Andrew Hutchinson is a multimedia reporter for the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette. He is a graduate of the University of Arkansas.
Diamond Hogs missing practice time
Arkansas coach Dave Van Horn works with the Razorbacks during the first practice of the season Friday, Jan. 24, 2014 at Baum Stadium in Fayetteville.
FAYETTEVILLE An indoor practice facility under construction can't be completed fast enough for Arkansas.
Sleet, snow and ice have kept the Razorbacks off the Baum Stadium field since they wrapped up a doubleheader against South Alabama Saturday.
The winter weather, which moved into Fayetteville Sunday morning, forced Arkansas to move Sunday’s scheduled game to Saturday and cancel Monday’s game against IPFW.
"We've got a new groundskeeper who just came to us from the Atlanta Braves," Arkansas coach Dave Van Horn said. "Right now he's probably asking himself why he did that."
The Razorbacks practiced for just more than an hour Tuesday at the football team’s indoor practice facility before moving to the batting cages at Baum Stadium. Van Horn said he was hopeful the team would also get to practice on the infield Wednesday, which is under a tarp covered by several inches of snow and ice.
“We’re going to do everything we can to at least get on the infield tomorrow,” Van Horn said.
Temperatures in Fayetteville reached the mid-40s Tuesday afternoon to cause some melting, but Van Horn said he is unsure if it will be enough to remove the tarp Wednesday.
Arkansas leaves for the Cal Baseball Classic in Berkeley, Calif., early Thursday morning and will have an opportunity to practice at the Bears’ stadium that evening.
“There’s a possibility that the first time we could be on a real field will be Thursday night at Cal,” Van Horn said.
Despite four teams playing in the tournament, the Razorbacks will be able to warm up before their games as usual because they play in the first game each day, resulting in even more practice time.
The trip will also give the Razorbacks something they haven’t experienced this season: consistently warmer temperatures. Highs are forecast in the 60s the entire trip, with chances of rain on Thursday and Sunday.
Arkansas will begin the tournament with a game against San Francisco on Friday.