The No. 1 Diamond Hogs were well represented at this year’s Southeastern Conference Postseason Honors Monday. Head coach Dave Van Horn was named SEC Coach of the Year and senior right-handed pitcher Kevin Kopps won SEC Pitcher of the Year.
Van Horn’s recognition came after leading Arkansas to a 42-10 season and capturing the SEC regular-season championship with a conference record of 22-8. It is the second time in his career that he has won the award, with the first coming in 2004 after leading the Razorbacks as high as No. 7 as a second-year skipper.
The OmaHogs won all 10 of their conference series, becoming the second SEC team in history to achieve the feat.
“Our guys work hard,” Van Horn said in a postgame press conference after defeating the Florida Gators Friday. “We work on things in practice, but we don’t work real long. Our guys appreciate that. We do work in the weight room, but don’t try to overdo it.”
Kopps has a perfect record of 10-0 on the year with a nation-best ERA of 0.75 in 60.1 innings pitched. He struck out 97 batters and allowed five runs on the year. He became the first Hog to win SEC Pitcher of the Year since Nick Schmidt in 2006.
Three Razorbacks — sophomore second baseman Robert Moore, senior designated hitter Matt Goodheart and Kopps — were recognized as First Team All-SEC honorees. Junior center fielder Christian Franklin and junior left-handed pitcher Patrick Wicklander took home Second Team All-SEC recognitions.
Moore tied for a team-high 13 home runs this season, with 46 RBIs. He batted .285 in 193 at-bats with an OPS of .939. Goodheart held an average of .279 and an on-base percentage of .412. He hit 12 homers and drove in 31 runs.
Moore hit for the cycle against the Central Arkansas Bears on March 30th, the first Hog to hit for the cycle since Kyle Harris in 1994.
“(It was) one of the coolest experiences I’ve ever had playing this game,” Moore said in the postgame press conference. “One of the most fun and exciting experiences. The coolest part was just celebrating with my coaches and teammates at the end.”
Franklin hit for .293 with 12 dingers, 50 RBIs and had an on-base percentage of .421. He also had an OPS of .995
Wicklander made 14 appearances for the Hogs this season and started in 10. He posted an ERA of 1.89 in 62 innings and had a record of 5-1. Wicklander struck out 71 batters with opponents batting .222 against him.
Right fielder Cayden Wallace was named to the Freshman All-SEC Team. Moore and sophomore right-hander Peyton Pallette secured spots on the Newcomer All-SEC Team. The Razorbacks had three players — Moore, Franklin and Kopps — place on the SEC’s All-Defensive Team.
Wallace was named SEC Freshman of the Week three times in 2021 while being the only Razorback starter to bat over .300, at .308. He hit 12 home runs, drove in 36 runs and had an OPS of .925.
Palette put up a record of 1-2 and had an ERA of 4.02 in 56 innings. He made 15 appearances, including 11 starts, and struck out 67.
The Razorbacks are the No. 1 seed in the SEC Tournament, which takes place Tuesday-Sunday in Hoover, Alabama. The Hogs will take on Georgia at 4:30 p.m. Wednesday and the game will be broadcast on the SEC Network.