FAYETTEVILLE- The Arkansas baseball team takes the field for the first time in 2011 on Friday as the Razorbacks continue preparing for the upcoming season. The season’s first team practice is slated to begin at approximately 1:30 p.m. at Baum Stadium. All Arkansas baseball practices are open to the public.
"First, I feel fortunate that we’re going to have three good days in a row to get outside," Arkansas baseball head coach Dave Van Horn said. "We’ve spent the first two weeks of this semester getting the players in really good shape. They came back in good shape, which is a credit to them and helped us a lot. I feel we’re a little farther along physically than I thought we would be."
With the start of practice on Friday, the Hogs will have three weeks to prepare for the season-opening series against Delaware State. The series opens on Friday, February 18, with first pitch set for 3:05 p.m. The three-game set continues on Saturday and Sunday with game time scheduled for 1:05 p.m. on both days.
One of the biggest question marks entering the spring is the Razorback starting rotation, after losing all three weekend starters from the 2010 team. Figuring out the starting rotation is one of many things the team will be looking to accomplish over the next three weeks.
"The next three weeks of practice we need to take care of the little things that win games early in the season," Van Horn said. "We’ll try to put together some type of pitching rotation. This is an unusual year for us because we don’t have any weekend starting pitchers back. There are still some jobs to be won. For the most part, the next three weeks will be getting our team physically and mentally ready to play."
The Razorbacks return 13 letterwinners and four starting position players from the 2010 team that finished the season with a 43-21 record and advanced to the NCAA Super Regionals before losing a pair of 12-inning games at top-seed Arizona State.