It was not the kind of news Arkansas coach Dave Van Horn needed a month out from opening a new season.
Multiple reports surfaced Thursday morning that starting pitcher Peyton Pallette was going to miss the entire 2022 season with an injury that will require Tommy John surgery.
Van Horn was counting on the junior from Benton to be the ace of the staff.
“Throwing the ball better than ever,” Van Horn told the media back in October. “He’s gotten bigger and stronger. He’s really starting to look the part. He’s matured a lot physically and mentally.”
Pallette suffered an elbow injury during the final weekend of the regular season and missed the SEC and NCAA Tournaments, but there was no tear and surgery wasn’t required.
This is, according to multiple reports, a new injury.
He posted a 4.02 ERA with 67 strikeouts and 20 walks in 56 innings last year. That landed him a spot on the SEC All-Newcomer Team after his freshman season was cut short by the pandemic.
While his stats weren’t exactly overwhelming scouts a fastball in the upper 90’s combined with a curve ball that has what some call “an elite spin rate” does get folks’ attention.
Now the Razorbacks will be without their top five pitchers from last season and seven of the top eight pitchers.
Senior right-hander Connor Noland is coming off an impressive fall and is the most experienced of the bunch, while sophomore right-hander Jaxon Wiggins and freshman left-hander Hagen Smith have what some have called first-round talent.
The Hogs, ranked as high as No. 2 in preseason polls, is scheduled to begin practice next Friday and open the season against Illinois State on Feb. 18.