Athletics Notebook

Simmons Bank Pavilion Ribbon Cutting
HISTORIC LAST WEEK FOR UAPB ATHLETICS The University of Arkansas At Pine Bluff authored historic moments in its storied legacy last week.

Last Tuesday, both the UAPB softball and baseball teams played in contests against the University of Arkansas. It was the first time in school history that both Golden Lions teams took on their counterparts from Fayetteville.

UAPB Chancellor Dr. Laurence B. Alexander and Athletic Director Melvin Hines were among a contingent of university leadership that traveled to take in both games with additional contests in other sports planned in the future. Earlier this spring, both the UAPB women’s and men’s tennis teams played at Arkansas.

Last Wednesday, the UAPB men’s golf team posted its best finish in the SWAC Championship. The Golden Lions finished fourth but improved significantly from last season’s performance.

Head Coach Roger Totten fielded a team with three true freshmen, one redshirt sophomore, and one junior all competing in their first league championship tournament. The Lions’ team score of 934 was a 98-shot improvement over 2018. Totten was named SWAC Co-Coach of the Year for the team’s performance.

Just over a week ago, another ribbon-cutting ceremony was held on the UAPB campus at the Torii Hunter Baseball Complex as the official naming of Bill Jones Field and the opening of the Simmons Bank Pavilion occurred last Friday.

Among those in attendance along with Chancellor Alexander and AD Hines were Hunter’s mother, Shirley, along with Arkansas System President Dr. Donald R. Bobbitt; George Makris – Chairman and CEO of Simmons Bank; Bill Jones – President of Sissy’s Log Cabin; UAPB Trustee Dr. Stephen A. Broughton; and Carlos James – UAPB Head Baseball Coach.

Fans were able to tour the new facility located behind home plate which includes coach’s offices, a team locker room, press box, umpire’s locker room, and concessions area.  Earlier this spring, the playing field was improved as padded walls were installed around the entire field of play as well as new padding in both dugouts.

GILLAN AWAITS NEXT STEP IN CAREER NFL Draft Weekend is here, and UAPB’s Jamie Gillan is looking to have his name called this weekend.

“The Scottish Hammer” and other pro prospects will be following the draft from Nashville, with round one tonight at 7 p.m., Friday at 6 p.m., and Saturday beginning at 11 a.m. on ABC, ESPN, NFL Network and ESPN Deportes and online at  NFL.com/Watch.

JAMES TO ENTER SEMINOLE ST. HALL OF FAME THURSDAY UAPB Head Baseball Coach Carlos James will be inducted into the Seminole State College Hall of Fame Thursday night in ceremonies in Seminole, Okla.

James, a Pine Bluff, Ark. Native, played two seasons at Seminole State, helping the Trojans reach the National Junior College Athletic Association (NJCAA) World Series in 1991 and 1992.

UAPB TRACK ATHLETES RANK IN TOP 100 IN WEST Several UAPB track and field athletes rank among the nation’s best in the NCAA West Region.

On the women’s side, senior Sabrina Hollins (Waipahu, Hi.) ranks 51st in the region (91st nationally) in the discus with a SWAC-best mark of 49.69 meters (163 feet, 0 inches), set at the Texas Arlington Invitational.

Senior Keziann Jones (Brooklyn, N.Y.) ranks 72nd in the hammer throw with a SWAC-best mark of 54.52 meters (178 feet, 10 inches), set at the Little Rock Open.

Freshman Jyzmin Gray (Dallas, Texas) ranks 94th in the 400 hurdles with a time of 1:02.36, which was set at the Texas State Bobcat Invitational, the third-best time in the SWAC.

Freshman Safiya John (Trinidad & Tobago) ranks 89th in the javelin with a SWAC-best mark of 42.48 meters (139 feet, four inches), set at the Little Rock Open. John also is 92nd in the 100 hurdles with a time of 14.07 seconds, set at the Texas State Bobcat Invitational, the second-best mark in the conference.

