Diamond Hogs' 2019 schedule includes UALR, UAPB

By: Matt Jones
Published: Wednesday, August 29, 2018
Arkansas coach Dave Van Horn, left, talks with third baseman Casey Martin during a College World Series finals game Tuesday, June 26, 2018, in Omaha, Neb.
Photo by Ben Goff
Arkansas coach Dave Van Horn, left, talks with third baseman Casey Martin during a College World Series finals game Tuesday, June 26, 2018, in Omaha, Neb.

— Arkansas released its 2019 baseball schedule Wednesday, and for the first time, the Razorbacks will play in-state competition.

Home games against Arkansas-Little Rock on April 2 and Arkansas-Pine Bluff on April 16 are the highlights in a non-conference schedule that includes trips to Southern Cal (Feb. 22-24), Texas (March 19-20) and Missouri State (March 26).

The Razorbacks have had a long-standing rule not to play other Arkansas teams in the interest of keeping their statewide support. Arkansas athletics director Hunter Yurachek said in a statement Wednesday that an exception will be made for playing teams from the University of Arkansas system.

“As the flagship institution within our state, this is an opportunity for us to enhance interest in our non-conference schedules while supporting other schools within the University of Arkansas system,” Yurachek said. “We have initiated with baseball this year and are exploring opportunities for future years in other sports.”

Arkansas coach Dave Van Horn, who hinted last year to difficulties in scheduling because of the in-state ban, said having UALR and UAPB on the schedule was “exciting.”

“It’s going to be great for the game of baseball in our state,” Van Horn said. “Baseball has improved so much at the high school level in the state of Arkansas. I continue to see it every year when we’re recruiting. We see more Arkansas kids coming out of the state, and they’re a big part of our program.

"I think this will help grow baseball. The fan interest is there, and it’ll be big. I know after talking to [UALR coach Chris Curry and UAPB coach Carlos James], they’re both very excited to have the opportunity to play at Baum Stadium in Fayetteville. We’ll have a really good crowd. It’ll be good for all our teams to play in that type of environment.”

Curry was a former volunteer coach for Van Horn at Arkansas from 2009-10. He is one of four former Van Horn assistants on next year’s schedule, along with Louisiana Tech coach Lane Burroughs, Tennessee coach Tony Vitello and Texas A&M coach Rob Childress. Burroughs was an assistant to Van Horn at Northwestern State in the 1990s; Vitello was an assistant at Arkansas from 2014-17; and Childress assisted Van Horn at Texarkana College, Northwestern State and Nebraska for 10 seasons between 1991-2002.

The Razorbacks are coming off a national runner-up campaign in 2018 in which they finished 48-21 and lost a winner-take-all game to Oregon State in the championship round of the College World Series.

“We have a really good schedule this season, especially when you look at the teams that are coming into Baum Stadium,” Van Horn said. “Last year was a testament to what a quality schedule does for a team throughout the year. I don’t think this year is going to be any different. We have 25 games against teams that were in the NCAA Tournament last year and nine against teams that ether won their conference outright or won their conference tournament. It’s a good schedule and is only going to make us better.”

Arkansas 2019 Baseball Schedule

Feb. 15-17 - Eastern Illinois

Feb. 22-24 - at Southern Cal

Feb. 27 - Memphis

March 1-3 - Stony Brook

March 5-6 - North Carolina-Charlotte

March 8-10 - Louisiana Tech

March 12-13 - Western Illinois

March 15-17 - Missouri

March 19-20 - at Texas

March 22-24 - at Alabama

March 26 - at Missouri State

March 29-31 - Ole Miss

April 2 - Arkansas-Little Rock

April 5-7 - at Auburn

April 9 - Oral Roberts

April 12-14 - at Vanderbilt

April 16 - Arkansas-Pine Bluff

April 19-21 - Mississippi State

April 23-14 - Northwestern State

April 26-28 - Tennessee

April 30 - vs. Grambling State (in North Little Rock)

May 3-5 - at Kentucky

May 10-12 - LSU

May 16-18 - at Texas A&M

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