A swooning Arkansas Razorbacks team, which has lost its last three games, will be back on the diamond at 9:30 a.m. Friday in Hoover Metropolitan Stadium against the Florida Gators in a loser-leave-town matchup.
Barring another rain delay, that is.
Rainy weather has wreaked havoc this week on the tournament’s schedule, basically pushing the event a day behind.
Next up for the Diamond Hogs
When: 9:30 a.m. Friday, May 27
Where: Hoover Metropolitan Stadium, Hoover, Ala.
Streaming: SEC Network
Furthermore, the Hogs have looked soggy going on three weeks now, losing their final two series of the SEC regular season to Vanderbilt and Alabama and five of their last seven games to fall to 38-17 on the season.
At mid-season, the Hogs appeared to be a shoo-in for to play host for an NCAA Regional and possibly earn a National Seed, which would have made them a host for a Super Regional if the Razorbacks advanced that far. However, all of that is off the table now.
Projections from Baseball America and D1 Baseball have the Hogs being a No. 2 seed at the Stillwater, Okla. and the Austin, Texas regionals, respectively. It will be the first time the Razorbacks have had to travel for a regional since 2015.
The Razorbacks looked tight in their SEC Tournament opener, which Arkansas coach Dave Van Horn missed due to an undisclosed illness, falling behind 3-0 to the Crimson Tide before rallying but still falling short for a 4-3 loss.
Van Horn is expected to return to coach the Hogs today.
The Gators, who took two of three games from Arkansas at Florida on April 7-9, are struggling just like the Hogs. Texas A&M plastered Florida, 10-0, Thursday dropping the Gators into an elimination game with the Razorbacks.
In other action on Wednesday, Tennessee belted Vanderbilt, 10-1; and LSU topped Kentucky 11-6.
Following Arkansas’ game with Florida, Kentucky and Vanderbilt are scheduled for an elimination game at approximately 1 p.m. First pitch for the Alabama-Texas A&M game is scheduled for approximately 4:30 p.m. and LSU and Tennessee will play at approximately 8 p.m. barring further delays for weather.
If the Razorbacks top Florida today, they would play the loser of the Texas A&M-Alabama game Saturday, with the game time to be determined.
Arkansas will learn its destination for the NCAA Tournament on Monday when the full field is announced by the NCAA. ESPN2 will televise the NCAA Baseball Selection Show at 11 a.m. Monday.
Being placed in a NCAA Regional at Stillwater would make for a fairly easy drive for Hog fans in Northwest Arkansas, but the prospect of playing on the Longhorns’ home ground in Austin stirs up old memories for Razorback fans of a certain age and the Razorbacks time as a member of the Southwest Conference.
However, it won’t matter where the Hogs are sent by the NCAA if they don’t begin to play better than they have for the last three weeks.
Maybe a good showing today against the Gators will reignite the Razorbacks’ post-season pilate light. Something needs to because the Hogs have just not been playing like themselves lately.