FAYETTEVILLE — In a close vote that revealed multiple team captains, three Arkansas baseball players have been named captains for the 2023 season.
Redshirt junior pitcher Zack Morris, redshirt sophomore Jayce Borovin, and sophomore Peyton Stovall all earned the honor for the first time. The number of Razorbacks captains fluctuates from year to year, but is usually capped at two or three.
“I could have taken five captains, it was so close,” said Arkansas coach Dave Van Horn. “You know, everyone got 20 votes, 19 — there were six or seven (of them), and I mean even a couple of new players. It was great to see.”
The vote for captains came during an unofficial season that saw the Razorbacks roster of 40 players grow. The team’s camaraderie was an exciting development for Van Horn, who said before fall practice that team building would be a crucial aspect of practice because of the many newcomers on the team. Arkansas has 27 new players this season – 16 transfers from Division I programs or small colleges, and 11 freshmen.
The team has been associated with off-season extracurricular activities such as ping pong, fishing, and attending other sporting events.
“This team loves each other,” said Van Horn.
Morris, who grew up in Cabot, described being captain of his state’s team “a real honor.” The left-hander went 6-1 with a 2.31 ERA in 22 games last season, and recorded his only save when he was stranded in the bases loaded in the ninth inning of a 3-2 win over Ole Miss in the College World Series.
“To be called a team captain on this team, I feel like every Arkansan who wants to be a pig is going to dream about it,” Morris said. “That’s kind of how I feel in that situation — like it’s a real honor and my teammates think of me that way. I was happy whenever it happened, but at the same time, it’s like, hey, these guys look at me as a leader on this team and I feel like I can … help these guys out in the field.”
Stovall is Arkansas’ second year captain in many seasons. Departed third baseman Kayden Wallace was captain of last year’s team that had a 46-21 record and was a national semi-finalist. Stovall started 51 games as a first baseman last season and finished the year with a . 295 batting average, 6 home runs, 8 doubles, and 31 RBI.
“Being young, these guys think I have the qualities of a captain, which is cool,” said Stovall. “And it’s such an honor, especially when you hang out with these guys every single day, and they get to know you.
“I couldn’t be more grateful and blessed to be in a position to be voted on by them to be a leader.”
Borovin, who along with Stovall is one of four returning players, said the vote was special for him because he wasn’t an everyday player last season. Bohrofen started slow last year, but warmed up when his season was derailed by a shoulder injury in March that pushed him into a mostly reserve role. 228 with 3 home runs, 8 doubles, 1 triple and 17 RBI in 32 games, including 24 starts.
“I haven’t had the best season ever, but I think that kind of just speaks to my character as a teammate and as a person on this team,” said Borovin.
“It means a lot. It means your teammates respect you and think a lot of you, and I feel like you can be a leader to lead them to a regional, a super regional, even Omaha.”
The Arkansas players reported to Fayetteville last week and got into the skillful work this week. The Razorbacks are scheduled to begin team practice next Friday — three weeks before their scheduled season-opener against Texas on February 17 in a College Baseball Showdown in Arlington, Texas.