Skip to main content

Arkansas' best high school baseball players: Meet the state's top pitchers

Some of the top pitchers in Arkansas prep baseball
  • Author:
  • Updated:

By Kevin Bohannon | Photo by Braeden Botts

With high school baseball season in full swing, SBLive is looking at the best players in Arkansas. Today, we feature the top pitchers across all classifications. 

This season is quickly becoming the “Year of the Pitcher” with outstanding performances every week. 

Players who play multiple positions might be featured on other lists throughout the season. This is not meant to be a comprehensive list as there are hundreds of great pitchers statewide. 

Gage Wood | Batesville | SR

The Razorback signee has been the ace for the Pioneers the past two season. In 2021, Wood had 138 strikeouts in only 66.2 innings. He capped off his junior year throwing a no-hitter in the opening round of the 5A State Tournament against Benton.

Josh Hyneman | Jonesboro | SR

Hyneman leads the Hurricanes on their “Unfinished Business” tour in 2022 after falling to Van Buren in the 2021 5A State Championship. He was a two-sport star until his junior campaign where he chose to focus on baseball, and it has paid off. The University of Arkansas signee has seen his velocity increase to 92-93 miles per hour and he leads the state with 8 home runs.

Aaron Arnold | Bentonville | SR

Arnold came on the scene a little later than some of the other arms in his class. He really turned heads in the summer of 2020 PBR Future Games in Atlanta resulting in the University of Arkansas extending an offer, and he committed shortly after. He is the ace of the Wolverines staff and looking for a deeper playoff run in 2022.

Cooper Dossett | Springdale Har-Ber | SR

Dossett has been a household name since he stepped foot on campus as a freshman. He led the Wildcats to the brink of the 2021 6A State Championship coming up short against conference foe Rogers. At a Perfect Game Showcase he set a record for velocity throwing it 100 miles per hour from the outfield. He will take his powerful right arm down the road and play for the Razorbacks upon graduation.

Connor Brady | Van Buren | SR

Connor has been a do-it-all player for the Pointers. He hits in the middle of the lineup, came up as a catcher throwing our would-be base stealers, and has played the corner infield spots as well. In 2021, Brady teamed up with Senior Connor Johnson to lead the Pointers to the first state championship. He will pitch for Eastern Oklahoma next season.

Colton Sims | Russellville | SR

Sims has been the model of efficiency for the Cyclones since he was a freshman. He had a sterling 70-pitch, complete game one hit performance to open the 5A-West conference season. Known for his ability to throw strikes, he got through the game with 8 strikeouts and zero walks. He opened his senior season striking out ten against LR Catholic.

Lucas Greer | LR Catholic | SR

Greer emerged as the Rockets’ ace and has had a great start to the 2022 season. The University of Central Arkansass signee was 4-0 with a 0.39 ERA in 23 innings pitched. Teams are only hitting .118 against him halfway through the season.

Bradley Launius | Camden Harmony Grove | SR

Launius does it all for the Hornets. He was a major part of the recent eleven game winning streak that saw the Hornets soar to No. 2 in Class 3A. He had a complete-game, 13-strikeout performance in the Hornets 2-1 win over conference foe Rison and has hit 6 homeruns on the year.

Alex Keilbach | Ashdown | SR

Keilbach is a two-sport star for the Panthers. He has excelled as the quarterback for the Panthers and has them on top of the 7-3A this season. He recently got the win in a big game against conference rival Genoa Central. He also threw a no-hitter against Fouke earlier in the season.

Jaxon Jester | Ashdown | SR

Jester is the second part of the Panthers’ Dynamic Duo. He does it at the plate and on the mound. He had 14 strikeout performance against Prescott earlier in conference play.

Mason Andrews | Walnut Ridge | SR

As with a lot of pitchers in the lower classifications, Andrews is a two-way player. His most recent outing against Hoxie got him nominated for SBLIve Arkansas Athlete of the Week. He struck out 10 in his first no-hitter of the season and also went 2-4 at the plate with a double and 4 runs batted in.

July Stone | Norfork | SR

The ace of the hottest team so far in Class 1A makes the list after a great start to his senior season. He turned in his best performance of the year when it mattered most tossing a complete game in the Panthers upset of No. 1 Izard County. In the game, Stone had 10 strikeouts with no walks as the Panthers won 6-3.

