Arkansas clinches share of SEC West, can win outright Saturday

By: Matt Jones
Published: Friday, May 18, 2018
Arkansas coach Dave Van Horn walks away from a team huddle prior to a game against Texas A&M on Friday, May 11, 2018, in Fayetteville.
Photo by Andy Shupe
Arkansas coach Dave Van Horn walks away from a team huddle prior to a game against Texas A&M on Friday, May 11, 2018, in Fayetteville.

— Arkansas clinched a share of the SEC West championship Friday by virtue of Ole Miss' 3-0 loss at Alabama.

The Razorbacks (37-16, 18-11 SEC) enter the final day of the regular season with a one-game lead over the Rebels in the division and can win the championship outright with a win over Georgia on Saturday, or a second Ole Miss loss to Alabama.

Ole Miss (41-14, 17-12 SEC) holds a tiebreaker over Arkansas and would be the higher-seeded team at next week's SEC Tournament if the teams finish tied in the standings. The Razorbacks will be the tournament's No. 2 seed with a win Saturday, but would be the No. 3 or 4 seed with a loss, depending on the outcome of Ole Miss' game.

Arkansas last won the SEC West in 2011 when it tied with Ole Miss at 15-15 in league play. The Razorbacks were picked to win the division this year by league coaches.

This year's share is the Razorbacks' fifth outright or shared division championship since joining the SEC in 1992, and fourth under head coach Dave Van Horn. Van Horn also had outright division winners in 2004 when the Razorbacks won the overall league championship, and in 2007.

Per terms of his contract, Van Horn is owed a $15,000 bonus for a division championship, either outright or shared.

Arkansas is scheduled to play Georgia at 11 a.m., Saturday in the rubber match of their three-game series. The Bulldogs won 8-7 in a 10-inning game Friday that included a two-hour rain delay. The loss took the Razorbacks out of contention for the overall SEC title.

Ole Miss and Alabama are scheduled to play their rubber match Saturday at 1 p.m.

Rain chances exist at Alabama and Georgia on Saturday. Per an SEC rule passed earlier this year, the finales can be played Sunday, if not completed Saturday, because they affect a division race and tournament seeding.

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