Hogs Sneak Into SEC Tourney Field
The Razorbacks still snuck into this week's Southeastern Conference tournament in Hoover, Ala. They will be the No. 8 seed and play top-seeded Florida at 5 p.m. Wednesday.
"I'm excited for our young guys to get the opportunity to play in Hoover in the tournament," said Arkansas coach Dave Van Horn. "But we just told them, ‘We don't want to go to the tournament if we're not going to play better. We want guys to go in there with a little different mindset and attitude and get it done instead of feeling sorry for themselves because that's what we saw this weekend."
Since Auburn and Vanderbilt both lost Sunday, they each finished in a three-way tie with Arkansas for eighth in the overall standings. Since Auburn and Vanderbilt didn't play head-to-head, the tiebreaker was decided by how each team fared against the SEC champs and the Hogs won two of three games against the Gators two weeks ago.
Ole Miss earned a share of the Western Division title with LSU, but will be the No. 4 seed since it lost its regular season series against the Tigers, who will be seeded No. 2.
The double-elimination tournament features eight teams in two, four-team brackets with the winner of Arkansas-Florida playing the winner of Ole Miss-Alabama. The other side of the bracket has LSU playing No. 7 Mississippi State and No. 3 Tennessee facing No. 6 South Carolina on Wednesday.
The Razorbacks sound as if they'll try to use the SEC tournament as a springboard into a likely NCAA Regional bid.
"We're still very capable, all of us are," said Hogs freshman Clint Arnold, who had a season-high five hits in Sunday's loss. "If we just let our talent take over and get the confidence that we can believe we can do it, then we can have a great tournament and possibly even win it to build some steam going into regionals.
"We just have to go in with a new attitude and treat it as we have zero batting averages and zero ERAs and just treat it like a new season.
"Because really, that's what it is."
NCAA Regional sites will be released Sunday at 2 p.m. on ESPN's bottomline while bracket announcements will be between 10:30-11 a.m. next Monday (May 30) on ESPN2.
With Stephen Head's solo homer to lead off the second inning, opponents have scored first against the Razorbacks in seven straight games. The Hogs are 3-4 in those games.
The three home runs by Ole Miss in the second by Head, Zack Cozart and Barry Gunther were the most allowed by Arkansas in a single inning and spotted the Rebels a 5-0 lead.
Minutes after removing the infield tarp and dumping a ton of water in short right field, Arkansas' Jake Dugger made a diving catch on a short pop-up to right and slid headfirst in water that hadn't drained off the field yet.
The 96-minute rain delay began at the end of the third inning and Dugger's catch was the first out in the top of the fourth.
Sunday's crowd of 6,783 for the Hogs' regular season finale helped Baum Stadium set school records in tickets sold (200,738) and actual attendance (146,902) this season.
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