OMAHA, Neb. – The Arkansas baseball team completed their first full day at the College World Series on Thursday in Omaha.
The day opened with the four head coaches from the teams that begin play on Saturday meeting with the media in a pre-College World Series press conference. Arkansas head coach Dave Van Horn
expressed his excitement with the Razorbacks making it back to the College World Series for the seventh time in program history.
“We’re just thrilled to be here,” Coach Van Horn said. “This season has been something else. It’s been exciting and disappointing, a little bit of everything. Getting through the Super Regional is very special. So, again, we’re just extremely excited to be here and can’t wait to get on the field.”
Following the press conference, the entire team gathered at the Road to Omaha statue in front of TD Ameritrade Park for the official team picture. The team then handled media responsibilities with ESPN, Big Screen Network and NCAA.com.
Once the media responsibilities were over, the Razorbacks took to the field at TD Ameritrade Park for the first time with the 50-minute official practice. The practice mainly consisted of batting practice and defensive work with the pitchers getting some throwing in in the bullpen.
After practice, the team attended a Sports Wagering Presentation and the afternoon closed with a 1-hour autograph session.
On Thursday night, all eight teams participated in the Opening Ceremonies of the College World Series. Due to inclement weather, the event was moved inside to Mancuso Hall at the Omaha Civic Center. During the event, the player with the highest cumulative GPA from each team was recognized. For Arkansas, senior outfielder Sam Bates
, a recreation and sport management major, was honored as having the highest cumulative GPA among the Arkansas players in Omaha.
Former professional baseball player and College Baseball Hall of Fame inductee Nomar Garciaparra also spoke to the teams during the ceremony.
Arkansas continues preparations for the College World Series on Friday as the team will hold a practice at Creighton University. The Razorbacks open play in the 2012 College World Series on Saturday at 4 p.m. against Kent State. The game will be televised on ESPN.