FAYETTEVILLE — Arkansas coach Dave Van Horn calls pitcher Trey Killian a "strike-throwing machine."
FAYETTEVILLE — Arkansas coach Dave Van Horn calls pitcher Trey Killian a “strike-throwing machine.”
The right-hander’s ability to do just that last Saturday helped him become the Southeastern Conference’s Freshman of the Week on Monday.
Killian earned the conference’s weekly honor after leading the Razorbacks to an 8-2 win against San Diego State in the first game of a doubleheader. The Mountain Home native didn’t allow a hit and struck out seven during his seven-inning stint, leaving the game only after reaching his predetermined pitch limit.
It continued a strong start to Killian’s career at Arkansas. He is 2-1 with a 0.84 earned run average after four appearances (three starts). Killian has allowed two earned runs and six hits with 22 strikeouts and one walk in 21 innings.
“It just says he’s very talented No. 1,” Van Horn said of Killian’s success. “Then, when he walks out there and gets between the lines, he doesn’t let things bother him.
“Whether it’s the crowd or the other team or whatever. He goes out there and plays catch. He has a gift of throwing the ball where he wants it.”
Killian came to Arkansas after being named the state’s Gatorade Player of the Year in high school. He went 8-1 with a 0.88 earned run average as a senior.
The success has continued through his first month of college baseball. Killian has quickly worked his way into the Arkansas rotation and will make his first SEC start when the Razorbacks play Ole Miss at Baum Stadium this weekend.
Van Horn said after Saturday’s doubleheader he hadn’t determined what game Killian will start in the weekend rotation, but will join veterans Ryne Stanek and Randall Fant. Killian is the second Arkansas player to be named SEC Freshman of the Week this season, joining left-handed pitcher Colin Poche.
“He’s earned it,” Van Horn said of Killian’s starting spot. “It’s not like we’re giving him anything. He’s gone out and taken it.”
Wise Named To Watch List
Arkansas catcher Jake Wise was named to Johnny Bench Award preseason watch list on Monday. The junior is one of 48 catchers on the initial work list for the award, which goes to the top division one collegiate catcher.
Wise is batting .231 with a home run and 10 RBIs through 16 games.
The Johnny Bench Award watch list will be trimmed to semifinalists on May 16. Three finalists will be revealed June 4. The winner will be named June 27.
Arkansas moved one spot from No. 16 to No. 15 in this week’s Baseball America poll after its four-game sweep of San Diego State. The Razorbacks also moved up from spots from No. 19 into a tie with Louisville at No. 15 in the USA Today coaches’ poll.
Arkansas will open SEC play against Ole Miss on Friday. The Rebels (16-1) are ranked No. 8 in the USA Today Coaches’ poll and No. 6 by Baseball America.
“We got after it this weekend,” Van Horn said after the San Diego State sweep. “We knew after last weekend we needed to string together some wins and we did it.”