NCBWA Salutes Razorbacks Trio in 2024 Preseason All-American Selections
In the ever-evolving landscape of Division I college baseball, where the transfer portal and Name, Image, and Likeness (NIL) deals have introduced a new dynamic, the National Collegiate Baseball Writers Association (NCBWA) has released its 2024 Preseason All-America teams, sponsored by The Game Headwear. This year’s selections underscore a commitment to elite programs and showcase some of the country’s most exceptional talents, with the University of Arkansas making a strong showing.
Arkansas Diamond Hogs Shine in Preseason Honors
Arkansas Razorbacks have every reason to be proud as three of their own have been identified for their exceptional prowess on the baseball field. Wehiwa Aloy, Hagen Smith, and Mason Molina have all been bestowed preseason All-American status, a testament to their skill and dedication to the sport.
Aloy, the dynamic shortstop and a Sacramento State transfer was awarded with a second-team selection. In his debut season, Aloy put forth a stellar performance that earned him the title of Western Athletic Conference Freshman of the Year. His impressive .376 batting average, along with his power at the plate – 14 home runs and 46 RBI – set him apart as a force to be reckoned with.
Joining Aloy on the second team is junior pitcher Hagen Smith, who, after an impressive sophomore year that saw him achieve an 8-2 record and a 3.64 ERA, has continued to dominate on the mound. Smith’s 109 strikeouts in just 71 2/3 innings illustrate his capacity to control the game and overpower batters. His preseason acclaim includes nods from Baseball America, D1Baseball, NCBWA, and Perfect Game, with the latter two recognizing him as the SEC Preseason Pitcher of the Year. Smith will be an arm to watch as he will be an ace on this talented and deep staff for Diamond Hogs head coach Dave Van Horn.
Rounding out the trio is Mason Molina, a fellow junior and another accomplished transfer from Texas Tech. Molina’s All-Big 12-worthy performance last year earned him a spot on the third team, thanks to his 6-2 record and a solid 3.67 ERA across 83.1 innings pitched. His prowess in striking out batters, with 108 Ks to his name, has made him an integral part of the Razorbacks’ pitching arsenal.
Razorbacks Poised for a Strong Start
As the Razorbacks prepare to take the field for their season opener, they do so with the confidence that comes from having a lineup filled with nationally recognized talent. The team kicks off their campaign at Baum-Walker Stadium with a four-game series against James Madison, where fans will eagerly await the first pitch at 3 p.m. on Friday, Feb. 16.
With such high-caliber players leading the charge, the Arkansas Razorbacks are poised for what could be an electrifying season. The NCBWA’s Preseason All-American accolades not only highlight the individual players’ achievements but also signal the formidable presence Arkansas will likely command on the diamond in the 2024 season.