Mike Bianco did not name a Game 2 starter after the Rebels’ 4-1 win over Kentucky earlier today. We may hear a name later on, but right now it’s TBA.
If he keeps the rotation he had for the final regular season series at LSU it would be Sam Smith’s turn. Smith (3-0, 3.28) had a bit of a blister in that game, though. That could be an issue.
If not Smith, the next best guess is Josh Laxer (2-0, 3.21), who has eight non-conference starts. Laxer last pitched in a relief appearance against Southern Miss on May 14, the Rebels’ final regular season game.
Freshman Jacob Waguespack started that game and did a good job of getting the game under control with three scoreless innings before tiring in the fourth. Waguespack is still regaining strength — and learning college baseball on the go — from tendonitis, which caused him to miss half the season.
Arkansas will keep its regular weekend rotation.
That means the Rebels will see right-hander Barrett Astin (4-4, 2.04).
Astin pitched against Ole Miss in relief in Fayetteville. He relieved Ryne Stanek in Sunday’s third game and gave up one run on four hits over 2.2 innings.
The Rebels scored twice in the top of the 13th to win that game 6-4 and take the series 2-1.