Tom Murphy has covered the Razorbacks for the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette since 2007. He has more than 25 years experience covering college athletics in Louisiana, Alabama and Arkansas.
Hogs picked fifth in west
Dave Van Horn, University of Arkansas head baseball coach, talks with the media Friday, Feb. 7, 2014 at the University of Arkansas baseball media day at Baum Stadium in Fayetteville.
FAYETTEVILLE Arkansas baseball coach Dave Van Horn said his team is eager to prove SEC coaches wrong after the Razorbacks were picked to finish fifth in the SEC West in voting released Tuesday.
“I don’t like being picked fifth,” Van Horn said after his Swatter’s Club appearance. “But that’s where they picked us, and now we’ve got 30 games to prove we’re better than that.”
The Razorbacks open the season with a three-game set against Appalachian State, beginning Friday at 3:05 p.m. at Baum Stadium. Van Horn did not announce his opening-game starter, but he suggested a pair of local players who pitched out of the pen last year — left-hander Jalen Beeks of Prairie Grove and right-hander Chris Oliver of Farmington — would get starting assignments this weekend.
South Carolina was the choice of league coaches to win the SEC East and the regular season title with five first-place votes, edging out LSU and Mississippi State, who received four first-place votes each. LSU was projected to win the SEC West, followed by Mississippi State, Alabama and Texas A&M (who were tied for fourth), the Razorbacks, Ole Miss and Auburn.
In the East, South Carolina was followed by Vanderbilt, Florida, Kentucky, Tennessee, Georgia and Missouri in the projections.