A Eulogy for Arkansas Baseball's 2014 Season

Aaron Sprecher

A good eulogy is written after a time reflection, with a collection of stories of the good times and the bad. So, I waited for the sting of the Hogs' final loss to dissipate to reflect on the season that was.

Young and inexperienced, most knew this season could be a struggle at times, but you gave us everything you had. We can't thank you enough.

Sure, this season mirrored a shaky and rusty roller coaster at the state fair, but we rode you till the wheels fell off in Charlottesville.

It isn't fair for you to burden the load of a disappointing football and basketball season(s). You have been the most consistent sport over the last decade coupled with track and field. But, you always seem to greet the expectations with open arms, even if you lost 11 players to the draft last year.

You had the most losses in the Dave Van Horn era, as Derek Oxford pointed out on twitter. You dropped a series to South Alabama and then went out west where you lost three more. We didn't know what to do with you. The teams of the past hadn't struggled this much scoring runs. The stadium began to do collective eyerolls every time there was a sacrifice bunt.

Injuries were abundant, especially towards the end. So much so that a redshirt had to be pulled just to have a natural catcher behind the plate.

But, you took care of business at home, losing only one SEC home series. You won nine of your last 12 SEC games, if the SEC Tournament is included. Many of those games were won with second and third-stringers, who were playing for injured starters.

One thing that seems to get lost in all the negative is that you ultimately ended with the same amount of total wins as SEC regular-season champion Florida. Not to mention, you made it deeper in the post-season than the national seed Gators.

I think most importantly you showed us that the future is bright. Clark Eagan, Andrew Benintendi, Zach Jackson, Alex Phillips, Dominic Taccolini, James Teague, Blake Baxendale, Josh Alberius and Alex Gosser are all freshman that proved to be stars at some point this season. Yes, that is a lot of names to mention in one sentence, but every one of those guys deserve the recognition. We all expect big things from this group in the future.

We don't know yet how many we will lose to the draft. I'd assume Brian Anderson, Chris Oliver, and Jalen Beeks have finished their Razorback careers, with several more guys draft eligible. This generally goes unsaid, but you are all welcome back next year. We know you need to do what is best for you, and whatever you decide, you will always be a Razorback.

So long 2014 Diamond Hogs. Now, let's have a midweek toast and drop a sac-bunt in the honor of a team that was. And for the love of Tusk, someone give Chris Oliver a ride home.

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