What an unbelievable year for Arkansas baseball. The early struggles of the season are now nearly as well-documented as the exciting finish to football season. But here we are – the Hogs are headed back to Omaha for the second time in four years. Thanks to a don't-die attitude, stellar situational pitching (stranding 50 men on base this postseason) and the Rally Visor, the Razorbacks have become a tough out in the postseason. We'd also be wrong in not giving Dave Van Horn – whose six CWS appearances rank first among SEC head coaches – and Dave Jorn all the credit in the world. The team that once issued 13 walks, hit three batters and threw four wild pitches at home against Gonzaga in a mid-week series is now among the final teams standing.
D1baseball.com was in the house to catch Arkansas eventually make a return trip to Omaha. Zach Jackson closed out the Super Regional with 3 2/3 inning save, and without all the extra drama that's almost become commonplace with him. As Aaron Fitt details, this isn't your typical DVH club – worst team ERA ranking in his tenure – but they still got the job done. The Hogs have just one big arm on the hill this season, but if the starters, Jackson Lowery or James Teague can get the game to Jackson late, it may be all they need.
The MLB Draft begins tonight on the MLB Network. Just more than a day after helping the Hogs make their 8th trip to the College World Series, Andrew Benintendi is likely to go as a top 10 pick, per Sports Illustrated. Although he had a tough weekend overall vs. Missouri State (just one hit, a HR in game 1), his power and speed numbers still rank among the tops in the nation. And you'll have to check out who SI has going just after Benny.
The SEC is certainly no stranger to Omaha. Neither is the ACC, though. While three SEC teams will be packing for the College World Series, two more could potentially join tonight. If Texas A&M and Vanderbilt win, it would be the first time a conference has made up more than half the field in Omaha. And with a Miami (FL) win, the ACC could send three. Regardless of how tonight's games turn out, college baseball's top two conferences will be well represented.
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