FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. – Arkansas skipper Dave Van Horn announced the Diamond Hogs 2007 baseball schedule on Thursday.
The 57-game slate features 25 games with 10 teams that qualified for the NCAA Tournament in 2006. The schedule also boasts 29 home games and a trip to the Dairy Queen Classic (March 2-4) at the Metrodome in Minneapolis, Minn.
The Hogs made their fifth straight postseason appearance in 2006, hosting the NCAA Fayetteville Regional. UA finished second in the SEC West with an 18-12 record and 39-21 overall.
“I think we were able to put together a non-conference schedule that will prepare us for another challenging season in the SEC,” Arkansas head coach Dave Van Horn said. “When you play in a league the caliber of ours, you have to go on the road and play some tough teams in February and early March.”
The Razorbacks open the season a week earlier in 2007 with a road trip to Louisiana Tech on Feb. 2-4. It is the earliest starting date in school history, two days earlier than the Feb. 4 opener against Missouri Southern in 2001. It marks the third straight season the Hogs have opened on the road and the fifth consecutive year Arkansas has played the Bulldogs. UA then ventures to Troy (Ala.) University for a three-game series on Feb. 9-11. The Trojans advanced to the championship game of the NCAA Tuscaloosa Regional in 2006.
The home portion of the schedule opens on Friday, Feb. 16, as the Hogs welcome Wisconsin-Milwaukee to Baum Stadium. The three game set continues on Saturday, Feb. 17, and wraps up on Sunday, Feb. 18. The homestand continues on Feb. 23-25 with a three-game series with Illinois State.
Arkansas returns to the Dairy Queen Classic at the Metrodome in Minneapolis, Minn., for the first time since the 2001 season on March 2-4. The Hogs open with SEC West foe Ole Miss on Friday afternoon before facing tournament host Minnesota on Fox Sports North at 6:35 p.m. Saturday, March 3. UA’s final game of the tournament is against The Citadel at 11 a.m. Sunday, March 4.
The Kansas Jayhawks, fresh off of a NCAA Tournament appearance in 2006, visit Baum Stadium for the final non-conference weekend series on March 9-11. The final tune-up for conference play is a mid-week game with 2006 NCAA Fayetteville Regional champion Oral Roberts on Tuesday, March 13, in Fayetteville.
The Razorbacks open SEC play on the road for the ninth straight year on March 16-18 at defending SEC co-champions Kentucky. The Hogs will spend part of their spring break in Shreveport, La., for a two-game mid-week series with Centenary.
The home portion of the SEC season begins on March 23-25 with eastern division foe Vanderbilt visiting Baum Stadium. The final game of the Razorbacks’ home-and-home series with Oral Roberts is slated for Tuesday, March 27, in Tulsa.
Arkansas then travels to Knoxville, Tenn., on March 30-April 1 for a three-game set with the Tennessee Volunteers at Lindsey Nelson Stadium.
The Hogs’ longest homestand of the season – nine games – begins April 3 with a two-game series against Northern Colorado. SEC West rival Mississippi State follows with a visit to Baum Stadium on April 4-6. The series wraps up on Easter Sunday.
A two-game home-and-home series with Missouri State opens in Fayetteville on Tuesday, April 10. A set against Florida on April 13-15 finishes the Razorbacks’ nine-game homestand.
Arkansas has four road games scheduled for the following week with a game against Missouri State in Springfield, Mo., and a three-game series at Georgia. It marks the Diamond Hogs first trip to Athens, Ga., since Norm DeBriyn’s final team in 2002.
Wichita State makes its first trip to Northwest Arkansas since the 2004 NCAA Fayetteville Regional when the Razorbacks beat the Shockers twice on Sunday to advance to the Super Regionals. The game is slated for Wednesday, April 23.
A trip to Auburn, Ala., follows as the Razorbacks tangle with the Tigers in a three-game series on April 27-29 at Plainsman Park.
LSU and their new coach Paul Mainieri come to Baum Stadium on May 4-6 for what always proves to be a pivotal three-game series.
The Hogs won their first series against Alabama in Tuscaloosa in 10 years in 2005 and return for a set with the Crimson Tide on May 11-13.
The Razorbacks close out the 2007 regular season at home against the Ole Miss Rebels. The series will begin on Thursday, May 17, and conclude on Saturday, May 19, as the SEC allows the teams an extra day to prepare for the conference tournament. The SEC Tournament begins on Wednesday, May 23, in Hoover, Ala., at Metropolitan Stadium and runs through Sunday, May 27.
NCAA Regionals are scheduled for June 1-4 at sites to be determined. The NCAA Super Regionals follow on June 8-11 with the survivors headed to the College World Series. The CWS will run from June 15-24/25 at Rosenblatt Stadium in Omaha, Neb.