The Hogs finished the regular season with four straight victories -- three of them at Tennessee -- to climb to 16-14 in league play and 39-17 overall. The Hogs will meet State's Bulldogs in the second game of the league tournanent on Tuesday. The opener is at 9:30 a.m. and the UA-MSU game starts 30 minutes after the conclusion of the first game.
Stanek is recovering from a bruise to his pitching shoulder sustained on Friday night when a line drive struck him in the first inning. He had to leave the game, but there was little to no swelling. He was set to loosen the shoulder on Sunday when the Hogs held a short workout at Baum Stadium. They will head to Hoover on Monday morning.
Van Horn said Stanek's injury doesn't seem severe.
"I told him there isn't enough muscle where he was hit to really have a big bruise," Van Horn said. "Because of where the ball hit him, he couldn't pitch any more then. But he's fine. It was probably more of a scare than anything."
State will also rest its ace to open the tournament. Chris Stratton, who beat the Hogs on March 23, will also wait until his team's second game of the tournament.
"With Stanek, he just hasn't pitched much in the last three weeks," Van Horn said, noting the sophomore missed a start the previous week with a stiff back. "Obviously, he needs to pitch and I think he can."
Van Horn said he was pleased with all aspects of play last week as the Hogs won an extra inning game Tuesday at Little Rock then came alive with the bats against Tenneessee. It started with four early home runs against the Vols on Thursday.
"We hit it all over the park in Little Rock and left 15 on base," Van Horn said. "We continued to hit at Tennessee."
Van Horn said the four-game streak has the Hogs in a decent RPI position at No. 15. Whether or not they are still in contention to host an NCAA regional is still in question.
"After Auburn we quit talking about that, obviously," Van Horn said, in reference to lowing two of three the previous weekend. "But you never know. We just have to go play. Some teams are struggling as happens in a long season. We just have to take care of business.
"We'd like to win the tournament and we have some pitching. But by the same token, it's not the most important thing in the world (to win the tournament). We don't want to burn up guys for the next weekend. (The NCAA) tournament) is more important."
Van Horn said there are a lot of teams capable of winning the 10-team SEC tournament. The field was expanded from eight teams this year, with an eye on the 2013 season when the league will have 14 members.
"You think about the eight and nine seeds, Auburn and Ole Miss," he said. "Auburn is good and Ole Miss is really good. We were sitting on the bubble just a few days ago and I think we are pretty good."
The Razorbacks have improved at the plate of late, raising its team batting average to .283 overall and .273 in league play. That's fifth best in the SEC in both categories. Matt Reynolds has led the Hogs at the plate. He's hitting .347 overall and .340 in SEC games.
"He's been consistent," Van Horn said. "You look at yesterday, he was one for four, but he hit two line drives that were caught. He's hitting it all over the field. He's played well all year. He had one stretch that he dipped to .309, but that is as low as he's gotten."
Van Horn said freshman John Clay Reeves will be behind the plate in the tournament after raising his batting average to .313.
"Both of them are good catchers and it's a battle," Van Horn said. "We wanted it to be a competition and that's how it's turned out. Right now Reeves is hitting and we'll go with him."