FAYETTEVILLE — Driving in 10 runs while defensively sparkling in center field, helping Arkansas win two of three at LSU last weekend has netted Christian Franklin named SEC Player of the Week.
For Arkansas’ 7-0 and 17-10 victories and 5-4 loss in Baton Rouge, Franklin opened Friday night with a two-run single and three-run home run in five at bats.
In Saturday’s doubleheader, Franklin logged three hits and four RBI in the 17-10 victory and in the 5-4 loss knocked in a run with a sacrifice fly and singled during the three-run ninth as the Razorbacks rallied from down 5-1.
Franklin also recorded some key catches in center and threw out a runner trying to advance from first to third.
The nationally No. 1 Razorbacks, (34-8 overall, 15-6 SEC West) host the Georgia Bulldogs (27-16, 10-11 SEC East) Friday through Sunday at Baum-Walker Stadium. Game times are 6:30 p.m. Friday, 6 p.m. Saturday and 2 p.m. Sunday.
After recent struggling starts by No. 3 starter Lael Lockhart, Van Horn contemplates starting freshman reliever Jaxon Wiggins Sunday after Patrick Wicklander and Peyton Pallette start Friday and Saturday.
Wiggins began the season as the closer but has idled on recent SEC weekends while senior Kevin Kopps has netted national recognition for his three-innings saves.
Wiggins, with a fastball consistently in the high 90s, was doing fine at 3-0 with four saves.
“Jaxon has got a really good arm,” Van Horn said. “He’s had some good saves for us and we’re working on trying to get him in there a little bit more. I think you’ll see that in the future.”
If not used the Georgia weekend, as Van Horn also mulls experienced SEC starters Zebulon Vermillion, Caleb Bolden and Lockhart for Sunday’s game, Wiggins would seem a candidate to start the May 11 nonconference game against Arkansas State at Baum-Walker.