After sweeping through the NCAA Houston Regional last weekend at Rice, Arkansas begins the NCAA Waco Super Regional at Baylor on Saturday, with a first pitch scheduled for 4 p.m. on ESPNU.
"We're very excited to play in a super regional," said Arkansas pitcher DJ Baxendale, who will start Game 1 of the best-of-three series. "There are only 16 teams still remaining, so it's great to be there.
"But we're not ready to settle for that."
Arkansas is 5-1 inside the Lone Star State this season, also winning two of three games at the Houston College Classic at Minute Maid Park in March. All of those games have come against Texas opponents, but it's safe to say the Razorbacks haven't faced anything close to the challenge Baylor represents.
After losing its first game of the tournament to Oral Roberts, Baylor won four consecutive games to advance out of its regional last weekend.
"They swung their way back," Arkansas coach Dave Van Horn said. "Offensively, it jumps out at me when a team is hitting .312 as a team.
"They're good. It will be a good test for us to go down there and play."
Though the offenses contrast, the pitching staffs are similar. Both teams will trot aces to the mound - Baxendale and Ryne Stanek for Arkansas, and Trent Blank and Josh Turley for the Bears.
Baylor's duo has a combined 19-2 record this season with earned run averages of 2.32 and 1.83, respectively.
Baxendale and Stanek don't have numbers that impressive this season, but both have been stellar in postseason play. In six career appearances in the NCAA Tournament, the right-handed tandem has a combined 0.74 ERA in 36 1/3 innings.
"It's pressure and a big situation," Stanek said. "We try to keep our mentality the same and do what we do normally."
The super regional appearance is Arkansas' third in the last four years - all on the road. Arkansas lost two games in its last appearance at Arizona State two years ago after sweeping through one at Florida State in 2009.
Arkansas made it to Omaha in '09 after struggling through the final month of the regular season, similar to a stretch the Hogs went through earlier this year. That's a point not lost on the coaches and players left from the team three years ago.
"It's hard getting there," Van Horn said. "When you get to this point, you have a chance. I think it's happened because that's what we're working to do.
"If we could finish this up, it would be a big turnaround for what happened the last month of the regular season."