On behalf of all the interns, research assistants, and writers here at Razorbackexpats.com, I would like to shout out a big WOOO PIG SOOOIE!!! to the baseball team that defeated Florida State yesterday to take two out of three and advance on to the College World Series in Omaha. Admittedly, basketball and football draw more attention around here, but we do support any team with a Razorback logo on its uniform, even the chess team, that is if we have one.
Given how poorly the football and basketball seasons played out, I for one have paid more attention to the baseball hogs probably than in years past. I enjoyed putting W's on the schedule during the early months of the season, and then felt a big "here we go again," as the Hogs went slumping in SEC play towards the end of the season. I was ready to accuse them of hanging out with the basketball team, so famous this year for having gotten our hopes really high and then crushed them with just two wins in SEC play.
But the Hogs found themselves again and held their on in the SEC tournament, going 2-2, and beating Floriday for the 5th straight time. Seeing as how the Florida football team has dominated the Hogs ever since we joined the SEC, (one Bluebonnet Bowl win over them) it is nice to see some domination of the Gators in any sport. When the Hogs got the Norman Regional and repeat matchups against Washington State and Oklahoma, I was hoping that the Hogs would continue, like with Florida, to master a team they've played before, and they did in both cases.
But could the Hogs beat a team that scored 37 runs against Ohio State? I will admit to saying, "Well, that was a Big 10 school." Haha. Still, I was worried. A credit to our pitchers and our defense that we never saw that type of hitting action from the Noles. But if you watched the games on ESPN, you'll agree with me that the ESPN announcers were wanting to see it. I think all of us Hog fans have a certain sense that the sports establishment doesn't really think that much of us. The way the two announcers called the games on Friday and Saturday is enough to make you think that there is a well read handbook out there somewhere on just how to belittle the Hogs and pull for their opponent up to the point, but not quite saying "Go ______!"
In the end, however, the Hogs' actions spoke louder than any words. I am sure you know by now that the Hogs did it in typical Hog style, that is with a lot of drama. In the 9th, they were two times just one strike away from winning the game. Instead, they let the Noles escape each time and then had to pull off their own escape in the bottom of the 9th with a two run double that ended the game 9-8. Being without a DVR, I resorted to using my camera to take a picture of the piled up Hogs on the television screen.
Now, how well will they do in Omaha? One bad sign already is that I read a player quoted as saying that the pressure is off and they can now really have some fun. Hmm. I hope that doesn't represent a just happy to be here attitude, the sinker of many post-season Hog adventures. I say, let us have some "we haven't completed our mission" talk. The Hogs will need all their magic and skill to beat a good Cal State Fullerton team in the first round. Some of you might recall that in 1979 it was Cal State Fullerton that beat the Hogs for a National Championship in baseball. Who says revenge can't come 30 years later?
Finally, the prospect does loom - it could happen, though plenty still has to happen first - of the Hogs facing off against a certain team from Austin, Texas. If both teams advance, they would meet in the Championship Game. If that isn't enough to get you interested in this baseball team, well, you are due for a blood check to see just how Razorback red your blood really is. Some revenge for a game played 40 years ago come December, albeit in a different sport, wouldn't be bad either would it?