Diamond Hogs seeking improvement in Southeastern series

Update: Due to anticipated rain on Sunday, March 6, No. 3 Arkansas’ game against Southeastern will now be played as part of a doubleheader on Saturday, March 5, at Baum-Walker Stadium.

Saturday’s twin bill will start at Noon. Game two of the doubleheader will start approximately 45 minutes after game one’s conclusion.

After a sleepy start to the season, the No. 3 Arkansas Razorbacks’ bats awoke Wednesday in a 15-3 whipping of Nebraska-Omaha. The Hogs seek to maintain that incremental improvement with a weekend series against Southeastern Louisiana at Baum-Walker Stadium

The Razorbacks (5-2) face the Lions at 3 p.m. today, 2 p.m. Saturday, and 1 p.m. Sunday as part of a 13-game home stand for the Hogs that began with the Omaha game and concludes March 18-20 with their first SEC series of the season against Kentucky.

The games can be streamed on SEC +, with radio coverage on 92.1 FM and AM 1590 in the Fayetteville area.

Next up for the Diamond Hogs

Opponent: Southeastern
When: 3 p.m. Friday, March 4
Where: Baum-Walker Stadium, Fayetteville
Streaming: SEC+
Radio: 92.1 FM / AM 1590 (more)

Upcoming games

March 5, 12 p.m. – Southeastern (SEC +)
March 5, 3:30 p.m. (approx) – Southeastern (SEC+)
March 10, 3 p.m. – UIC (SEC+)

There is a chance of showers on Saturday and Sunday, which could interfere this weekend’s schedule, but Arkansas righty Connor Nolan (1-0, 2.45 ERA) will be on the mound this afternoon against right-handed Lions pitcher Will Kinzeler (1-0, 2.45 ERA).

Hagen Smith (1-1, 3.24) and Jaxon Wiggins (1-0, 3.27) will likely draw the respective starts on Saturday and Sunday.

Arkansas had been struggling at the plate prior to Wednesday’s 15-run outburst. No. 6 Stanford shut out the Hogs, 5-0, last Sunday in the Karbach Round Rock Classic in Arkansas’ lone action of the season against a ranked opponent.

The Razorbacks did most of their damage Wednesday in two innings, rolling up a dozen runs and three home runs by Brady Slavens, Michael Turner, and Peyton Stovall.

Razorback skipper Dave Van Horn said he had been waiting for such an offensive outburst all season and credited a lively attitude among his Hogs as the impetus for the improvement at the plate.

“We had a different mindset,” Van Horn said following the victory. “We have had several discussions the last few days about just playing harder and just the way we go about things. They took that to heart today.”

Van Horn credited a two-run double to the corner by Chris Lanzilli for igniting the offensive outburst that vaulted the Razorbacks’ team batting average from .213 to .249 on the season in a single game.

From the outside looking in, it appeared the Razorbacks were swinging for the fences too often through the first two weeks of the season instead of just putting the ball in play. With some failed efforts, maybe the Hogs were pressing a bit?

Whether that simplified analysis is off target or not, the Razorbacks have three weeks to work out the kinks before conference play begins.

Expect for Van Horn and his coaching staff to sort much of it out before the Wildcats visit Baum-Walker Stadium for that key SEC-opening series.