FAYETTEVILLE – Down to its final four games of the 2010 regular season, the No. 14 University of Arkansas baseball team will play Oklahoma Tuesday. First pitch of the midweek matchup is scheduled for 7 p.m. at Mitchell Park in Norman, Okla. Fans can follow the action on the Razorback Sports Network from ISP with Chuck Barrett handling the play-by-play duties.
"I think we need to play," head coach Dave Van Horn said. "Most of the (SEC) teams are playing this week if they could find a game. OU came over here last year. We needed to return and this was really the only time it would fit in for us. I’m glad we’re playing. We lost three games (last weekend) so this gives us a chance to get back out and win."
Arkansas (38-14) leads the all time series with Oklahoma, 14-9. The Razorbacks defeated the Sooners three times last season, an 8-7 victory during the regular season in Fayetteville and a pair of victories, 17-6 and 11-0, during the NCAA Norman Regional. The Hogs are 7-7 all-time in games played in Norman. Arkansas’ last regular-season appearance on the Sooners’ home field came during the 2002 season.
The Razorbacks are set to hand the ball to Randall Fant to start against Oklahoma. In nine appearances this season, the left-handed freshman carries a 3-1 record and 4.05 ERA with 24 strikeouts and nine walks in 33.1 innings. Opponents are hitting .223 against Fant. Arkansas is 7-2 in his starts. The Sooners will counter with RHP Michael Rocha (6-1, 3.70 ERA).
As a team, the Hogs are hitting .314 through 52 games. Zack Cox leads the club with an SEC-best .431 batting average and 91 hits. He is tied for seventh on Arkansas’ single-season hits list and became the first Razorback to eclipse the 90-hit mark since 1997. Brett Eibner has a team-high 18 home runs and 61 RBI, both career-high marks. Andy Wilkins has driven in a career-best 60 runs this season and moved into 10th place on the program’s career RBI list.
In the weekly release of national rankings, Arkansas is ranked as high as No. 14 by the NCBWA and USA Today/ESPN polls. The Razorbacks are the 17th-ranked team according to Baseball America, while Collegiate Baseball has the club at No. 18. Oklahoma is ranked between 14 and 16 in the various polls.
The Razorbacks have won 14 consecutive non-conference games heading into their contest with Oklahoma. An audio stream and live stats link of Tuesday’s ballgame will be available at the official online home of Razorback athletics, ArkansasRazorbacks.com.
Download: weekly notebook – may 17.pdf