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REGIONAL PREVIEW: Hogs prepare for Stillwater

Vanderbilt v Arkansas Photo by Wesley Hitt/Getty Images

STILLWATER, Okla.— It is time for regional baseball once again. This time, the postseason takes the Razorbacks to Stillwater, Oklahoma. The Hogs had not traveled to a regional setting since the 2015 season when the Hogs won the Stillwater regional before clinching an Omaha berth.

Many of Dave Van Horn’s College World Series teams had to travel routes outside of Fayetteville before heading to Omaha, and hopefully, this team can do the same.

The season began strongly as the Hogs set a pace to host a regional. However, late-season woes dropped Arkansas out of the SEC West title hunt and host conversation. Now, the Hogs travel to arguably the toughest regional in the field. Host team Oklahoma State received a top-eight national seed after a 39-20 regular season in the Big12.

The remaining teams of the Stillwater regional are no slouches either. Grand Canyon had an impressive season with signature wins over Arizona, Oregon State, Texas Tech, and Stanford.

The last team, Missouri State, is already familiar with the Hogs after their winning performance at Baum-Walker in May. Arkansas has a tough road out of the Stillwater regional, but we all know this team can perform at a high level and advance to a super-regional.

Arkansas starts the weekend against Grand Canyon. In my opinion, the opening game is a must-win for the Hogs to advance to the second weekend. A win in the opener might help the Hogs regain their confidence and start on a hot streak.

Ultimately, the pitching performances during the weekend will dictate the Hogs’ success. Hopefully, the extended break during the last week will prove beneficial for a pitching staff that seemed out of gas in the SEC Tournament. It is unknown who will take the mound against Grand Canyon, but hopefully, the starter can set a strong tempo for the Hogs to follow into the weekend.

Grand Canyon enters the weekend with a team ERA of 4.48 and a batting average of .309. Additionally, the Antelopes have knocked 68 home runs this season. Grand Canyon’s marquee series victory came in a midweek sweep of Texas Tech in April. The Antelopes will be a tough test for a Razorback team trying to bounce back from a tough end to the regular season.

How to watch:

Friday - noon (SEC Network)

Saturday - TBA