Chase Armstrong | Marion | SR

Armstrong hopes to lead the Patriots to a state title in his senior campaign after coming up just short in 2021. He is a big-game pitcher getting the ball when it matters most. His future coach at Arkansas state was quoted as saying, “One of the most college-ready high school arms we’ve brought to A-State in a while…”

Gage Watson | Marion | SR

Watson is the second Marion Patriot on the list and could be in the running for the top lefty in the state. His older brother is pitching for the Memphis Tigers and Gage has signed with the Missouri Tigers.

Jordan Huskey | Greenbrier | SR

Huskey found a home in Greenbrier his sophomore year that was cut short due to the pandemic but has been one of if not the best left-handed pitchers in the state the past two season. He consistently pitches deep into his starts as was evident by his complete game against Class 6A Rogers Heritage this past weekend.

Wyatt Goodman | Highland | SR

Goodman is another on the list that has excelled as a quarterback on the gridiron. The Highland ace is committed to play for Hendrix next season and has Highland shooting for a state playoff berth.

Austin Rainey | Conway | SR

Rainey has emerged as the “starter” for the Wampus Cats during his senior campaign. In an effort to limit their pitch count, Rainey will often combine with other pitchers on the staff to maximize effectiveness. It has put the Wampus Cats on top of the 6A-Central. Rainey got the win in back to back starts against LR Catholic and Bryant only giving up two runs in both starts. Austin has signed with UA Rich Mountain.

Austin Jobe | El Dorado | SR

The streaking Wildcats had their own 11-game winning streak and Jobe was a big reason. The righty shut out Brookland at the Panther Spring Break Tournament. He followed that up with a 14-strikeout performance against Hot Springs where he allowed only one hit.

Grant Hodge | LR Catholic | SR

I feel like Grant Hodge has been around high school baseball for six years. The reason is because he started getting varsity innings as a freshman. He has been “Mr. Consistent” ever since and gives the Rockets a great 1-2 punch with teammate Lucas Greer.

Alex Bailey | Murfreesboro | SR

I learned the name Alex Bailey after the Rattlers upset Harding Academy early in the 2021 season. Bailey threw a no-hitter against the Wildcats and carried his team to a 25-4 record losing in the State Quarterfinals to a very good England team.

Rykar Acebo | Jonesboro | SR

Acebo has been all-state in Football and Baseball and is having a great senior season. While the Hurricanes have a deep and talented pitching staff, Acebo is the anchor and provides the leadership needed for another run to the state championship game.

Turner Seelinger | Bryant | SR

Seelinger is the leader of a Hornets Staff that features four college commitments. Bryant turned to Seelinger early and often during their 2021 6A-Central title run as he ended the season with a miniscule 1.05 ERA. Turner will play at Crowder (Mo.) Junior College next season.

Grayson Becker | Valley View | SR

Becker won a state title with the Blazers in 2021 and is committed to Arkansas state. He is one of the most athletic pitchers on the list as he can play any position on the field.

Kade Ruffner | Bryant | SR

Ruffner really came into his own over the 2021 summer travel ball season and now is part of a very deep Bryant Hornets staff. Measuring at 6-foot-5, the righty has very high ceiling in terms of pitchability. He is a very good student as well and will get a chance to play collegiately for the Purdue Boilermakers.

Bryce Parlin | Bentonville | SR

Being the ace of the Bentonville staff comes with high expectations. Parlin has exceeded those expectations so far in 2022 by notching three wins under his belt in conference play. He has signed to play for the UCA Bears next season and should be a candidate for early time on the mound.

Coleman MacRae | Rogers Heritage | SR

MacRae has been one of Heritage head coach Brian Walker’s most reliable arms this season. MacRae kept No. 1 Springdale Har-Ber in check for five innings giving up one earned run before giving way to his bullpen. Coleman has signed with UCA.

Hunter Alexander | Bigelow | SR

Alexander was a key part of the Bigelow high powered offense during football season, but he is better known for what he does on the diamond. Hunter recently threw a one hit shutout with 17 strikeouts to keep the Panthers undefeated in conference play. He will play collegiately for UA-Rich Mountain.

Aden Almeida | Rogers Heritage | SR

Almeida is a big reason why the War Eagles are in position for their best season in program history. He had 10 strikeouts in a complete game shutout against Bend (Ore.) in a spring break tournament. He has followed that up with quality starts in conference play. Almeida has signed with UA-Rich Mountain.

