Diamond Hogs host Crimson Tide for weekend series

On the evening before April Fool’s Day, the Arkansas Razorbacks are on a two-game Southeastern Conference skid and a 15-game home winning streak.

That sentence might sound like an impossible oxymoron on the surface, but it is still true.

Dave Van Horn’s Hogs run-ruled Southeast Missouri State, 12-2, Tuesday in seven innings to win their 15th consecutive home game, the program longest since a 16-game winning streak in 1997.

The victory allowed the Razorbacks to bounce back from being drubbed by No. 1 LSU in a double-header last Saturday at Baton Rouge —12-2 and 14-5 — after defeating the Tigers, 9-3, in the 10-inning series opener last Friday.

So when the Hogs host the Alabama Crimson Tide at 6:30 p.m. at Baum-Walker Stadium they will be attempting to extend that home winning streak to 16 and looking to get off the schneid in SEC play. The game can be streamed on ESPN/SEC +.

The series continues Saturday at 2 p.m. and concludes Sunday with another 2 p.m. game. Both can be streamed on ESPN/SEC +.

Despite losing last week’s series at LSU, 2-1, the Tigers (23-3, 5-2) are just a half a game ahead of the Hogs in the Western Division standings after defeating Tennessee, 5-2, at Baton Rouge.

Razorback Baseball

Opponent: Alabama
When: 6:30 p.m. Friday, March 31
Where: Baum-Walker Stadium

Up next:

Saturday — Alabama 2 p.m. (SEC Network +)
Sunday — Alabama 2 p.m. (SEC Network +)

The Crimson Tide comes into this weekend’s series tied with Auburn in second place in the West and seeking to crawl above .500 in league play.

This is a huge weekend for the Razorbacks, who have played great all season except for the those final two games at Baton Rouge where the Tigers just stole their oxygen.

It will be interesting to see how the Razorbacks respond to the challenge. The Hogs have played exceedingly well this season despite their bullpen taking a heavy hit with three of their best arms on the shelf.

It appeared the Hogs had adjusted well until LSU pummeled the Razorbacks with its powerful lineup last Saturday.

It was great to whip SEMO on Tuesday, but we won’t know if the Razorbacks have their mojo back until tonight when they face SEC talent.

Van Horn said in a Zoom teleconference that left-hander Hunter Holland (4-0, 1.97 ERA) would start on the mound for the Hogs on Friday with righty Will McEntire (4-1, 5.23 ERA) starting Saturday. Sunday’s starter will be announced later.

Alabama will pit right-hander Benn Hess (3-0, 3.34 ERA) against Holland with right-hander Luke Hamilton (4-1, 2.25 ERA) against McEntire. Junior southpaw Grayson Hitt is expected to start on Sunday.