College baseball's opening day is this Friday, and there is plenty to check out at Baum Stadium this year. Media Day was this weekend and there are plenty of great season previews floating around, like Eric Bolin's 5 Burning Questions for this team.
The biggest question is who is going to fill that giant Andrew Benintendi-sized hole in the outfield. Dave Van Horn knows that it would be absurd to assume that we can expect another Golden Spikes season from someone, so it will have to be a collective effort. Van Horn says they will need 4 to 5 guys to step up from the season they had last year to match that production.
It's not just Benintendi that is getting replaced. Arkansas will need to figure out how they are going to field an entire new outfield with Joe Serrano and Tyler Spoon's departures as well. One guy who could see a lot more of the field is Luke Bonfield. He didn't have the most productive season, but he didn't have to. This year there will be some more pressure on him, but as he says in the article, he feels much more comfortable in his second season in Fayetteville. He is also coming off a summer in the Cape Cod league, so there could be a completely different Bonfield on the field this season.
This weekend didn't get a whole lot better for Arkansas basketball. The Hogs faded down the stretch and lost handily to Ole Miss, which puts them at 1-7 on the road this season. Arkansas was able to put those road woes to bed last year, but Team Speed Kills points out that they are back this season. This season hasn't been a horror show for the Hogs, three of those losses away from Bud Walton came in overtime, and it just looked like the team needed a little push to get over the hump and start racking up some wins. These last two losses though, have been rough and have people wondering what to make of this team going down the stretch.
Some good recruiting news though, you can already check out our coverage on Justice Hill, who committed to the Hogs as a freshman. He is graduating in the class of 2019, which means his freshman season will be the 2020 season.
On the football side, Arkansas got a new running backs coach in Reggie Mitchell. Mitchell has B1G ties, which is how he was on Bielema's radar, but he was also the recruiting coordinator at Kansas, which is a pretty tough product to sell to 17-year-olds. At least for football. Getting a prime recruiter to fill Sam Pittman's shoes in addition to a running backs coach could end up being another win in Bielema's growing list of good assistant hires.