"As of today, we'll play Friday," said Van Horn, the UA head coach. "That would be if it's sunny and somewhere around 38. But if it's the low 30s, we probably won't. Sunday looks like the better day, so we might could play two then. But we might play two on Sunday."
The No. 1 Hogs (4-1) will get an experienced foe. Evansville's Purple Aces (1-2) return almost their entire pitching staff and 26 players from last year's team that led the nation in fielding percentage.
"I would say this will be the best team we've faced," Van Horn said Wednesday as snow covered Baum Stadium. "They have a really good lefty who pitched very well Friday night against UALR."
That's the one game the Aces won on the weekend, but all three games were one-run decisions.
Van Horn discussed his team more than the Aces. He said the plan is to start Ryne Stanek first, no matter when that comes on the weekend. Barrett Astin and Trey Killian will be next in the pitching rotation.
Lefty Trent Daniel, the fifth-year senior, will go to the bullpen after giving up the loss in the Sunday start. Van Horn said Daniel didn't pitch great, but he shouldn't blame himself for the loss.
"Obviously, we didn't pitch well, but the team didn't play well," Van Horn said. "We had a rookie catcher, a rookie third baseman and they made some errors.
"Daniel is a stand-up guy," Van Horn said. "He told the team it was his fault. He had a bad inning and we had a rookie catcher and a rookie third baseman make mistakes.
"It was a team loss. He didn't pitch well, but we didn't drive in any runs. We didn't play well as a team.
"Trent is still a very good pitcher. He can pitch better than that and he will, but the thing about this staff is that there are a lot of guys behind him that want the ball, too."
Catcher Jean Ramirez, redshirt freshman, struggled with a couple of plays in the Sunday loss. Van Horn said it prompted a meeting with the head coach.
"We talked," he said. "Ramirez was disappointed with the way it went. But (backup catcher) is a concern. When we lost Blake Baxendale, that took out some of the competition for the No. 2 job. Backup catcher is always a concern, though. There aren't many out there. Professional baseball takes most of them.
"The throw into left field (by Ramirez) wasn't all his fault. He's supposed to throw to the bag and the third baseman was late. The passed ball was a big deal. He's got to catch better."
Van Horn said Ramirez needs game time in case something happens to starter Jake Wise, but he didn't promise any starts.
"There are guys in college baseball that start every game," Van Horn said. "Jake may do that. But we have to get him some rest at times."
Van Horn doesn't expect injured regulars Dominic Ficociello and Randall Fant to play this weekend. Ficociello (oblique) is close to being ready, but came back too early once already. Fant (hamstring) is healed, but his arm needs more time to buildup stamina.
"Ficociello doesn't want to risk it until Arizona (next weekend)," Van Horn said. "If he hurts it again, it might take a long time. And if he's not just perfect next weekend, I might not risk it then. Fant is getting close."
Two of the early highlights have been the pitching of Cade Lynch and Colin Poche, both talented lefties. Poche was sharp in a start Tuesday. He was able to locate his fast ball inside to righthanders that left Van Horn encouraged. Lynch is battling back from surgery to correct migraine headaches.
Overall, Van Horn knows his lineup will face better pitching as the season progresses, but was pleased with an offense led by Brian Anderson (.467), Jacob Mahan (.462), Tyler Spoon (.444) and Matt Vinson (.348). Those four have three strikeouts on the season.
"The offense has been really good," he said. "We are doing a good job of putting the bat on the ball. We understand the pitching we faced yesterday. It's going to get better. But still, we had only three strikeouts and got 17 walks."