Diamond Hogs with 3 on Golden Spikes preseason watch list

Mississippi State

The Arkansas Razorbacks have three Diamond Hogs on the 2019 USA Baseball Golden Spikes Award watch list in sophomores Heston Kjerstad and Casey Martin and junior pitcher Matt Cronin.

All three Diamond Hogs were named to the Preseason All-SEC First Team and have been named to sundry preseason All-America teams. While Auburn, Baylor, Elon, Florida, Florida State, NC State, Oregon State, Stanford and UCLA each have a pair of players, Arkansas leads the nation with three selections.

The Southeastern Conference has 13 total representatives, the most in the country, while the Pac-12 Conference has 10, the Atlantic Coast Conference with nine, and the Big 12 Conference with five.

Kjerstad, an Amarillo, Texas, native who won the 2018 SEC Freshman of the Year award, was also named a freshman All-American by Collegiate Baseball and the NCBWA, while also making the All-SEC Second Team and the SEC All-Freshman Team. Kjerstad produced a .332 batting average, 87 hits, 14 home runs, and 58 RBI, all three Diamond Hogs freshman records.

Martin had a .352 batting average in the NCAA Tournament, including a .357 clip in the College World Series. Martin was named to the All-SEC Second Team and SEC All-Freshman Team at the end of the regular season and was tabbed a freshman All-American by the NCBWA and Collegiate Baseball Newspaper.

Cronin had 14 saves in 2018, an Arkansas single-season record. It was also tied for the second-most in the SEC and the 14th-most in the country. Cronin struck out 59 batters and held opposing batters to a .154 batting average.

USA Baseball will announce the finalists on May 29 and fan voting will open at GoldenSpikesAward.com and will remain open through June 10. The winner of the 42nd Golden Spikes Award will be named on June 14.

The Razorbacks open the 2019 season against Eastern Illinois on Feb. 15 at Baum Stadium. Tickets are now on sale through the Razorback Ticket Office