The Arkansas Razorbacks enjoyed their best 10 year stretch from 2010-2019 making 4 CWS appearances finishing 3rd in 2012 and National Runner Up in 2018. Dave Van Horn has turned the OmaHogs into a national power year in and year out and are consistently in the conversation to win the program’s first national title. Let’s look at the best players from the decade that will forever be remembered in Hog lore.
Blaine Knight-Starting Pitcher 2016-2018
BK turned in the best season statistically in Razorback history in 2018 going 14-0 with a 2.80 ERA as the ace of the staff. He finished his career with a 24-6 record 3.01 ERA with 244 strikeouts and is currently in the Baltimore Orioles Organization
DJ Baxendale-Starting Pitcher 2010-2012
Having turned in an outstanding prep career at Sylvan Hills, expectations were high for DJ and he didn’t disappoint. In 2011 he led the staff going 10-2 and was the Ace of the 2012 staff that finished 3rd in the CWS. DJ finished with an 18-9 record over three seasons with 10 saves and is in the Minnesota Twins organization.
Ryne Stanek-Starting Pitcher 2011-2013
Stanek anchored a pitching staff that was consistently tops in the nation in ERA during his career. In 2013 he turned in a season to remember going 10-2 with an amazing 1.39 ERA. For his career, Stanek went 22-8 with a 2.55 ERA and is pitching for the Miami Marlins currently.
Zach Jackson-Relief Pitcher 2014-2016
Jackson settled in to the “Jack of all Trades” role for the Hogs over his last two seasons appearing in 69 games for his career. He finished with a 10-7 record 15 saves and 197 strikeouts. Zach went 9-0 in the 2019 season for the Buffalo Bisons in the Blue Jays Organization.
Matt Cronin-Relief Pitcher 2017-2019
Everyone will always remember Matt Cronin for being the lockdown closer during the 2018 run where he racked up a School Record 14 saves. Always receiving his mandatory “Slap” before he took the field, Cronin was trouble for hitters as he racked up 27 saves and had 12.9 K/9 IP. Cronin had an outstanding debut season in the Nationals organization posting a 0.82 ERA over 19 games.
James McCann-Catcher 2009-2011
McCann made his mark on Baum Stadium history with his walk-off bomb against LSU in 2010 in front of 11,103 fans. The consummate professional and team captain had a great 2011 campaign hitting .306 with 6 HR and 36 RBI while swiping 14 bases earning him a spot on the US National Team. The Tigers selected him in the 2nd round in 2011 is currently in the White Sox organization.
Chad Spanberger-First Base 2015-2017
No one was hotter down the stretch in 2017 than Spanberger as he finished with 20 HR and 57 RBI for the Hogs prompting the Colorado Rockies to select him in the 6th Round. He made his professional debut hitting .294 with 19 HR and 51 RBI in only 60 games. He is currently in the Brewers organization.
Carson Shaddy-Second Base 2015-2018
From walk on to four-year starter to MLB draft pick, Shaddy was Mr. Energy for the Razorbacks during his career. He played in 219 games and finished with a .316 average 32 HR and 149 RBI. During the 2018 run, the Team Captain hit .330 with 13 HR and 55 RBI. Shaddy voluntarily retired from baseball after the 2018 Minor league season.
Brian Anderson-Third Base 2013-2014
Anderson made his mark on the hill in his two years and set the table for the back half of the decade posting a career average of .327 while hammering 11 HR and 87 RBI with a team high 51 in 2014. He is currently an everyday starter for the Miami Marlins with a bright future.
Casey Martin-Shortstop 2018-2020
Possibly the most athletic player in recent memory, Martin had a memorable 2018 Freshman campaign helping the Hogs to their CWS Runner Up finish. In his two plus seasons, Martin finished with a .310 average 30 HR and 116 RBI. He had a remarkable 40 doubles and stole 24 bases. Recently drafted by the Phillies, expect Martin to be in the show sooner rather than later.
Andrew Benintendi-Outfield 2014-2015
No player made bigger strides from one year to the next than Benny. From one homerun in 2014 to TWENTY in 2015, Benintendi became a fan favorite on his way to winning the Golden Spikes award while also hitting .376 with a .488 on base percentage leading the Hogs to the CWS. Draft #7 overall by the Red Sox, he made it to the big leagues after 2 seasons and now has a World Series ring.
Dominic Fletcher-Outfield 2017-2019
Following in the steps of Andrew Benintendi as the Hogs’ centerfielder was a daunting task but Fletch lived up to the hype with a remarkable career. He led the Hogs to the CWS twice and finished with 33 HR and 147 RBI 47 Doubles. Fletcher was drafted in the 2nd Round by the Arizona Diamondbacks in 2019.
Heston Kjerstad-Outfield 2018-2020
Kjerstad formed the other half of the Dynamic Duo with Casey Martin and became possibly the best hitter in recent Razorback Baseball history. Kjerstad ended his career with a .343 average 37 HR and 129 RBI catching the attention of the Baltimore Orioles who recently drafted him 2nd overall.
Brett Eibner-Utility Player 2008-2010
Eibner turned down millions from his hometown Astros to play for the Hogs and he was the best two-way player of the decade. In 2010, he led the Hogs to the Super Regionals with 22 HR while hitting .333 and going 3-5 on the mound when he wasn’t in Centerfield. The Kansas City Royals drafted Eibner in the 2nd Round in 2010 after his three seasons in Fayetteville.