Eric W. Bolin/SEC Country
Baum Stadium will see its first game Friday.

Here we go, Arkansas baseball — your chance to make some predictions

Eric Bolin

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.

And the angels in the heavens rejoiced, for, lo, it was baseball season.

That’s right, ladies and gentlemen, it is the most wonderful time of the year. Sorry, Andy Williams, not Christmas. College baseball. Around these parts it’s a big deal. People who have never been to an Arkansas baseball game don’t get it. LSU, Mississippi State, Ole Miss, South Carolina — these places get it, too. Baseball, it could be argued, is the second-biggest sport at each SEC school. It’s that big a deal.

For the Diamond Hogs in 2018, it’s even bigger. Arkansas enters ranked in the top 5 in the entire country. They were picked second in the SEC, behind only defending national champion and preseason No. 1 Florida. The Razorbacks begin that splendid time of year Friday at 3 p.m. at Baum Stadium. Weather permitting, of course.

If you missed it earlier this year, we previewed Arkansas hitters and pitchers and gave you complete series-by-series predictions. Except no substitutes on that, either, folks. We’re batting 1.000.

As such, this is a bit different. Some over/unders for your pleasure. This is for fun. Treat it as fun. Enjoy the season, eh.

Give me the under. Teams will pitch around Fletcher more this year.

Over. He’s electric and will show it.

Over. Last year was a disapointment for Bonfield relative to what he can do. This is his last go-round.

Under. I think he’s still a pinch-hitting specialist who will get more time in the bullpen. Could be wrong.

Over. See above.

Over. See above redux.

Arkansas is loaded at WR and people forget about this guy

Brandon Martin was our choice for breakout player out wide in 2018. Jared Cornelius has proven, year after year, he can play in the SEC. Deon Stewart and Jonathan Nance led the team in catches last season. Jordan Jones is the freakish speedster.

Then there is De’Vion Warren.

The smallish sophomore is often overlooked, not mentioned at all, when talking about Arkansas’ depth chart at wide receiver. And it’s true he’s in a tough place with all the returnees the Razorbacks have at the position. But Warren, though, showed in 2017 he can make a play. The catch — apologies on the pun — is whether he can crack the rotation in new coach Chad Morris’ offense.

Warren has the skills. He will almost definitely be Arkansas’ primary return man again. It bears watching this spring, though, how he does against experienced competition. Don’t count on him wilting with the others around, anyway.

ICYMI

  • Bubba Carpenter is the new color commentator for Arkansas baseball. He’s in for icon Rick Schaeffer, whose called Diamond Hogs games for years upon years. All that after he was a sports information director for the Razorbacks.
  • Peyton Palsha and sophomore Ayumi Macias qualified for the A final and B final, respectively, in the 500 freestyle at the SEC Swimming Championships on Thursday.
  • Morris has focused a lot in the trenches when it comes to recruiting Arkansas football players. A defensive tackle who can help is going to be visiting soon now, too.
  • Is Arkansas’ new staff helping recruiting already, less than three months on the job? Our Trent Shadid answers that question and more in the recruiting mailbag.
  • Uh, Arkansas basketball is in trouble. Joe Lunardi, the most famous bracketologist, has Arkansas as an No. 11 seed if the season ended Friday. The Hogs’ final five games are wicked hard, too.

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Tweets and the like

• This is new Arkansas defensive end Dorian Gerald, the top junior college defensive end in the country.

• A name we should all know better than we do. Love this from SEC Network.

• Excellent, in-character tweet from Morris here.

 

Skip Breakfast? C’mon. It’s too important. Catch up with previous versions here.