Postseason baseball is finally back at Baum-Walker Stadium and it’s probably going to be the place to be in Fayetteville this weekend.
No. 1 Arkansas, hosting a regional for the fourth consecutive postseason and for the ninth time overall, embarks on its journey to the College World Series against the New Jersey Institute of Technology at 2 p.m.
And expectations among most of the Razorback fans is this regional is almost taking it for granted.
Not Dave Van Horn.
“If we play well we have a chance to win,” he said earlier this week. “If the games don’t go our way, they don’t go our way, but our guys will get after it and give you everything they’ve got.”
He hasn’t seen anything different with the players leading up to the regional.
“I don’t feel like they feel any pressure,” Van Horn said. “I don’t talk to them about it. I don’t want to ask them. They don’t need it. I see guys bouncing around and acting exactly like they acted three months ago and two months ago.”
The pregame show with Tye Richardson at Walk-On’s in Fort Smith starts at 1 p.m. leading up to the Razorback pregame with Phil Elson and Bubba Carpenter at 1:30.
You can hear all the action online HERE or on ESPN Arkansas 95.3 in the River Valley, 96.3 in Hot Springs and 104.3 in Harrison-Mountain Home.
The ESPN Arkansas-HitThatLine postgame will start approximately 30 minutes after the game with Derek Ruscin and Zach Arns on the Ruscin & Zach Show and will be available on ESPN Arkansas 99.5 in addition to the other stations.
The Razorbacks, the SEC regular-season and tournament champion, earned the top overall seed in the NCAA Tournament for the first time in program history. Arkansas is a top-eight national seed for the fifth time, also receiving a top-eight seed in 2004, 2007, 2018 and 2019.
With a win to start the NCAA Fayetteville Regional, Arkansas would advance to play the winner of Friday night’s game between Nebraska and Northeastern at 8 p.m. Saturday, June 5.
NCAA Fayetteville Regional Schedule
Saturday, June 5
Game 3 – Game 1 Loser vs. Game 2 Loser – 2:00 pm
Game 4 – Game 1 Winner vs. Game 2 Winner – 8:00 pm
Sunday, June 6
Game 5 – Game 3 Winner vs. Game 4 Loser – 2:00 pm
Game 6 – Game 4 Winner vs. Game 5 Winner – 8:00 pm
Monday, June 7 (If Necessary)
Game 7 – If the Game 5 Winner Wins Game 6 – 6:00 pm (time subject to change)
Matchups & History
NJIT RHP Tyler Stafflinger (6-5, 3.77 ERA) vs. Arkansas RHP Caleb Bolden (2-0, 4.43 ERA)
Arkansas has never faced NJIT, who is making its NCAA Tournament debut. The Highlanders earned the America East Conference’s automatic bid after the league’s championship game was rained out. NJIT was the only undefeated team remaining in the tournament.
Friday’s contest between Arkansas and NJIT will stream nationally on ESPN3 with Steve Lenox (play-by-play) and Lance Cormier (analyst) on the call. Fans can watch via WatchESPN or through the ESPN app.
Statewide Radio Affiliates
Conway – KASR-FM 92.7
El Dorado – KELD-AM 107.1 (FM Translator)
Fayetteville – KQSM-FM 92.1
Forrest City – KXJK-AM 950
Forrest City – KXJK-FM 106.5
Fort Smith – KERX-FM 95.3
Little Rock – KABZ-FM 103.7
Marshall – KBCN-FM 104.3
Mena – KTTG-FM 96.3
Rogers – KURM-AM 790
Rogers – KURM-FM 100.3
Stuttgart – KWAK-FM 105.5
Texarkana, TX – KKTK-AM 1400
Death, Taxes, Hogs are No. 1
Arkansas remained the unanimous No. 1 team in college baseball for Week 16 of the season, leading all six major polls released ahead of the NCAA Tournament.
Baseball America, Collegiate Baseball Newspaper, D1Baseball, NCBWA, Perfect Game and USA Today each kept the Razorbacks atop their respective rankings for the seventh straight week.
It is the 10th time this season that Arkansas is the undisputed No. 1 team in the nation as well as the 14th consecutive week that the Hogs maintain the top spot in at least one of the six polls.
The Razorbacks have ranked No. 1 in Baseball America’s top-25 poll for 14 weeks in a row, the publication’s longest such streak since 1998 Stanford topped the rankings for the first 15 weeks of the season.