The scenario for the Arkansas baseball team, at this point, is simple.
If the Razorbacks beat Texas A&M in the regular-season finale on Sunday, they will get a first-round bye in next week’s SEC Tournament.
Easy enough, right?
Arkansas (38-15, 17-11) can still clinch a bye without winning, too. But that requires Mississippi State losing to LSU. Do what they’re supposed to and the Diamond Hogs won’t have to worry about MSU. And as Texas A&M-Arkansas is the first game of the SEC’s final day, scoreboard-watching probably isn’t something any of the Razorbacks players and coaches want to do.
So they throw Blaine Knight at the Aggies to try to avoid it. Knight was bumped from his expected Friday night start late in the afternoon. Coach Dave Van Horn swapped him and senior Dominic Taccolini for undisclosed reasons. And while Taccolini lost that game, the move allowed Van Horn to throw his usual opening-game-of-the-series guy in the finale.
Get up and enjoy some brunch because this one is early. It’s an 11 a.m. start from College Station.
Arkansas baseball vs. Texas A&M live blog, score updates
Follow along with live game stats here at game time.
Game 2 Recap
One more day.
The Arkansas baseball team will have a final chance to sew up a top-four SEC finish after Texas A&M won the teams’ Game 2 on Friday night, 5-2. The Aggies scored their first four runs in the third inning and added one of insurance in the seventh to force a rubber match.
Texas A&M can’t overtake the Razorbacks in the SEC standings, but it can keep Arkansas from a first-round bye in next week’s SEC Tournament. The league’s top four finishers receive immunity from a Tuesday game in which the loser would be eliminated from the tourney. Everything else that follows is double-elimination. Arkansas, too, could have clinched a 4-seed (at worst) with a win Friday and a Mississippi State loss. The Diamond Hogs need to finish the final series of the regular season with one more win than MSU to finish the top four.
The Aggies made certain that wouldn’t happen Friday as Corbin Martin kept Razorbacks hitters off-balance all game. Martin went eight innings, gave up eight hits and just a long walk. The biggest deal were his strikeouts. He sat down 12 Arkansas hitters with a strikeout.
Meanwhile, Texas A&M nicked up Arkansas starter Dominic Taccolini just once but it was major. A three-run home run from Hunter Coleman did the bulk of the damage. Taccolini gave up a pair of singles, a sacrifice fly and a walk to lead up to it. Coleman’s blast countered and made moot Jared Gates’ RBI single in the top half of the inning.
Arkansas baseball vs. Texas A&M TV channel, stream online
Game 1 on Thursday and Game 2 on Friday will be shown on the SEC Network+. Game 3 on Saturday can be found on SEC Network. Fans can watch via WatchESPN or the WatchESPN app.
Arkansas baseball vs. Texas A&M game times
Saturday Game 3 — 11 a.m.
Who is calling the Arkansas vs. Texas A&M games?
Game 3 on television will have Clay Matvick handling the play by play and Chris Burke as the color commentator. Phil Elson has the call for the Arkansas on the radio.
Arkansas baseball schedule
May 20: @ Texas A&M
May 23-28: SEC Tournament
June 2-5: NCAA Tournament Regionals
June 9-12: NCAA Super Regionals
June 17-29: College World Series