Hogs Up To No. 6 In Standings

TUSCALOOSA, Ala. -- With three regular season games remaining, Arkansas used a 3-2 win against Alabama on Sunday to move one step closer to a trip to Hoover, Ala., site of the Southeastern Conference Tournament from May 25-29.

In fact, the Razorbacks (37-15 overall, 13-14 in SEC play) would be the No. 6 seed in the tourney if the season ended today. They own tiebreakers on Vanderbilt and South Carolina despite both teams' identical 13-14 marks in league play.

Arkansas coach Dave Van Horn said after Saturday's 5-2 loss to the Tide that he wasn't worried about making the SEC Tourney and he clarified that statement after Sunday's win.

"I want to go to Hoover as bad as anybody, but I really want to go to a (NCAA) regional," Van Horn said. "We've got a lot of young players and I really want to get them into (a regional). Naturally, I'd like to play in the tournament, but I also want to play the next weekend and get these guys some (regional) experience.

"And who knows, we get a couple of guys back (from injuries) and get hot, anything can happen."

Arkansas entered Sunday tied for eighth (only eight teams play in the tourney) with Auburn in the overall standings. Since Auburn owns the tiebreaker against the Hogs by winning the head-to-head series, Arkansas essentially was the No. 9 team heading into the game.

But Sunday cleared up the playoff picture somewhat, especially since Auburn lost at Georgia to drop to 12-15 in conference play. Vanderbilt owned a half-game lead on the Hogs heading into Sunday, but split a doubleheader at Kentucky while South Carolina lost at Ole Miss.

Even if the Razorbacks don't get in, there still is a strong chance they'll earn an NCAA regional bid since they beat Alabama and Florida, two of the top teams in the SEC which is widely recognized as college baseball's top conference. Plus, the Hogs' RPI ranking is among the top 10 in the nation.

"I definitely feel better after winning couple of games here," Van Horn said. "We just felt like this was a huge game for us in the standings and in the RPI and for a regional committee."

Arkansas wraps up the regular season with a three-game series against Ole Miss in Baum Stadium.

Baseball Roots

Alabama shortstop Cale Iorg is the son of former Major Leaguer Garth Iorg and the brother of Tennessee right fielder Eli Iorg. Another brother, Isaac Iorg, played at Brigham Young and is currently in the Atlanta Braves organization.

The freshman from Knoxville, Tenn., was drafted in the 16th round by the Tampa Bay Devil Rays last June, but opted to go to college instead. Cale Iorg also has an uncle, Dane Iorg, who also played Major League Baseball.

Eli Iorg is the Vols' player who was ejected after bouncing a ball intentionally into Arkansas assistant Matt Deggs, who was in the first base coaching box, during the Hogs' 4-1 at Tennessee on April 15.

Diggin' Dugger

Hogs sophomore Jake Dugger, who missed last weekend's series against Florida with a knee injury, started the final two games of the series at Alabama after coming off the bench to pinch hit and play left field in Friday's game.

Dugger, who entered Sunday batting .162 in SEC play, took over the team RBI lead with 44 with his two-run double in the third inning. It broke a tie with fellow sophomore Danny Hamblin, who has 42.

It also ties Dugger's career-high of 44 RBIs that he had as a freshman.

Tenacious ‘D'

Arkansas played solid defense all weekend with only three errors (only one cost them a run) in the three-game series.

The first came in the ninth inning of Friday's 5-4 Arkansas win when shortstop Scott Hode had a hard grounder skip off the heel of his glove and into short left field.

The next two were both throwing errors on routine grounders to second baseman Ben Tschepikow. The freshman who played shortstop at Fayetteville failed to get his feet set properly and threw wide both times for two-base errors.

Pig Tales

Despite hitting in the eight- and nine-hole, Tschepikow played the part of a leadoff man with a team-high four walks in the series. His 11 base-on-balls in 55 plate appearances means he walks 20 percent of the time, which also leads the team ... Arkansas stranded 10 base runners, including one left on third base in the final three innings, in Sunday's win ... Hogs catcher Brian Walker, who has dislocated his thumb about every other game, had three hits for the second time in his career Sunday ... Hogs sophomore slugger Danny Hamblin struck out a career-high four times and walked once in his five plate appearances Sunday.

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