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Smith named finalist for National Pitcher of the Year


More recognition for Razorback lefty

From the University of Arkansas

LUBBOCK, Texas – Arkansas ace Hagen Smith has been named a finalist for the National Pitcher of the Year Award, presented by the College Baseball Foundation to the best pitcher in college baseball.

The Razorback left-hander is one of five finalists, along with Florida State left-hander Jamie Arnold, Wake Forest right-hander Chase Burns, Dallas Baptist right-hander Ryan Johnson and East Carolina right-hander Trey

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Yesavage, in the running for college baseball’s version of the Cy Young Award.

This year’s award winner will be announced on June 20.

Smith made his case as the best pitcher in all of college baseball, completing the 2024 campaign with a 9-2 record, 2.04 ERA and 161 strikeouts in 84.0 innings over 16 starts.

The junior hurler, named the Southeastern Conference Pitcher of the Year after going 7-0 with a 1.35 ERA and 110 strikeouts in 60.0 innings over 10 SEC starts on the mound, led the country with an NCAA-record 17.3 strikeouts per nine innings on the season and finished ranked first nationally in hits allowed per nine innings (4.4), second in strikeouts (161), fourth in ERA (2.04) and seventh in WHIP (0.89).

The Bullard, Texas, native posted a team-leading 11 quality starts and logged a program-record 11 doubledigit strikeout games on the year, becoming the program’s all-time career strikeout king and single-season strikeout leader during his historic 2024 campaign. Smith, who raised his career strikeout total to 360, overtook Razorback great Nick Schmidt (345) for sole possession of Arkansas’ career strikeout mark in addition to surpassing Razorback great David Walling’s single-season strikeout record of 155 set in 1999 to move atop the program’s single-season strikeout leaderboard (161).

In one of the greatest pitching performances in program history, Smith tied Arkansas’ single- game record with his 17-strikeout gem on 78 pitches over six shutout innings against Oregon State on Feb. 23 in the Kubota College Baseball Series at Globe Life Field in Arlington, Texas.

Smith matched Razorback great Jess Todd’s single-game strikeout record (17), doing so in 40 fewer pitches than Todd threw against South Carolina on May 24, 2007, in the SEC Tournament. Smith would be the second Razorback in program history to win National Pitcher of the Year, joining Kevin Kopps (2021).

Arkansas would be only the third school, including LSU (2) and Oregon State (2), to boast multiple award winners.

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