Bob Holt is a reporter for the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette. A graduate of the University of Missouri, he is a member of the Football Writers Association of America, and voter for the Heisman Trophy, Biletnikoff Award and AP Top 25 basketball poll. Holt was awarded Arkansas Sportswriter of the Year in 2000 and 2015.
Hogs hit road, eye rebound vs. Bears
Arkansas catcher Jake Wise throws to first during the third inning against Auburn Friday, April 25, 2014, at Baum Stadium in Fayetteville.
FAYETTEVILLE - It was a short return to the national polls for Arkansas’ baseball team after a two-month absence.
The Razorbacks (28-18, 10-11 SEC) resurfaced in the polls last week when they were ranked No. 24 the Baseball America and No. 25 by Collegiate Baseball as a result of a 17-9 stretch that included series victories over Alabama, South Carolina and Vanderbilt.
When Monday’s national polls were released, the Razorbacks had dropped out after losing two of three home games to Auburn (25-20, 9-12) over the weekend. The Tigers had lost their previous four SEC series.
Arkansas will try and regain some positive vibes for this weekend’s series at Ole Miss, ranked No. 11 by Baseball America and No. 10 by Collegiate Baseball, when the Razorbacks play Missouri State (19-20, 6-6 Missouri Valley Conference) at 4 p.m. today at Hammons Field in Springfield, Mo.
“You just want to win,” Arkansas Coach Dave Van Horn said.
“It’s very important for us because it’s momentum going into Ole Miss, and obviously they’re really good this year, just like every other team in the SEC,” Razorbacks center fielder Tyler Spoon said. “We’re going to need to play well, bring everything we’ve got.”
The Razorbacks have beaten Missouri State nine consecutive games since 2007, but six of those victories are by three or fewer runs, including 2-0, 5-4, 2-1 and 6-3 the previous four seasons.
“They’re always scrappy and the games usually go down to the wire,” Van Horn said. “We’re looking forward to heading up there.”
Arkansas and Missouri State first played in 1966, when the Razorbacks won 7-5 in Fayetteville. Arkansas leads the all-time series 48-20, including a 12-3 edge since Van Horn became the Razorbacks’ coach in 2003.
ARKANSAS AT MISSOURI STATE WHEN 4 p.m.
WHERE Hammons Field, Springfield, Mo.
RECORDS Arkansas 28-18, Missouri State 19-20
SERIES Arkansas leads 48-20 RADIO Razorbacks Sports Network. Not all games will be carried by affiliates. Check local listings.
INTERNET www.arkansasrazorbacks.com PITCHING MATCHUP
Arkansas: Colin Poche (LHP, 3-0, 1.80 ERA).
Missouri State: Andy Cheray (LHP, 1-0, 1.23 ERA).
TODAY at Missouri State 4 p.m.
FRIDAY at Ole Miss 6:30 p.m.
SATURDAY at Ole Miss 2:15 p.m.
SUNDAY at Ole Miss 1:30 p.m.
Sports, Pages 21 on 04/29/2014