Wesley Schluterman | Subiaco Academy | SR

Subiaco sits in second place in the 4-4A Conference and the arm of Schluterman is a big reason. His most recent outing saw him rack up 11 strikeouts in 4.2 innings pitched. He also went 3-4 at the plate. He will head down the road to play for the University of the Ozarks next season.

Stetson Bishop | Crossett | SR

Bishop is the staff ace for the Eagles and gives them a chance to win any time he is on the mound. His presence on the mound creates a calming effect for his team and they always seem to step up when he is on the mound. He has signed with Southern Arkansas.

Seth Edwards | Magnolia | SR

The go-to-guy for the Panthers. Edwards was part of the 2021 state finalist team and has been just as good this season. He had a 17-strikeout performance earlier this season and can be relied upon to come in and close the game as well.

Ashton Branson | Sheridan | SR

The University of Arkansas at Little Rock signee is the next in a long line of Yellow Jacket arms to make it to the next level. He has worked in many roles which makes him so valuable. Branson does it at the plate as well hitting a homerun against Conway in the FCA Invitational to start the season.

Evan Ward | Sheridan | SR

The other Yellowjacket to make the list will also get to pitch for SAU Tech. Ward has been a big game arm for Coach Moore and is a threat to go the distance as he did last week against Hot Springs allowing only one hit while getting 6 strikeouts.

Cylan Madden | Harrison | SR

Madden got a taste of action as a freshman and has been a key part of the Goblins success over the last four seasons. Another quarterback on the list that will get to play baseball collegiately at Grayson Junior College. He may get to be a two-way player since he is one of the leaders in homeruns for the Goblins.

Kade Smith | Harding Academy | JR

The University of Arkansas commit does it all for Harding Academy but his arm is what gives opposing teams the most trouble. Smith guided the Wildcats to the 3A State Championship in 2021 and has them in prime position to repeat in 2022.

Riley Henfling | Jonesboro | JR

The third Hurricane on the list has really stepped up this season with Josh Hyneman limited. Henfling is always pitching against the opponent’s ace and has Jonesboro in position for back to back conference titles.

Jake Jones | Benton | JR

Jake Jones is one of those players you love to watch. He gets the most out of his ability and really came into his own as a sophomore last season. He had to step up due to injuries and led Benton to the state playoffs. Now the ace of the staff, he has put together a 4-0 start to the season as the Panthers sit atop the 5A Central.

Wyatt Gibson | Hot Springs Lakeside | JR

Gibson is the ace for a young Rams team that continually gets better under Garrett Bock. Gibson has been reliable going six innings with 9 strikeouts and a complete game with six strikeouts in his past two starts both resulting in wins for the Rams.

Ryan Ursery | White Hall | JR

Another Little Rock Trojan commit that carries a 4.05 GPA, and Ursery uses that intelligence and work ethic to baffle hitters. Ursery recently defeated conference leader El Dorado with seven innings and 13 strikeouts.

Ayden Benson | Shiloh Christian | JR

Benson is that prototypical big, right-hander colleges crave. For the time being, he is helping the Saints try and get back to the state title game. He is getting more innings as a Junior and gets better as the season goes along.

Hugh Hill | Conway | JR

Hill announced his presence with authority in last years Southwest Sporting Goods Classic at UALR by keeping a vaunted Jonesboro lineup in check for 5 innings. The Canes mustered only two hits and had two unearned runs. Since then, the tall lefty has carved out a spot as one of the premier pitchers in the 6A-Central.

Ty Ridley | Springdale Har-Ber | JR

Ridley has taken on the closer role in conference play. He worked out of a bases loaded jam against Bentonville West by striking out consecutive batters and give the Wildcats the win.

Reece Tarini | LR Christian | JR

Tarini is another one of those crafty lefties that give teams fits. He is a big reason for the Warriors 5A-Central title last season and has them in the hunt once again. He already has three shutouts on the season.

Nate Gross | LR Christian | JR

Gross and Tarini give Warriors head Coach Brandon Eller two lefties that keep other teams on their toes. Gross continues to develop and recently had a complete game victory when he got the shutout and 10 strikeouts.

Isaak Crittneden | Gentry | JR

Crittenden was a key part of the Pioneers’ hot start to the season. Gentry won 10 of the first 12 games before getting deep into conference play. Crittenden shut out Siloam Springs earlier in the season.

Drew Grumbles | Episcopal | JR

The Wildcats ace has a Greg Maddux-type feel when he pitches. He isn’t overpowering, but he throws strikes and is going to make you work every at bat. Grumbles is also a leader at the plate and has a chance to beat most 3A teams in the state when he pitches.

Tripp Campbell | Arkadelphia | JR

Campbell started the season 4-0 with a save and .95 ERA. Teams are hitting .074 against him as well and he’s only allowed 4 hits while striking out 42 batters on the year. Campbell recently through a no-hitter against Mena.

Amos Mayes | Huntsville | JR

The Eagles crafty lefty got the start in the 2021 State Tournament and held a good Joe T. Robinson lineup in check. He has led the Eagles to a No. 3 rankings and 17-3 record.

Jacob Czanstowski | Mountain Home | JR

In his past three starts, Jacob has gone 17.1 innings with 21 strikeouts and only 6 walks and 4 earned runs. The Bombers are in playoff contention at 4-2 in the 5A West.

Tag Andrews | Maumelle | SO

Andrews gained national attention when he threw a no-hitter in a national invitation tournament in the summer of 2020. He went to a Razorback Prospect camp and received an offer shortly after and committed. He has a lot of good things going for him and will only get better with experience.

Aiden Velasquez | Cabot | SO

Aiden has the potential to follow in the steps of previous Panther aces Zack Morris and Logan Gilbertson and pitch at the next level. He shut down a very good North Little Rock team in his most recent start going five innings allowing one run.

Ross Felder | Springdale Har-Ber | SO

Another UA commit for the Wildcats that is a shutout machine. Against rival Springdale last week, he held the Red Dogs to 3 hits over 5 innings and struck out 9 all while going 2-3 at the plate. He is the perfect compliment to Senior Cooper Dossett and Junior Ty Ridley.

Gideon Motes | Bryant | SO

Motes really stands out in a crowd at 6-foot-4. He has the potential to follow in the steps of former Hornets/Razorback pitchers Blaine Knight and Evan Lee. Coach Travis Queck is very high on Motes, a UA commit, and has the luxury of bringing him along at a good pace with a pitching staff with experience.

Lance Davis | Jonesboro | SO

The fourth Hurricanes pitcher to make the list is also their third Razorback commit. It is safe to say Jonesboro has one of the best staffs in the state. Davis shutout conference rival Batesville last week.

Tripp Sullivan | Lonoke | SO

Sullivan is the ace of the No. 2 Jackrabbits and has put up video game like numbers this season. He is 6-1 with a 1.70 ERA and has multiple no -hitter on the season. Even as a sophomore, Sullivan has the confidence and poise of an upper classman that will give the Rabbits a shot at a state title this season.

Kel Busby | Pulaski Academy | SO

Busby has been the big-game pitcher for the Bruins this season. He had a complete-game win against Jonesboro and teamed up with reliever Patrick Engskov to defeat Lonoke last week. Busby reported a Razorback offer earlier this season but is uncommitted as of now.

Jackson Privett | Pocahontas | SO

Jackson was a part of the 2021 Redskins team that made a state playoff run after running the gauntlet of the 3-4A. This year he is one of the main contributors on a team with high expectations. After dropping their first two conference games, they have reeled off six in a row to get back in contention.

Dalton Ward | Carlisle | SO

Ward threw a ho-hitter as a freshman last season and has come close a few times this year. He attacks hitters from a side arm slot and has a wipeout slider that looks like he’s throwing a whiffle ball. Coach Steve Tew has the utmost confidence in the sophomore and expects a win each time he takes the mound.

Mark Brissey | Batesville | FR

To make the list as a freshman, you have to have done something unique and Brissey has definitely done that. At 13, he took place in the National Power Showcase at the home of the Miami Marlins. Since then, he has turned into a pitcher that Pioneers coach Kelly Rush can rely on to close out games and give some innings in non-conference play

Russ Martin | Rose Bud | FR

Martin started out the 2022 season striking out 26 in his first 12 innings. Recently, he threw a perfect game against Clinton with 17 strikeouts. Rose Bud head coach Taylor Cooper has the Ramblers contending not only for a conference title but a state title and Martin is a big reason. We will get to see if the freshman has what it takes next week as Rose Bud plays Harding Academy for the conference title.