Arkansas is the kind of line up that will just keep coming at you. And unless you get an absolute gem of a performance from Zack Hess, they’ll usually keep coming at you until you break. Just ask Florida when Hunter Wilson came up to the plate.
Hunter Wilson knocks a Grand Slam over the RF wall to all but finish off the Gators. Hogs go up 8-2 in the 9th. pic.twitter.com/zVWWdjQlgA— Hogtrough (@Hogtrough) May 25, 2018
Any momentum the Gators had was gone, any real shot at a ninth inning comeback was gone, and any shot of keeping the Hogs out of a top-8 seed was gone.
Yes Arkansas came out flat against LSU and couldn’t get much going against Hess, and for that you tip your cap and move on. It’s baseball and that’s what happens in baseball somedays. The important thing is Arkansas had the bats going in the two games prior, scoring 21 runs against South Carolina and Florida, two hot teams that helped the Hogs RPI, helped kill the idea they can’t win away from Baum, and in all likelihood locked up that all important top-8 seed.
The Hogs would’ve been sweating things out if things went badly this weekend. An 0-2 weekend would’ve only exacerbated the woes away from Baum and would’ve put the Hogs in a four game losing streak before the NCAA Regionals. Instead they got another win over Florida, bumped the RPI even more, and got some help from elsewhere. Georgia went 0-2 in the SEC Tournament, Texas Tech had a rough 1-2 in the Big 12 Tournament, NC State was 0-2 in the ACC Tournament, and Stanford lost their weekend series against Washington. All of that to say the Hogs got the job done for their goal of staying at home for the postseason and got a little help as well.
Not only will Arkansas get that top-8 seed, but is likely looking somewhere in the 3-6 seed range, and since the NCAA is seeding 1-16 for the first time this year, that would mean a more favorable potential super regional matchup. Arkansas has been successful in setting themselves up well in the postseason. That 30-3 record at Baum looms large for anyone looking to come in, and Arkansas knew that and wanted it for the postseason.
They got what they wanted, now it’s time to get the job done.