"We've won six of eight and with two to go, maybe we do (have a chance to host)," Van Horn said after the Swatter's Club meeting Monday at the Guesthouse Inn.
"I hadn't even really thought (about hosting) two weeks ago. My goal was to just get in.
"Our RPI ranking is not real good, but if we won seven or eight of 10 SEC series, and we are third or fourth in the league, maybe we do (host).
"In a normal year, that would be good enough. But this is not a normal year."
The Hogs are 32-16 overall, 15-8 in the SEC. They have a fine 9-2 SEC road record. They have only six regular season games to play, a home series this weekend with Tennessee then a trip to Auburn.
Arkansas is 39th in both the Boyd's World and Warren Nolan RPI services, both of which seem to have the same formula as the NCAA. Other SEC teams ranked: 2, Vanderbilt; 4, LSU; 10, Mississippi State; 11, South Carolina; 19, Florida; 20, Ole Miss; 30, Kentucky; 31 Alabama.
Arkansas won the first two games at Kentucky before blowing a 3-1 lead in the ninth inning to lose the finale, 4-3. Freshman Jordan Farris had a chance to end the game when a two-out grounder came his way early in Kentucky's ninth-inning rally. He didn't field it for the only error by the Hogs in the three games. The Hogs, plagued by errors on the season with 74, fielded at a .980 clip for the weekend.
"He feels awful," Van Horn said. "No one had to say a word to him. I'll see him in the locker room and I'll ask him how his day is going and how he is. I think he'll be fine.
"He didn't hit very well on the weekend. He hit two or three hard line drives that were caught, but he'll be fine.
"That was a ground ball that he'll field 99 out of 100 times. He'll be back in the lineup Friday. He just didn't charge it. He takes two steps in and he gets the big hop. As it was, he locked down and it got on him and it was an in between hop."
Van Horn was asked if he thought about using Colby Suggs in the close situation in the third game. Suggs handled the Wildcats for the save in the first two games on the weekend. But the series finished with two games on Saturday and Suggs said he was sore and couldn't go before the finale.
"We pitched 9:30 p.m. Friday night, then we are back at the field at 9:30 a.m. Saturday for the first game of the doubleheader," Van Horn said. "He told me then that he was good to go. So we had him out there to save the first game of the doubleheader, at 2:30 p.m.
"To be honest, I wrote him down on the list for the last game, too. He came up to me and said, 'Coach, I don't think I can go.' So I took him off.
"If he had said he could go, he would have saved that game. He probably could. But his arm was sore and he was tired. If he had thrown and hurt himself, or done something, it could have taken him down for two weeks. I am glad he told me how he felt. That's what you want to know. I do know if he could have, he would have told me he could go. And if things changed and he felt better during the game, he would have told me that.
"Really, what we should have done is score more runs. We had chances. We needed someone to step up. We had runners on in those early innings and didn't get them in.
"I think what you have to remember is that Kentucky is a good team and they've played well there at home. They do well in that park. They are tough to beat there."
Van Horn has been pleased with how the Hogs have reacted after losing the Sunday finale to LSU, then losing both ends of a doubleheader the following Tuesday at Nebraska. At a team meeting on Wednesday following the return trip from Lincoln, Van Horn said coaches announced that they had declared a new season and that they would reset the record at 0-0.
"We've gone 8-2 since then," Van Horn said. "We wanted to make sure that the players knew we were not down on them. That there was a lot of baseball to be played. Sure, we were disappointed at the way we played, but that we still believed in them.
"We put up a new schedule. I think it was big for the players. They knew we weren't upset with them. The fact is, the big part of the schedule was still left.
"There was the potential to get in a regional and win a regional. They didn't need anyone to beat them down. We talked about what had happened here with former players. We told them what we could still accomplish."
As far as hosting or going on the road, Van Horn said the belief is that no one is going to want to see Arkansas show up in their regional.
"If they see our name pop up in their regional, there are going to be some moans," he said. "If we are hosting and someone has to come here, there are going to be some moans."
Van Horn said defense has improved since Brett McAfee settled back into the lineup at shortstop and Dominic Ficociello moved to first base. The errors have been mostly at third base where Jacob Mahan and Brian Anderson have split time. It looks like Anderson will stay in left field.
"His arm has been a problem," Van Horn said. "Three fourths of his errors have been throwing. It's not coming out of his hand right. Really, when he throws, it's hold your breath. If you are sitting in the stands behind first base, you better duck.
"Mahan has an arm issue, too. He doesn't have strength. But he's done better there than Anderson and we'll leave Anderson in left."
Game time Friday night for the opener of the Tennessee series is 6:35 p.m. The night will conclude with fireworks. It's also batting helmet night with 1,000 given away. Game time Saturday is 6:05 p.m. on water bottle night. The finale, senior day, is set for 1:05 p.m. The first 1,000 mother's into the park will get key ring purses.