On the men’s side, in the 800 meters, junior Wade Gardner (St. Joseph, Barbados) ranks 39th in the region (69th nationally) with a time of 1:49.90 set last week at the Arkansas State Red Wolf Open.

Teammate and senior Laurel Heath (Kansas City, Mo.) ranks 45th in the region (91st nationally) with a time of 1:50.33, also set last week at Arkansas State. Both times ranks 1-2 in the SWAC this season.

In the 400-meter hurdles, senior Rasheed McAlpin (Topeka, Kan.) ranks 41st in the region (71st nationally) with a time of 52.51, which was set in late March at the Clyde Littlefield Texas Relays.  McAlpin’s time is third best in the SWAC this season.

In the long jump, senior Travis Bibbs (Houston, Texas) ranks 44th regionally (95th nationally) with leap of 7.38 meters (24 feet, 2.5 inches) set at the Little Rock Open earlier this month and is the second-best jump in the SWAC in 2019.

Bibbs also ranks 65th regionally in the triple jump with a mark of 14.70 meters (48 feet, 2.75 inches), with was set at the Texas Arlington Bobby Lane Invitational and is the third best mark in the SWAC this season.

In the high jump, junior Shevon Phipps (Kingston, Jamaica) ranks 95th regionally with a mark of 2.00 meters (6 feet, 6.75 inches), tied for fourth best in the SWAC.

The UAPB track teams will have their final tune-up for the 2019 SWAC Championship this weekend at Memphis invitational.

AKINS TIED FOR SWAC SOFTBALL LEAD IN TRIPLES Junior Shanice Akins’ (Arlington, Texas) had her third triple of the season Tuesday for UAPB Softball at Mississippi Valley State, and his tied for the conference lead in the category.

Her .359 batting average ranks 10th in the SWAC as the Lady Lions will play at defending SWAC Champion Prairie View A&M in a three-game series this weekend.

KREUTZER TOP 10 IN SLUGGING, ON-BASE PERCENTAGE UAPB 1st baseman Nick Kreutzer (Westminster, Co.) ranks in the Top 10 in the SWAC in both slugging percentage and on-base percentage.

Kreutzer is second with a .608 slugging percentage and is one of only three players with at least a .600 SLG%. Kreutzer’s .475 on-base percentage ranks ninth in the SWAC as

UAPB will play a non-conference series at Incarnate Word this weekend.

WEEKEND SCHEDULE
Friday, April 26
Women’s / Men’s Track: at Memphis; Memphis, Tenn. – All Day
Softball: at Prairie View A&M*; Prairie View, Texas – 3 p.m.
Baseball: at Incarnate Word; San Antonio, Texas – 6:30 p.m.

Saturday, April 27
Women’s / Men’s Track: at Memphis; Memphis, Tenn. – All Day
Softball: DH at Prairie View A&M*; Prairie View, Texas – 1 p.m. / 3 p.m.
Baseball: at Incarnate Word; San Antonio, Texas – 2 p.m.

Sunday, April 28
Baseball: at Incarnate Word; San Antonio, Texas – 1 p.m.

ON THE HORIZON
Tuesday, April 30
Baseball: vs. Stephen F. Austin – 3 p.m.

Friday, May 3
Women’s / Men’s Track: at SWAC Championship; Prairie View, Texas – 3 p.m.
Baseball: at Texas Southern*; Houston, Texas – 5 p.m.

Saturday, May 4
Women’s / Men’s Track: at SWAC Championship; Prairie View, Texas – 9 a.m.
Baseball: at Texas Southern*; Houston, Texas – 2 p.m.

Sunday, May 5
Women’s / Men’s Track: at SWAC Championship; Prairie View, Texas – 8 a.m.
Baseball: at Texas Southern*; Houston, Texas – 1 p.m.
Home Events in Bold; * denotes SWAC games; all times central