The 2012 Arkansas Razorbacks Baseball season kicks off on Friday. After last year's disappointing showing in the NCAA Tournament, the Diamond Hogs are returning a large core to make another run at Omaha. This includes an ace pitching squad of DJ Baxendale, Ryne Stanek, Randall Fant, and Nolan Sanburn, among others, as well as infielders Dominic Ficociello, Tim Carver, Bo Bigham, and highly touted freshman Joe Serrano. The Hogs have been picked to repeat as SEC West champions by the coaches
(though hopefully they'll be able to improve on last season's 15-15 league record), and are ranked anywhere from 4th (Baseball America
) to 8th (USA Today Coaches' Poll
) in the country.
Arkansas fans are also going to get their first peek at outfielder Jimmy Bosco, who sat out last season after transferring from Cal (who, at the time, had decided to disband their baseball program, but eventually relented after outcries from fans).
The pre-season individual honors have been rolling in for Razorbacks, with Baxendale being named to 3 different All-American lists
and Sanburn being named to the Stopper of the Year Watch List
. Sanburn, Stanek, and Ficociello were named pre-seaon All-Americans by Baseball America
Razorback baseball is scheduled to appear on TV 16 times this season
, including home games against South Carolina, Alabama, and Auburn.
The season kicks off this Friday with a 3-game home series against Villanova
. Other featured non-conference games include midweek series against BYU and Gonzaga, the Houson College Classic at Minute Maid Park
(featuring games against Houston, Texas Tech, and Texas), and midweek game against Louisiana Tech in Dickey-Stephens Park
in North LR.