To call this an ‘important’ week for Arkansas baseball would be underselling
Arkansas football rules the world of Razorbacks sports. So, with your bacon, have some Hogs for Breakfast and get caught up. It’s SEC Country’s weekday column and roundup on all things Arkansas … especially Arkansas football. Opinion, numbers, inane babble and more! And now with ironic exclamation points! There is no place like it on the web.
Four weeks remain in the college baseball regular season. After that, Arkansas and the rest of the SEC — save the two teams that finish in the bottom two positions — will head to Hoover, Ala., for the SEC Tournament. There, some teams will play their way into the NCAA Tournament. A team may play its way out, too.
Arkansas needn’t worry about that. Actually, Arkansas probably shouldn’t even go overboard that week in trying to do too much. That’s a story for another day. For now, coach Dave Van Horn’s team simply needs to worry about Texas Tech and Alabama.
I hate to write that, personally. Coaches and players regularly use phrases, “one game at a time,” “one week at a time.” It’s bollocks mostly. It’s such a throwaway, means-nothing line. I don’t mean to suggest such simplistic analysis of the Diamond Hogs’ week this week, either.
Still, the thing does hold significance. Texas Tech is a top-5 team in the country. If Arkansas were to take both games against the Red Raiders at Baum Stadium, such a result could — perhaps even would — take some sting out of a series loss in conference play. Take, for example, Arkansas’ 3-game sweep at the hands of Mississippi State. The series result doesn’t look as bad if the Diamond Hogs turn around and beat a team of Texas Tech’s quality two times.
Just as important, if not just as sexy, is Arkansas’ three-game set on the weekend with Alabama. The Crimson Tide, like Mississippi State before, will enter as the last-place team in the SEC. The Razorbacks cannot afford to be swept again by a last-place team.
Anyone who follows college baseball, though, knows there is a major difference between Alabama and Mississippi State. Stranger things have happened, however.
Here comes some fun.
Could a pair of former walk-ons be next in line?
De’Jon Harris is an elite linebacker. A lot of college football may not know that yet because of Arkansas’ miserable 2017 season, but they will learn.
Dre Greenlaw isn’t quite at Harris’ level, but he’s not far behind. The Fayetteville (Ark.) graduate is a potential All-SEC selection.
After those two backers, however, Arkansas lacks depth. It was a big problem in 2017 and threatens to be an issue in 2018, too. But if two brothers of former Hogs take a step up, maybe the unit can make improvements.
Grant Morgan saw some run as a reserve linebacker last year in his freshman season. He is the younger brother of former All-SEC wide receiver Drew Morgan. It’s likely he receives some run again this year playing right behind Harris.
Hayden Henry, younger brother of former Mackey Award winner Hunter Henry, is set to have a Grant Morgan-like season in 2018. Hayden Henry enjoyed a quality spring game, and with the unproven bodies at the spot, he could prove himself. Like Grant Morgan, he arrived at Arkansas without a scholarship.
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- Arkansas men’s track had three winners at the Michael Johnson meet.
- The nationally ranked Arkansas softball team lost its penultimate road series of the season to Auburn over the weekend. The Razorbacks did take one of three games, though, and are still in plenty good shape to reach the NCAA Tournament for the second straight season.
- Maria Fassi finished second individually in the SEC for women’s golf. She forced a playoff hole before falling to South Carolina’s Ainhoa Olarra.
- Arkansas women’s tennis junior Ana Oparenovic was named to the 2018 SEC Women’s Tennis All-Tournament Team.
Tweets and the like
• Busy weekend in Fayetteville for Chad Morris.
Great morning opening up little league here in Fayetteville before getting back over to the facility to host a couple ballers!! pic.twitter.com/ocOxKygzCF
— Chad Morris (@coachchadmorris) April 21, 2018
• Morris’ players were busy volunteering in the cold and rain Saturday morning.
Really proud of many of our guys and several other @ArkRazorbacks athletes waking up early on a chilly Saturday morning volunteering their time to help load 38,000+ pounds of frozen protein for over 60 agencies across our state. Our guys love this community – appreciate them! pic.twitter.com/DuItAMOHJr
— Sean Tuohy Jr. (@SJTuohy) April 21, 2018
• Here’s a little something to flush out the bad baseball news.
For the first time in program history, the Razorbacks are SEC CHAMPIONS!
— SEC Network (@SECNetwork) April 22, 2018
• Daniela Allen has an arm. Who is Allen, you might ask. Her brothers are former Arkansas quarterbacks Austin and Brandon Allen.
— Nate Olson (@ndosports) April 22, 2018
Skip Breakfast? C’mon. It’s too important. Catch up with previous versions here.