FAYETTEVILLE — Jonesboro right-handed pitcher Josh Hyneman is committed to Arkansas even though he still has one more year of high school baseball and football.
Hyneman practiced with the Jonesboro football team on Thursday morning prior to speaking with Hogville.net and Pig Trail Nation about the Razorback baseball team. While he is a standout on the football team, Hyneman will concentrate on baseball at Arkansas. That’s a sport where his professional potential is through the roof.
“You know it’s insane,” Hyneman said. “Coming in at the beginning of the year whenever I committed I was like, ‘yeah Arkansas is a great program.’ Then they’re coming out hitting the ball far and throwing the ball hard. Just being that team. They’re the No. 1 team and it’s crazy. The year is just going great and I don’t see it ending anytime soon. Knock on wood of course, but I think they have a great year and I think Chuck Welch woke them back up.”
Welch hit a three-run blast far over the fence in left field Monday night to lift the Hogs past Nebraska 6-2. Hyneman and his mother were excited when they saw the no-doubter leave the bat.
“My mom was crying in the living room and I was running about the house,” Hyneman said.
Hyneman is like everyone else just blown away at how Kevin Kopps has performed on the mound this season.
“I’ve never seen a more dominant baseball player in my life,” Hyneman said.
Hyneman, like most of us, isn’t referring to Kopps as a closer. He pitched seven innings Monday night to earn the win against Nebraska.
“He doesn’t have a label….he’s a pitcher,” Hyneman said. “He can start a game I’m sure, come in the ninth with a 3-0 count and get the guy out I’m sure. He’s just that guy. He’s great to watch.”
The Razorbacks will now face North Carolina State in the Fayetteville Super Regional with the winner going to Omaha to the College World Series.
“NC State is hot,” Hyneman said. “They’ve got a lineup that can hit all the way up and down. They’re hot, but I think we can throw it well against them. If we can play solid defense, hit the ball and pitch like we have been I think we’ll be just fine. And there’s nothing like playing at Baum-Walker that was proven this week.”
Hyneman won’t be in attendance this weekend due to playing for the Arkansas Sticks.
“I’ve got a tournament in Memphis and I’m pitching on Saturday,” Hyneman said.
Hyneman is part of a loaded team with the Arkansas Sticks.
“I mean it’s the best organization in the country in my opinion,” Hyneman said. “Coach (Chase) Brewster does everything for any guy. If you want to play college baseball you get on the Sticks and he’s going to get you somewhere no matter the level.
“And the team is just absolutely loaded this year. I’m playing with two teams this year. On one team I’m pitching only. Then one team I’m pitching, playing first and hitting. On that (Arkansas Sticks) Scout team there’s 13, take or give, Arkansas commits on one team. That’s unheard of. That’s like the next generation of Fayetteville all on one team.”
The Arkansas Sticks have Scout, National and American team in that order.
The future Hogs on the Scout team includes Hyneman, Parker Coil, Austin Jobe, Cooper Dossett, Nolan Souza, Jayson Jones, Jordan Huskey, Reese Robinett, Colton Sims, Sean Fitzpatrick, Hudson Guinn and Ty Waid.
The team will play a tournament in Baum-Walker July 15-18. Hyneman helped lead Jonesboro to a 29-5 record and state runner-up finish.