Van Horn expects toughest foe so far

By: Tom Murphy
Published: Friday, March 8, 2019
Arkansas coach Dave Van Horn walks away from a team huddle prior to a game against Charlotte on Wednesday, March 6, 2019, in Fayetteville.
Photo by J.T. Wampler
Arkansas coach Dave Van Horn walks away from a team huddle prior to a game against Charlotte on Wednesday, March 6, 2019, in Fayetteville.

FAYETTEVILLE -- Dave Van Horn has been around college baseball long enough that his proteges and former hires are populating the landscape.

Van Horn and the No. 10 University of Arkansas baseball club will face one such coach today.

UP NEXT

ARKANSAS BASEBALL

vs. Lousiana Tech

WHEN 6 p.m., today

WHERE Baum-Walker Stadium, Fayetteville

RECORDS Louisiana Tech 9-3; Arkansas 10-1

STARTING PITCHERS La. Tech RHP Matt Miller (1-0, 5.68); Arkansas RHP Isaiah Campbell (3-0, 3.12)

SERIES Arkansas leads 23-5.

COACHES Lane Burroughs (84-43 in 3rd year at Louisiana Tech); Dave Van Horn (653-365 in 17th year at Arkansas)

RADIO Razorback Sports Network

INTERNET SEC Network-Plus

UPCOMING SCHEDULE

TODAY Louisiana Tech, 6 p.m.

SATURDAY Louisiana Tech, 1 p.m.

SUNDAY Louisiana Tech 1 p.m.

MONDAY Off

TUESDAY Western Illinois, 6:30 p.m.

WEDNESDAY Western Illinois, 3 p.m.

THURSDAY Off

Coach Lane Burroughs and the Louisiana Tech Bulldogs (9-3) come calling at Baum-Walker Stadium for a three-game set against the Razorbacks (10-1) starting tonight at 6.

Burroughs, whom Van Horn hired during his tenure at Northwestern (La.) State in 1997 before accepting the Nebraska job, is at the helm of a strong contender in Conference USA.

"It's kind of what I talked to the team about, that this might be the best team we've played all year," Van Horn said after the Razorbacks dispatched North Carolina-Charlotte 9-2 on Wednesday. "They're picked to win their league by one poll, second behind Southern Miss in another.

"Going into the season they had all three of their conference starters back, and they had at least eight of their nine position players from last year back."

The Bulldogs went 39-21 last year, including 21-9 in Conference USA for a second-place finish, but were left out of the NCAA Tournament. Burroughs said upgrading the schedule was essential.

"We're trying to build our program to where we want it to be and where we want it to go, and that's obviously getting into regionals ... and ultimately to Omaha," Burroughs said. "We told our guys yesterday these are the venues you're going to have to play in and the opponents you're going to have to play."

Burroughs and Van Horn still keep in touch on a regular basis.

"I really like Lane," Van Horn said. "He's a really good person off the field ... and very competitive on the field. Just a high-character coach."

The Bulldogs' senior trio of Matt Miller (1-0, 5.68 ERA), Logan Robbins (0-0, 8.03) and Logan Bailey (1-1, 9.42) were last year's weekend starters. Arkansas right-hander Isaiah Campbell (3-0, 3.12 ERA) is slated to face the 5-10 right-hander Miller in the series opener.

The Razorbacks rank 26th nationally with 8.1 runs per game, but really haven't had a solid array of top hitters in the groove at the same time.

Junior Dominic Fletcher is hitting .262 with a pair of home runs and 9 RBI, while sophomores Casey Martin (.277, 1, 8) and Heston Kjerstad (.260, 1, 7) haven't gotten locked in yet either.

"They haven't heated up yet," Van Horn said of his veterans. "And we're still finding ways to win. They'll get there. They'll figure it out. We're still winning games, and other guys are getting it done."

Matt Jones of WholeHogSports.com contributed to this report.

Related Links

Podcast: Bubba Carpenter, Louisiana Tech coach Lane Burroughs preview weekend series

Observations: Matt Jones' thoughts on the Razorbacks through three weeks

Sports on 03/08/2019

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