Arkansas Razorbacks Baseball Injury Report: Zebulon Vermillion returns, Connor Noland's wait continues
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Injury Report: Vermillion returns, Noland's wait continues

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Zebulon Vermillion pitched two innings in the first game of Friday's doubleheader.
Zebulon Vermillion pitched two innings in the first game of Friday's doubleheader. (SEC Media Portal)

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Although he was available to pitch Friday, Connor Noland didn’t see the mound during Arkansas’ doubleheader at South Carolina.

The right-hander wasn’t needed out of the bullpen because Patrick Wicklander went seven innings in the nightcap and the Razorbacks didn’t need a bridge to get to Kevin Kopps.

“He was ready to go and we were ready to use him,” head coach Dave Van Horn said. “Really, Wicklander just gave us more innings than we thought. … Connor's time is coming. We'll throw him against some hitters this week and he'll be ready next weekend if we need him."

A weekend starter as a freshman and the No. 1 guy during the shortened 2020 season, Noland hasn’t pitched since March 5 because of a forearm strain, but Van Horn said last week that he is healthy again.

With no midweek game - Missouri State had to cancel because of positive COVID-19 tests within its program - Noland will now have to wait until the LSU series in Baton Rouge, La., next weekend to make his return to the mound.

He will be a welcome addition to an already deep bullpen as another long reliever and Van Horn said earlier this month that he could potentially play his way back into the rotation. Two years ago, Noland posted a 4.02 ERA as a weekend starter on a team that reached the College World Series. Last season, he had a 2.00 ERA with 19 strikeouts and only four walks in 18 innings across three starts.

The Razorbacks did use another pitcher coming back from injury Friday. In his first outing in about two weeks, right-hander Zebulon Vermillion gave up three earned runs on five hits in two innings in the first game of the doubleheader. He was held out of the Texas A&M series for precautionary reasons because of arm soreness.

Inheriting a bases-loaded, one-out situation in the sixth inning, he allowed each of them to score before giving up an earned run of his own. Vermillion eventually got out of the jam and threw a scoreless seventh inning, but ran into more trouble in the eighth, allowing a couple of hits before getting pulled.

“I thought he was probably a little rusty,” Van Horn said. “Some of his stuff was pretty good, he just wasn't commanding it like normal. I'd say he was a little bit rusty."

The LSU series begins at 6 p.m. CT Friday, with Game 1 set to be televised on the SEC Network.