Battles, No. 1 Arkansas set to host NJIT in tournament opener

Local athletes to watch in the upcoming NCAA Division I baseball tournament:

Jordan Battles, Arkansas

Junior shortstop from Madison. Made some eye-popping defensive plays in combination with second baseman Robert Moore to lead the No. 1-ranked Razorbacks to the SEC regular season and tournament titles.

Schedule: Arkansas, the top overall seed in the 64-team tournament, will open at home Friday at 2 p.m. in the Fayetteville Regional against the New Jersey Institute of Technology. Others in the regional: Nebraska and Northeastern. If Arkansas survives opening weekend, it would host a Super Regional against the winner of the Louisiana Tech-hosted Ruston Regional.

Luke Boyers, TCU

Freshman outfielder from Boerne Champion. Helped lead the Horned Frogs to a share of the Big 12 regular-season, co-championship and also the tournament title at Oklahoma City. Hit .303 for the Frogs in 43 games in his first year out of high school at Champion, where he also excelled as a quarterback.

Porter Brown, TCU

Third-year freshman outfielder from Reagan. Bounced back from injuries to spark TCU to the Big 12 tournament title. Named as the tournament’s Most Outstanding Player after producing nine hits in 20 at bats (in five games) for a .450 average. In his last seven games, Brown is 14 for 28 at the plate (.500) as the Frogs’ leadoff man. He’s got 12 RBIs and has scored a dozen runs in that span.

Schedule: TCU, the No. 6 overall seed, will open at home Friday at 6 p.m. in the Fort Worth Regional against McNeese State. Others in the regional: Oregon State and Dallas Baptist. If TCU survives, it would host a Super Regional against the winner of the Old Dominion-hosted Norfolk Regional.

Douglas Hodo III, Texas

Second-year freshman from Boerne High School. Hodo stepped in to become a key contributor for the Longhorns after upper-classman Austin Todd was lost for the season with an injury. He played right field for the Big 12 regular-season co-champions. Played 54 games and started 52 for a team ranked in the Top 10 for most of the season. Hit .289 with eight doubles, five homers and 38 RBIs.

Schedule: Texas, the No. 2 overall seed, will open at home Friday at 1 p.m. against Southern University of Baton Rouge, La. Others in the regional: Arizona State and Fairfield. If Texas survives, it would host a Super Regional against the winner of the Florida-hosted Gainesville Regional.

Jace Jung, Texas Tech

Second-year freshman from MacArthur was the Big 12 player of the year. One of the most dangerous left-handed hitters in the nation. Hit .345 with 20 home runs and 65 RBIs. He’s tied for fifth in the nation in homers and tied for third in RBIs. Plays second base for the Red Raiders.

Connor Queen, Texas Tech

Senior pitcher from Boerne High School. The 6-foot-1, 220 pounder has pitched for Texas Tech in both the 2018 and 2019 NCAA tournaments, including the College World Series both years. This year, he’s fashioned a 3.86 ERA in 16 appearances.

Schedule: Texas Tech, the No. 8 overall seed, will open at home Friday at 11 a.m. against Army. Others in the regional: UCLA and North Carolina. If Texas Tech survives, it would host the winner of the Stanford-hosted Palo Alto Regional.