"We're going to keep doing what we've been doing," Arkansas coach Dave Van Horn said. "Randall is a guy who gives us three to five innings. If he can give us three innings, that's fine. If he can give us two, that's fine."
Fant has had an up-and-down career at Arkansas and as Van Horn said, he does not generally last five innings in a game. Even so, the junior southpaw has been efficient in the postseason.
He tossed four scoreless innings in both his Houston Regional and Waco Super Regional starts and has yet to appear in the College World Series. The Arkansas bullpen has backed him up well in the postseason as well. The Razorbacks allowed just one run to Sam Houston State and shutout Baylor for 10 innings in decisive games.
"He looks like he's getting better as the postseason goes on. We have a lot of confidence in him and confidence in the bullpen behind him.
"He's done a great job the last couple of weeks, especially the last outing at Baylor. His arm is nice and fresh. We expect him to do a great job."
Van Horn said he had contemplated starting Baxendale, but he threw the first game against Kent State and the extra day of rest will allow the junior right-hander to pitch on either Friday in what would be a win-and-advance or lose-and-go home match-up or if Fant and the bullpen get the job done, Baxendale could be pitching in the first game of the championship series.
Baxendale said if he has to go Friday, he is confident he and the bullpen can get the job done.
"I know I'll be ready and I know everyone in the bullpen will be ready behind me," Baxendale said. "We'll know what is at stake.
"With the way the tournament is set up, our bullpen gets to stay fresh. Our goal is to go out and give as many quality innings as we can and not increase the pitch count in a jam. Our bullpen has been great for us. We love to lean on them when we have to."
Arkansas plays at 8 Thursday night and a win would advance to the Razorbacks to a best-of-three championship series at TD Ameritrade Park against either Arizona or Florida State.