The Arkansas baseball team earned the No. 13 spot in the Perfect Game Preseason Poll released earlier today. Although that’s not as high as in years past, the Hogs are still an extremely dangerous squad. They join seven other SEC teams in the top 25. Arkansas will play five of them during the season.
The Arkansas baseball program, coming off its first national runner-up finish since 1979, again begins its season as one of the best in the nation. Of the five SEC teams that are ranked and will face the Razorbacks this year, three will be coming to Fayetteville including: No. 10 Ole Miss (March 29-31), No. 17 Mississippi State (April 18-20) and No. 1 LSU (May 9-11).
Arkansas will also go on the road to face No. 3 Vanderbilt (April 12-14) and No. 15 Auburn (April 4-6).
Entering his 17th season at the helm, Arkansas baseball manager Dave Van Horn returns 14 letterwinners from 2018. He’s grinding to take things to a new level of success after the Hogs came so close going deep into the College World Series last summer. That was the ninth time in school history.
On offense, the Hogs pack plenty of dynamite. They return a star-studded lineup including two of the top freshman hitters in the nation from a year ago. Heston Kjerstad, the 2018 SEC Freshman of the Year, returns for his sophomore season. He hit .332 while setting the Arkansas baseball freshman record with 87 hits, 14 home runs and 58 RBIs.
Then there’s infielder Casey Martin, the pride of Lonoke, Arkansas. Martin has already notched two preseason All-American honors and strives to improve on his team-leading .345 batting average. That led all SEC freshmen. Martin was especially baller in the College World Series, where he hit .357. Ten of his 19 NCAA Tournament hits came in Omaha.
Arkansas is scheduled to open the 2019 season against Eastern Illinois on Friday, Feb. 15 with first pitch at 3 p.m. at Baum Stadium. Season tickets, mini-plan, and group tickets are now on sale through the Razorback Ticket Office.
2019 Perfect Game College Baseball Preseason Poll (D1)
|Rank||Team (2018 Final Record)||2018 Finish|
|1||LSU (39-27)||Corvallis Regional|
|2||Oregon State (55-12-1)||College World Series Champions|
|3||Vanderbilt (35-27)||Nashville Super Regional|
|4||UCLA (38-21)||Minneapolis Regional|
|5||Texas Tech (45-20)||College World Series|
|6||North Carolina (44-20)||College World Series|
|7||Stanford (46-12)||Stanford Regional|
|8||Louisville (45-19)||Lubbock Regional|
|9||Florida (49-21)||College World Series|
|10||Ole Miss (48-17)||Oxford Regional|
|11||East Carolina (44-18)||Greenville Regional|
|12||Baylor (37-21)||Stanford Regional|
|13||Arkansas (48-21)||College World Series Runner-Up|
|14||Florida State (43-19)||Tallahassee Regional|
|15||Auburn (43-23)||Gainesville Super Regional|
|16||TCU (33-23)||Did not make postseason|
|17||Mississippi St. (39-29)||College World Series|
|18||Oklahoma State (31-26-1)||Deland Regional|
|19||Michigan (33-21)||Did not make postseason|
|20||UConn (37-22-1)||Conway Regional|
|21||NC State (42-18)||Raleigh Regional|
|22||Georgia (39-21)||Athens Regional|
|23||UC Irvine (32-24)||Did not make postseason|
|24||Clemson (47-16)||Clemson Regional|
|25||Coastal Carolina (43-19)||Conway Regional|
If you can’t wait for Arkansas baseball, take a walk down memory lane with this sweet hype video: