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Diamond Hog Update: SEC West Champions

Well, the regular season is over. It wasn't always pretty or exciting, but when the dust finally settled, the Hogs stood alone atop the SEC West standings. Why wasn't it pretty? The Razorbacks won the division with a 15-15 conference record. Why wasn't it exciting? For every big win, there was a headscratching (or breaking) loss to overshadow it. But, none of that matters now that the Hogs have secured the #2 seed in the SEC Tournament.

When we last left off, the Diamond Hogs had just finished a sweep of the LSU Tigers. They followed that up with a midweek win over Missouri State and took 2 of 3 against Mississippi State. Over the next 2 weeks, 6-5 win over Oral Roberts was matched with a headscratching series losses to Kentucky and Georgia. The next week, after splitting a midweek 2-game series Southeastern Missouri State, the Hogs upset the #5 (at the time) Florida Gator by taking 2 of 3 in Baum Stadium. After notching an ugly first game victory at South Carolina (the two teams combined for 9 errors), the Hogs had a chance to inject themselves back into the post-season hosting discussion. But, homecooking for the Gamecocks bested them in game 2, and Gamecock pitching bested them in game 3.

Despite all these setbacks, the Hogs were still in contention for the division crown going into thec last week of the regular season. An inconsequential win over Tennessee Tech paved the way for a surprisingly important series against Ole Miss. Win, and the Hogs take at least part of the division. Lose, and the Hogs are left out of the SEC Tourney based on tie-breakers. After losing a pitching battle during game 1, the Hogs swept a weather-induced double header to take a share of the division crown. Series losses by Alabama and Auburn gave the title outright to Arkansas.

The SEC Tournament begins on Wednesday, May 25, with the Hogs taking on Alabama. Regardless of what happens, the Hogs are an absolute lock to make the NCAA tournament. They have, however, played themselves out of a chance to host a regional. Most likely, the Hogs will be headed for Norman as the #2 seed. For those who are into superstitions, the Hogs have never won a Norman regional. Maybe this year that can change.