FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. –– Baseball America released its 2006 Preseason Top 25 poll on Thursday afternoon with Arkansas ranked 18th.
The Hogs are coming off of a 39-22 record in 2005 and a runner-up finish at the NCAA Austin Regional where they took eventual national champion Texas to the limit.
“It is good to see some of the national publications taking notice of the team we have built here at Arkansas,” Razorbacks’ head coach Dave Van Horn said. “We lost the left-side of our infield that had over 400 career starts between them, but other than that we return pretty much intact from last year.
“This should be the best offensive club we have had since I got here. We have some guys that really swung the bat well during the fall. Plus, Charley Boyce and Nick Schmidt give us a pretty good chance to get a win every time they take the hill.”
The Razorbacks are one of seven SEC teams ranked in the initial top 25 poll. Florida, coming off of a runner-up finish at last season’s College World Series leads the pack at No. 3. Tennessee, fresh off of an appearance at the CWS last season comes in at No. 9, while SEC West foe Mississippi State is ranked 13th.
South Carolina slides in right behind the Bulldogs at No. 14. Arkansas then comes in at No. 18. LSU makes its annual top 25 appearance at No. 20 and Ole Miss rounds out the SEC teams at No. 23.
The Hogs have advanced to the NCAA Tournament in all three of Van Horn’s seasons in Fayetteville. His 2004 squad captured the SEC Championship and then advanced to the College World Series.
Arkansas opens its season on Friday, Feb. 10, in Mobile, Ala., against George Mason. The home schedule begins on Friday, Feb. 24, with a doubleheader against Louisiana Tech. For tickets visit www.hogwired.com or call 1-800-982-4647.