FAYETTEVILLE — The fourth-ranked Arkansas baseball team officially opens preseason practice on Friday as the Razorbacks continue to prepare for the start of the 2012 season. Friday’s practice is scheduled to begin at approximately 2 p.m. All Arkansas baseball practices are held at Baum Stadium and are open to the public. “The team is very excited about starting practice,” Arkansas head coach Dave Van Horn said. “The weather has been outstanding and it’s made us more anxious to get out on the field. The weather looks great for the next week so we should be able to get some good work in. I feel like the team came back in outstanding condition. They worked extremely hard over the holiday break and that should help us get ahead.” With nice weather expected this weekend, the Razorbacks will scrimmage during each of their first three practices. Saturday’s practice is slated to begin at approximately 12:30 p.m., while Sunday’s will start at approximately 1:30 p.m. Arkansas will have three weeks of practice before opening the season on Friday, Feb. 17, at home against Villanova. First pitch for the season opener is set for 3:05 p.m. The Razorbacks will open the season with 20 of their first 23 games at home, including a pair of 10-game homestands. The Razorbacks have been ranked in the top 10 in each preseason poll that has been released thus far. Arkansas is ranked fourth by Baseball America and eighth by Collegiate Baseball and in the USA Today/ESPN Coaches Poll. Arkansas returns 19 letterwinners from last season’s team that finished the year with a 40-22 record and won the SEC Western Division title. The Razorbacks bring back five position starters and 10 pitchers from last year’s club.