Diamond Hogs face early test in Texas showcase

The No. 9 Arkansas Razorback baseball team will test their early season mettle this weekend at the Round Rock (Texas) Classic at Dell Diamond.

Dave Van Horn’s Hogs open with Indiana at 4 p.m. today, face No. 5 Stanford at 4 p.m. Saturday and Louisiana-Lafayette at 4 p.m. on Sunday. Former Razorback assistant Matt Deggs now coaches the Ragin’ Cajuns.

The games can be viewed on FloBaseball, a pay streaming site, on the internet. Radio coverage is carried on 92.1 FM The Ticket in Fayetteville.

Next up for the Diamond Hogs

Opponent: Indiana
When: 4 p.m. Friday, Feb. 25
Where: Dell Diamond at Round Rock, Texas
TV: FloBaseball
Radio: 92.1 FM The Ticket

This weekend’s games

Feb. 25 – Indiana at Round Rock, 4 p.m. (FloBaseball)
Feb. 26 – Stanford at Round Rock, 4 p.m. (FloBaseball)
Feb. 27 – Louisiana at Round Rock, 4 p.m. (FloBaseball)

The Razorbacks (2-1) got off to an inauspicious start last week, losing their first season opener in four decades to a salty Illinois State squad last Friday before bouncing back to top them 5-1 on Saturday and 4-2 on Sunday.

Indiana comes into Friday’s game 0-3 after dropping a series at Clemson — 9-0 on Friday, 19-4 on Saturday and 5-4 in 10 innings on Sunday.

“Indiana’s going to be a team that’s going to come in highly, highly motivated,” Van Horn said Thursday. “They just lost three games on the road to a good Clemson team. The first game got away from them. The next couple of games they had a chance, and it didn’t happen.”

The Razorbacks plan to start senior righty Connor Noland (0-0, 3.60 ERA) in the opening game, while John-Biago Modugno (0-1, 15. ERA) is scheduled to be on the mound for the Hoosiers.

The Hogs plan to start freshman left-hander Hagen Smith (1-0. 0.00 ERA) Saturday in a top-10 showdown with Stanford. Lefty Quinn Mathews (0-1, 6.75 ERA) will start for Stanford. The Cardinal (2-1) went to the College World Series last season, setting up a tantalizing early season matchup for the Hogs.

Razorbacks right-handed sophomore Jaxon Wiggins (1-0, 1.80) gets the ball on Sunday, and is schedule to face the Ragin Cajun’s Jeff Wilson (0-0, 6.23 ERS), a right-handed senior. Louisiana-Lafayette is 3-1 on the season.

The Razorbacks might have been guilty of swinging for the fences too much in their opening series rather than just stringing together hits, but the Hogs do have five players batting .300 or better with Brady Slavens leading the way at .400.

Robert Moore is at .364 with a team leading 3 RBI. Jalen Battles is also at .364 with Zack Gregory at .333, and Chris Lanzilli at .300. Cayden Wallace and Michael Turner aren’t far off at .250.

* Baseball America’s College Top 25 rankings are used in this story.