FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. – The Arkansas baseball team was picked to win the national championship on Tuesday by one outlet.
Kendall Rogers, the publisher of D1Baseball.com, made his January projection Tuesday afternoon.
“Arkansas will win its first national title. You’ll see in a couple of weeks why some might not call that too bold, but the Hogs don’t have a national title in the program’s history and should have a great chance to accomplish that goal in 2018. The Hogs will have a deadly weekend rotation with Blaine Knight and Isaiah Campbell leading the charge, while I fully expect electric outfielder Dominic Fletcher to be the table setter for Dave Van Horn’s club.”
It is not a giant limb. Arkansas returns a loaded roster from a team that was one run short of the Super Regionals in 2017. Knight is a projected first-round pick in the draft. Campbell may be if he proves healthy. Fletcher might hit 20 home runs. Seniors Carson Shaddy and Luke Bonfield are the types of seniors college baseball teams wish for.
Official media projections are not out yet, but the Razorbacks are expected to be picked between first and third in the SEC when they are announced. Such a status would, by default, make Arkansas a favorite for the national title. The SEC is the best conference in college baseball.
A trip to Omaha, Nebraska, for the College World Series would be the seventh for Diamond Hogs coach Dave Van Horn. If Arkansas were to make it, it would be its second apperance in four years. The last time the Razorbacks played in the CWS was the year Andrew Benintendi was named National College Player of the Year in winning the Golden Spikes trophy.
This Arkansas team, on paper, is even better than that one. Rogers’ projection is most definitely not farfetched.
Arkansas begins its season February 16 against Bucknell.