by SID We all know about the up and down season the Commodores have had, but Arkansas has had a tough season as well.
When the Commodores visited Fayetteville on Easter Weekend, the Razorbacks were ranked No. 1 in the country in one poll and had just captured two midweek games from the team ranked No. 1 in the other four major polls: Arizona State. They were 24-6 overall and in first place overall in the SEC with a 10-2 mark.
VU, on the other hand, was 19-13 overall and 5-7 in league play. The Dores thought they were getting back on track with a series win over Florida the weekend prior, but were brought back down to earth with an 8-0 shutout loss to Middle Tennessee in mid-week play.
The Hogs had all the momentum, so what happened? Mike Minor blanked the Hogs, 9-0, on Friday night and then Caleb Cotham held them in check in a 13-6 win on Saturday. The third game was cancelled due to rain.
Since that time, Arkansas has gone 10-13 overall, including 4-13 in league play. They are now out of four of the five major polls, with the National Collegiate Baseball Writers the lone poll ranking the Razorbacks (No. 20).
In addition, Arkansas has battled through some injuries in the tournament as they have played without leading hitter Scott Lyons (.313, 7 HR, 38 RBI) who collided with Ole Miss third baseman Zack Miller in the regular season series finale last weekend. Shortstop Ben Tschepikow (.307, 8 HR, 38 RBI) is also out of the starting lineup after dislocating his left pinkie finger against Georgia on Thursday. Both could see action in a reserve role. Arkansas started seven freshmen in yesterday's 10-7 win over Florida and have six in the starting lineup this morning.
Arkansas' starting pitcher is T.J. Forrest (2-5, 5.62 ERA) a big righthander who started against Cotham in the Saturday game at Fayetteville. VU touched him for five runs on five hits in 4.1 innings with two strikeouts and three walks.
It's almost gametime.