Baum fences to be adjusted
Work began Monday to shorten the right field wall at Baum Stadium.
The result will be a fence 365 feet from home plate in the right field alley, as opposed to 375 feet. The rest of the dimensions at the facility will remain the same, with the wall remaining 320 feet from home plate down the foul lines.
Arkansas coach Dave Van Horn has hinted for the past two years he might ask for the adjustment. Unlike most Southeastern Conference stadiums, hitters often hit into the wind at Baum, with home plate facing to the southeast.
The normal southwest winds in the spring create a disadvantage for left-handed hitters, knocking down several balls that would likely be home runs otherwise. It's something Van Horn said has been used against his program in recruiting left-handed power hitters.
With modified bats compounding problems by drastically decreasing offensive numbers across college baseball a year ago, Van Horn said he felt now was the best time to make the move.
"In some games it will help us and in some games it will hurt us, but it will do the same to the other team," Van Horn said. "This will show left-handed hitters we have them in mind. It's really the best of both worlds because it will help right-handed guys who hit to that side of the field, too.
"It should help us with some of the negative recruiting we've dealt with the last several years. It's really gotten bad the last couple of years."
Arkansas, which is expected to be ranked in the top 10 when preseason polls are released later this month, will play 36 games at Baum Stadium this season, including 20 of its first 23.
The Razorbacks will begin preseason team practices on Jan. 27. Arkansas' first series against Villanova will begin Feb. 17.
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