No. 1 Arkansas remains atop polls as Little Rock visits Tuesday for 3 p.m. contest

By Dudley E. Dawson
on 2024-03-25 15:25 PM


FAYETTEVILLE – The Arkansas baseball program learned Monday that it remains the nation’s consensus No. 1 college baseball team and that it will its in-state foe a little earlier than scheduled on Tuesday

The Razorbacks (19-3 overall, 5-1 in SEC action) will host Little Rock (13-11, 2-1 in Ohio Valley Conference play) Tuesday at 3 p.m, three hours earlier than previously scheduled because of expected cold temperatures at Baum-Walker Stadium.

Arkansas, which took the first two games at Auburn this past weekend before having its 15-game winning streak snapped on Sunday, stayed atop the DI Baseball, Baseball America, Perfect Game, USA Today/ESPN and NCBWA polls.

“I feel like we’ve learned a lot about our team,” Arkansas head coach Dave Van Horn said Sunday after the Tigers won 8-6. “As far as wins and losses, if you play good, it usually takes care of itself. Definitely feel good about having five wins out of six in this league.

“I think that I shouldn’t be coaching if I wasn’t disappointed that we got beat today. I am, but I’m still not disappointed with the team or the effort. I think they’ve been playing hard.”

Van Horn, who saw ace Hagen Smith named SEC Co-Pitcher of the Week on Monday, stressed to his team there remains room for improvement after sweeping visiting Missouri and then wining two of three on the road.

“We’ve still got a long way to go,” Van Horn said. “We are going to grow and get better and we’re going to do it in league play. Because the competition in the SEC is unforgiving.”

“Like I told them today, ‘you want to win in this league, you’ve got to do all of the little things right. You’ve got to take advantage of some things.” We didn’t do that today. But I feel great about being 5-1. 6-0 would have been better, but we’re on our way.”

The Razorbacks are focused on Little Rock, but also have an eye toward some roster decisions for their three-game series beginning Thursday with visiting LSU (19-6, 2-4), ranked 8th to 12th in the aforementioned polls.

“How we’re going to work it is we’re going to try to win the game, obviously,” Van Horn said. “I do need to fill in a few guys who need to get some at bats and we’ve got some good pitchers that need to pitch.

“We need to see if we need to add them to our roster on the weekend. We’ve got some guys that have  good stuff that in a couple of cases they’re coming off rehab or they’re coming off sickness and maybe we’re going to put them on the roster against LSU.

“It would be good to see them pitch well on Tuesday.”

Little Rock, coming off taking two of three from visiting Moorehead State, is led by head coach Chris Curry, a former Van Horn and Arkansas assistant.

The Trojans downed the Razorbacks 11-4 last season in Fayetteville last season and are 2-4 all-time against Arkansas. Little Rock’s win in 2023 snapped a four-game losing streak in the match ups.

“They have been some good games,” Van Horn said. “They’ve beat us a couple or three times, we’ve beat them a few times. They’re a really good t
am this year. I think they’re picked to win their league and they were playing Morehead State this weekend.

“… If you’re picked to win you’re league, you’ve got a veteran team. That’s what he has. He got the experience, older kids. They’re going to give us everything we can handle on Tuesday.”

Photo by John D. James

• • •

SEC Baseball Standings


Arkansas 5-1
Texas A&M 3-3
Mississippi State 3-3
Ole Miss 3-3
LSU 2-4
Auburn 1-5


Kentucky 5-1
South Carolina 4-2
Florida 4-2
Georgia 3-3
Vanderbilt 3-3
Missouri 1-5

• • •

This weekend’s SEC series:


LSU at Arkansas
Missouri at Vanderbilt
Auburn at Texas A&M


South Carolina at Alabama
Mississippi State at Florida
Georgia at Tennessee
Kentucky at Ole Miss

(Last updated: 2024-03-25 15:25 PM)