhart an early cushion. The left-hander went 3.2 innings on Sunday, striking out five while allowing three runs on three hits and three walks.

Arkansas’ bats, however, were not done. The Hogs tacked on two more in the third, including one on third baseman Cullen Smith’s RBI double to center, and led 5-1 entering the next inning.

SEMO narrowed the gap with two runs of its own in the top half of fourth, but the Hogs had even more in them.

The Razorbacks exploded for six additional runs, led by designated hitter Matt Goodheart’s two-run homer to right center, and staked an 11-3 lead at the conclusion of the fourth inning. SEMO got one back in the fifth via a home run, but the weather had begun to take a turn for the worse.

After right-hander Kevin Kopps recorded the final out in the top of the fifth on a strikeout, the game entered a rain delay. The umpires reconvened after an initial 30-minute pause and called it for good. The ballgame, which lasted five innings, is ruled an official contest.

Arkansas will take a seven-game winning streak into next weekend’s series against Murray State.

The Racers come to town for a three-game set, which gets started at 3 p.m. Friday, March 5, at Baum-Walker Stadium.

Information from Arkansas Communications is included in this story.

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Hogs Baseball

Van Horn after squeezing in five-inning, rain-shortened, 11-4 win

Hogs and Southeast Missouri had to deal with rain that continued but the field was too slick to keep going after five innings in 11-4 win.

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Arkansas and Southeast Missouri had to deal with rain that continued but the field was too slick to keep going after five innings in 11-4 Hogs’ win.

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