Hogs Want Quick Start

Arkansas starts a five-day homestand on Tuesday when Dave Van Horn faces his old team.

Arkansas coach Dave Van Horn said last year that as the years pass it's not such a big deal for his games against Nebraska, where he coached for two runs to the College World Series.

It was hard to tell that last year when the Cornhuskers swept the Razorbacks in a doubleheader sweep in Lincoln, including a no-hitter.

The Razorbacks and Cornhuskers square off in a two-game midweek series that starts a stretch of five games in five days in Baum Stadium.

After the Cornhuskers come to town, South Carolina visits for a Thursday-Saturday series that draws ESPNU cameras.

It's clear what Arkansas needs, a quick score. The Razorback pitchers have made almost all leads hold up.

The Razorbacks have scored first in 16 of their 17 wins and have won all 15 games when leading after six innings. The Hogs have compiled five shutouts on the season, four in the last nine days.

Arkansas (17-10) will start Colin Poche in the Tuesday game with a 6:30 p.m. start, with Alex Phillips pitching on Wednesday for the 1:35 p.m. game.

Righthander Jake Hohensee (0-2) will start the opener for Nebraska. Lefty Kyle Kubat (1-1) starts the second game.

The Huskers (15-12, 1-2 Big Ten) hold a four-game lead (11-7) in 18 all-time games against the Razorbacks.

The series started in 1975 when the Huskers played a four-game series at Arkansas, dropping the series 1-3.

The first nine games of the series took place in Fayetteville, before the teams played a neutral site game in Arlington, Texas, during the 2000 season. Overall, 13 of the 18 games in the series have taken place in Fayetteville.

Last season the Huskers swept a doubleheader from the then No. 10 Razorbacks on April 16. In game one of the doubleheader Nebraska's Kyle Kubat, Tyler Niederklein and Dylan Vogt combined for a no-hitter.

Nebraska is 3-5 on the road this year.

One of the top players for the Huskers is freshman Ryan Boldt. The Red Wing, Minn., native is hitting .348 on the season and .368 over his last 10 games.

Competing on the road hasn't fazed the first-year man, as he leads the team with a .455 (10-for-22) average in road games. His 10 hits on the road are tied for second on the team behind Jake Placzek's 11 hits.

Overall on the year, Boldt has 32 hits and 15 RBIs. He has 13 walks to 13 strikeouts, and is tied for the team lead in triples (3) and is tied for second on the team in doubles (7).

Prior to the start of the 2014 season, Boldt was named the No. 2 freshman in the country by Baseball America.

Nebraska is coached by Darin Erstad, in his third season at his alma mater with a 79-65 record. The Huskers were 29-30 last year, 15-9 for a tie for second in the Big Ten. Erstad was a first-team All-America at Nebraska, finishing his time at Nebraska in 1995.

Erstad's associate head coach is Will Bolt, part of Van Horn's first Nebraska recruiting class. He returns to Nebraska after a successful stint on the Texas A&M staff.

One of the early achievements in Erstad's time as Nebraska coach has been improved defense. Erstad won three Gold Gloves in a 12-year major league career. The Huskers fielded at a school record .981 fielding percentage last year, which ranked second nationally.

Nebraska isn't fielding at near that level this year. After making only 44 errors last year, the 2014 Huskers have made 30 and are fielding at a .972 clip this year.

The Huskers hit better than they pitch. They are hitting at a .311 average but Huskers pitchers give up a .291 average to opposing hitters. The NU team ERA is 4.29. Hohensee has a 7.59 ERA. Kubat's ERA is 4.91.

The Hogs are hitting .259 with junior Brian Anderson leading the way with a .327 batting average. Bobby Wernes, on a hot streak, is next at .322.

The Arkansas pitching has allowed opposing batters to hit just .209 while compiling a team ERA of 2.22.

Poche is 2-0 with an 0.53 ERA. Phillips is 2-0 with a 1.29 ERA.

Hawgs Daily Top Stories