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Hogs face Grambling to open regional

BY ANDRES FOCIL
Hogs face Grambling to open regional

FAYETTEVILLE – The No. 15 University of Arkansas baseball team opens the 2010 NCAA Division I Baseball Championship Friday against Grambling in game one of the Fayetteville Regional. First pitch is scheduled for 2:05 p.m. at Baum Stadium. Fans can secure game and weekend-package tickets by visiting the Razorback Ticket Office, calling (800) 982-4647, or by logging on to ArkansasRazorbacks.com.

The Hogs, hosting an NCAA Regional for the fifth time in program history, are the top seed in the four-team opening around, while Grambling is seeded fourth. Washington State and Kansas State round out the regional as the No. 2 and 3 seeds, respectively, and will play in the second game Friday at 7:05 p.m.

When Arkansas takes the field to face Grambling, it will be the first meeting between the two programs. The Razorbacks hold a 5-2 advantage over Washington State with four wins over the Cougars in 2009, including a 10-3 triumph in the Norman Regional. Dating back to its days in the Southwest Conference, Arkansas leads the all-time series with Kansas State, 29-19. The teams last met during the 2003 season.

The Razorbacks enter the weekend with a 40-18 overall record after a pair of losses, to Vanderbilt and Florida, at the SEC Tournament in Hoover, Ala. In addition to its fifth duty as host, Arkansas is making its 23rd trip to the NCAA Championship and the program’s ninth consecutive appearance. This will also mark the program’s eighth-straight appearance under head coach Dave Van Horn. With the Hogs’ at-large bid, Van Horn has guided his team to an NCAA Regional every season since 1999-Nebraska (1999-2002) and Arkansas (2003-present).

TJ Forrest will make the start Friday for the Razorbacks. The right-handed senior carries a 7-0 record and 2.76 ERA in 17 appearances with three starts. In his last outing, a May 22 start at Vanderbilt, Forrest tossed six shutout innings and held the Commodores to two hits. Grambling will hand the ball to LHP Odingo Davilla to oppose the Razorbacks. On the season, Davilla has a 6.00 ERA and leads the Tigers with seven wins in 12 appearances.

Grambling (22-30) is one of two teams-Bucknell (25-33)-in the NCAA Championship with a losing record. The Tigers have won six straight games entering the weekend, including a sweep of four games in the SWAC Tournament to clinch the league’s automatic bid. Collectively, Grambling has a .302 batting average but has struggled on the mound with an 8.51 team ERA.

Fans can tune into Regional play on the Razorback Sports Network from ISP. Chuck Barrett will have the call as the network’s play-by-play announcer. In addition to live stats, there will also be a free audio and video stream available at the online home of Razorback athletics, ArkansasRazorbacks.com.



Sports Category : Baseball