Talk of Razorbacks Getting “Slaughtered” Emerges Before College World Series Rematch

Arkansas vs Oregon State baseball just got spicier.

Dave Van Horn, Travis Bazzana, Arkansas baseball, Oregon State baseball, Arkansas vs Oregon State
photo credit: Craven Whitlow / Oregon State Athletics

When the Arkansas football team began to struggle in the fall, some fans made a quick pivot to basketball. There was plenty of reason to be optimistic about Eric Musselman’s squad, which had made two runs to the Elite 8 and one to the Sweet 16 in the past three years, so there were plenty of social media posts ringing the note of: ‘Well … on to basketball season.’

But, that hasn’t quite worked out, either. Arkansas sits at 13-13 and 4-9 in the SEC. You know things are bad when Hogs fans are happy about a road win over a mediocre Texas A&M team. Following the win over the Aggies Tuesday night, Musselman posted a picture of a jubilant team plane. How times have changed since last year. 

A non-conference loss to UNC-Greensboro and two blowout losses at home in the SEC so far have led to a bit of deja vu on social media. Only this time it’s “Well … on to baseball season.’

There, success is more of a sure thing. In his 22nd season, Arkansas baseball coach Dave Van Horn has established the program as a national power with seven College World Series appearances, 19 NCAA Tournament berths, three SEC overall titles, seven SEC Western Division championships, one SEC Tournament title and 839 wins, including 333 SEC victories. The only thing his teams haven’t done is win it all.

As far as how to watch the game, you’ll need to go with FloSports, which charges a monthly subscription to watch this game. Luckily, there’s a way to get a discounted price. By visiting this link, you can get a monthly subscription for just $14.99 instead of the usual $29.99. Just scroll down to the CAA Baseball box, click “join now” and either create a new account or log in to your existing account if you’ve had FloSports in the past. This applies to whether you’re in the U.S. or abroad.

Fortunately, baseball fans abroad can also watch MLB baseball. By allowing you to change your IP address, an MLB VPN can help you bypass regional blackouts, ensuring you never miss a game.

Arkansas Baseball Brings Hope

Putting your chips on DVH and the baseball team is pretty much a sure bet if you’re a Hogs fan. While success is commonplace, this team could be even better than most. It is stacked with pitching talent and a loaded lineup. Many project the Hogs, who are currently No. 2 in the D1Baseball rankings, to make the CWS final – with some even picking them to finally get over the hump.

The timing couldn’t be better for that breakthrough. Arkansas fans need that kind of run. Back in he fall, scrolling Twitter on Sunday after another Arkansas football loss would have made even the most optimistic person want to jump off the I-430 bridge over the Arkansas River. Only the news of fallen son Bobby Petrino returning as offensive coordinator could change some fans’ dispositions. But that optimism quickly faded as Musselman’s team fell flat and rumors and speculation regarding key players on his team and his own future on The Hill began to swirl.

But now hope springs eternal with the baseball team. Arkansas didn’t do much to quell expectations by taking three of four from James Madison last weekend. 

This weekend could really amp fans up. The Hogs return to Arlington, Texas, to play in the College Baseball Series at the Texas Rangers’ home park, Globe Life Field. Arkansas plays No. 7 Oregon State on Friday night, Oklahoma State on Saturday night and finishes the weekend with Michigan. 

A Rematch with Oregon State

The Arkansas vs Oregon State game is particularly emotional for Hogs baseball fans. They remember all too well the 2018 College World Series, when the Hogs needed one out to seal the title and a misplayed foul ball gave the Beavers life, and they won Game 2 and eventually Game 3. 

Speaking of jumping off bridges, this game gets brought up way too often on social media and is depressing to see. Losing that game and that series like that only fueled the negative ‘woe is me’ fans and the ‘Dave Van Horn can’t win the big one’ narrative.

As a baseball purist, I’ve realized that many of the fans who root for the baseball team are not baseball fans. They follow the baseball program purely because it’s successful and has a Razorback connection.  They don’t understand the game, and they didn’t realize that the flyball that three Hogs hovered around in Charles Schwab Field’s Cavernous foul ground was not routine. It was also not second baseman Carson Shaddy’s fault.

It was one play, they didn’t make it and it cost them the series. It had nothing to do with karma, Van Horn or anything supernatural. The Oregon State baseball program is a great one, and they took advantage of new life.

Knocking off the Beavers on Friday won’t be easy, as they are on an absolute tear with a 5-0 record including a 10-4 beatdown of Texas Tech, Mason Molina’s old team, on Wednesday afternoon. 

You’d better believe the Oregon State baseball fans are ready to let Arkansas fans hear about it, too. Over at the message board, member tclute has a piece of folksy wisdom to share: “Pigs get fat, hogs get slaughtered!!”

Something or someone called “Calibeav03” then jumps into the fray with “let’s go pig hunting….. again.”

Big Picture for Arkansas Baseball

That CWS title series rematch does add some juice, but winning the game won’t erase history and losing it won’t end the season. Playing it, though, does give both teams a leg up on the season. If your program is a true title contender, you want to play tough games now because that prepares you for the season. And Arkansas, unlike Oregon State, plays a tough conference schedule, so big, early season games are even more welcome as a barometer of what is to come when the SEC season opens.

What Arkansas fans need to remember is no matter what happens this weekend in Texas, don’t get too high or too low. There’s a lot of season left after this weekend. It is a great event for fans and exciting to see Arkansas in a MLB park. The weather will be good in the Dallas Metroplex this weekend, but playing inside is another plus for fans. 

Ultimately, though, what happens in June is going to be important. The Arkansas fan base is struggling. A successful SEC season followed by a deep College World Series run is what fans need to keep the faith. If Arkansas wins the CWS, that will make them even more optimistic about Arkansas football. That’s how long things are.

If Arkansas baseball falls under the lofty expectations, there won’t be any social media posts about football. It’s Hogs baseball or bust. The good news is Van Horn and Co. are built for the pressure and can deliver.

How to Watch Arkansas vs Oregon State

Date: Friday, Feb. 23

First pitch: 7 p.m. CT

Location: Globe Life Field (Arlington, Texas)

TV/Stream: FloSports ($)

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