Arkansas Athletics/courtesy
Baum Stadium will be rocking this weekend.

The hard truth: Arkansas baseball could lose to South Carolina this weekend

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.

This particular employ dissolves in about three weeks. A number of things will be written in memoriam. Things I normally would not otherwise write.

This isn’t one of those, but it will be tinged with my hallmark. It will be sprinkled with the reason most of you read this thing in the first place: honesty. That has been my trademark since I began writing columns nine years ago. Savvy readers, educated human beings, they don’t want to hear what they already believe. They want to hear the truth.

First, the good honesty: This Arkansas baseball team is amazing. Dave Van Horn’s team is arguably better than I had it pegged. Perhaps. I only said it was College World Series bound. I didn’t say the Hogs were potential national champions (though anyone with a brain would have figured out they were because of the way things work in Omaha and that I didn’t list any teams as national title potentials). It’s as loaded a lineup and as dominant a pitching, combination-wise, as I have seen at one time.

Second, the bad honesty: Arkansas very well could go 0-2 this weekend and its season be finished.

Don’t take that the wrong way. I’m sticking to my proverbial guns. The Razorbacks are my pick to get out of the Fayetteville Super Regional. But I bring it up that way because of baseball.

College baseball isn’t basketball. It isn’t football. It isn’t even MLB. The way coaches have to build teams — what with scholarship limitations and other things — means that even the best teams can falter to inferior ones on a semi-regular basis. And South Carolina isn’t a pushover. They’re the only SEC team in 2018 who even won a game at Baum Stadium. The Gamecocks are experienced and deep, even if they don’t have the top-end talent of Arkansas.

Experience and depth, when it’s on, can beat high-end talent. Take that Arkansas team from three years back. Sure, it had Andrew Benintendi, the best player in the nation and the best to ever play at Arkansas, but no one else on that team — save maybe Zach Jackson in the future, but that is looking unlikely — is going to be an MLB player. They were a team of dirtbags. If you know college baseball, you know that’s a compliment.

That’s South Carolina this year, minus Benny Baseball. Arkansas must bring its A-game to reach its potential.

ICYMI

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