Diamond Hogs face No. 7 Oregon State at neutral site

(Courtesy/Arkansas Athletics)

The No. 2 Arkansas Razorbacks baseball team puts their ranking and reputation on the line this weekend in the Kubota College Baseball Series in the indoor confines of Globe Life Field in Arlington, Texas.

The Hogs (3-1) open the event at 7 p.m. Friday against the No. 7 Oregon State Beavers (5-0), who defeated Arkansas for the College World Series title in 2018 when the Razorbacks were one foul-ball catch away from securing a national title.

While the sting is probably still in the recesses of his mind, Arkansas’ 22nd-year head coach Dave Van Horn thoughts are focused on the here and now rather than what could have been more than a half a decade ago.

The Beavers are guided by a different skipper in Mitch Canham, who replaced longtime Oregon State coach Pat Casey the following year after the Beavers topped the Hogs. Canham will be seeking to make his own name against the Razorbacks this evening.

Tonight’s game as well as Saturday’s 7 p.m. contest with Oklahoma State (2-2) and Sunday’s 1 p.m. pairing with Michigan (2-2) can be streamed on FloSports for the cost of a month’s subscription. The games will be broadcast on the Arkansas Razorback Baseball Network by the regular affiliates.

Preseason All-American Hagen Smith is set to start on the mound Friday, followed by Brady Tygart on Saturday, and Mason Molina on Sunday.

The Razorbacks will be without leadoff hitter and second baseman Peyton Stovall (broken foot) again this week with right fielder Kendall Diggs, who is leading the team in batting with a .400 average, likely to leadoff Friday as he did on Monday.

The Razorbacks played errorless baseball in their first two games against James Madison, but tallied three in the final two games.

Arkansas returns to the friendly confines of Baum Stadium on Tuesday to play Grambling before hosting Murray State for a three-game series next weekend.