FAYETTEVILLE, Ark.– The National Collegiate Baseball Writers Association and Rivals.com both released their preseason national rankings this week with Arkansas firmly entrenched in the top 10.
A panel of 32 college baseball writers and related media persons from throughout the nation comprised the NCBWA poll, which ranked the Hogs eighth. Rivals.com tabbed Arkansas ninth in its preseason top 25 poll.
The Razorbacks have been a consensus top 10 team nationally in the four polls released this preseason.
Collegiate Baseball ranked the Hogs at No. 4 while Baseball America placed the Razorbacks at No. 7. The only poll still to be released is the USA Today Coaches? poll, which will be released in the coming weeks.
Hogs? skipper Dave Van Horn returns a solid veteran nucleus from his
2006 team that finished 39-22 and second in the SEC?s Western Division. The Hogs have six starters returning, including infielder Danny Hamblin, who hit 17 home runs; pitcher Nick Schmidt, the SEC?s Pitcher of the Year after going 9-3 with 145 strikeouts; and pitcher Shaun Seibert, who was 4-0 with a 2.79 earned run average.
Arkansas also boasts a top 10 recruiting class that includes what Baseball America called the top class of junior college players in the country.
The Razorbacks open the 2007 season on Feb. 2 in Ruston, La., with a three-game series with Louisiana Tech. After three games at Troy the following weekend, the Hogs return to Baum Stadium for the home opener on Feb. 16 against Wisconsin-Milwaukee. The three-game set is slated for start times of 3:05 p.m. (Friday), 2:05 p.m. (Saturday) and 1:05 p.m. (Sunday).
The Southeastern Conference was well represented in both polls with 10 teams ranked in the NCBWA?s top 35 and seven teams in the Rivals.com top 25. South Carolina led the way in the SEC in both polls with a No. 3 ranking. Rice was listed as the No. 1 team in both polls.