Arkansas trio of Smith, Molina and Aloy all named NCBWA All-Americans

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FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. – Arkansas’ Wehiwa Aloy, Mason Molina and Hagen Smith have been named preseason All-Americans by the National Collegiate Baseball Writers Association.

Aloy and Smith earned second-team praise at shortstop and starting pitcher, respectively, from the NCBWA, while Molina garnered third-team recognition at starting pitcher.

Aloy, a transfer from Sacramento State, was a consensus Freshman All-American last season after slashing .376/.427/.662 with 14 home runs and 46 RBI in 56 games. Named the Western Athletic Conference Freshman of the Year, the Wailuku, Hawai’i, native racked up 88 hits, including 15 doubles and five triples, and 69 runs scored.

Smith, a consensus All-American in 2023, made 18 appearances with 11 starts on the mound during his outstanding sophomore campaign, posting an 8-2 record with a 3.64 ERA, a team-leading 109 strikeouts and two saves in 71 2/3 innings of work. A semifinalist for last year’s Golden Spikes Award and the College Baseball Foundation’s National Pitcher of the Year Award, the Bullard, Texas, product was one of two starting pitchers, along with LSU’s Paul Skenes, to receive All-SEC first-team honors.

Smith enters the 2024 campaign as a preseason All-American by Baseball America (first team), D1Baseball (first team), NCBWA (second team) and Perfect Game (first team). Both D1Baseball and Perfect Game have also tabbed the Razorbacks’ ace as the SEC Preseason Pitcher of the Year.

Molina, a transfer from Texas Tech, was an All-Big 12 performer last season after starting 16 games on the mound, finishing with a 6-2 record and a 3.67 ERA over 83.1 innings. The left-hander from Rancho Santa Margarita, Calif., tallied a team-leading 108 strikeouts while limiting opposing hitters to a .208 batting average.

Arkansas opens the season with a four-game series against James Madison at Baum-Walker Stadium. First pitch on Opening Day is set for 3 p.m. Friday, Feb. 16.

Photo by John D. James

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