Baseball Writer Likes Hogs

John Manuel from Baseball America picked the Hogs at No. 4 in preseason. And that's exactly what they look like in Omaha, the nation's fourth best team.

John Manuel from Baseball America thinks Arkansas may have a shot to do well at the College World Series. In fact, he predicted they would be here -- before the season began.

"I had them No. 4 and they made it here because of the reasons I liked them in preseason," Manuel said Thursday. "Pitching and defense. They've made me look good these last two weeks."

Manuel said shortstop Tim Carver and second baseman Bo Bigham have played well defensively in the last two weeks. He said, "They've made some brilliant plays."

The pitching is the difference, Manuel said.

"I love the depth of this pitching and the overall talent," Manuel said. "There might not be another staff as deep as this one. You look at it, and there are maybe eight to 10 they could use here in Omaha.

"And as far as the hitting, I thought Dominic Ficociello and Matt Reynolds would have to carry this club and that's how it's turned out. Those two have been very good. Reynolds has had a great year.

"I like them here because of the pitching. I think Baylor is very good and to win there and at Rice speaks a lot for what kind of a team Arkansas has this year. They are playing well at the right time of the year and that's the most important thing in baseball."

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