Schmidt Saves Staff In Win

HOOVER, Ala. -- Instead of sitting around the hotel room before Wednesday's late start, Arkansas took batting practice at a nearby high school field.

It apparently did the trick since the No. 8 Razorbacks' offense snapped a three-game slump, but still suffered a 9-8 loss against top seed Florida in the opening round of the Southeastern Conference Tournament in Hoover Metropolitan Stadium.

"We talked a lot about staying inside the baseball and going the other way," said Arkansas coach Dave Van Horn. "We were kind of pulling off the ball (last weekend) and for the most part, we had seven or so guys that were getting it done by doing everything right."

The Razorbacks could do no right while getting swept at home by Ole Miss over the weekend. They scored only five total runs and stranded 32 runners during the three-game series.

But when Razorbacks got on base Wednesday, they scored. It let Van Horn incorporate hit-and-runs, sacrifice bunts and stolen bases to manufacture runs after his team built a lead midway through the game.

"It was kind of fun there with the lead to try to create some things," Van Horn said. "If you look at our hittting charts, our right-handers were going to right (field) and our left-handers were slapping it to left.

"We did a good job all around and I think we stayed focused and did what we need to do.

"It didn't lead to a win, but hopefully, we can keep building off of this during the postseason."

Aggie Talk?
Despite widespread speculation at this week's Big 12 Tournament in Oklahoma City, Van Horn has not been contacted about the head coaching vacancy at Texas A&M.

Van Horn, who coached five seasons in the Big 12 at Nebraska before coming to Arkansas in 2003, doesn't even sound as if he'd be too interested should the Aggies contact him.

"Somebody is going to get them a great job (at Texas A&M)," Van Horn said. "But it won't be me, I've already got a great job."

Nebraska coach Mike Anderson said before his team's game against Texas Tech on Wednesday that he didn't think Van Horn would leave his current position. Anderson was an assistant under Van Horn at Nebraska and took over the coaching duties when Van Horn left.

"Not likely," Anderson said. "He left Nebraska to go home."

Regional Predictions
A pair of Web sites have different predictions as to where Arkansas will be playing in an NCAA Regional, which will begin next Friday.

BaseballAmerica.com has Arkansas as the No. 2 seed in the Lincoln (Neb.) Regional while SEBaseball.com says the Hogs will be the No. 2 seed in the Austin (Texas) Regional.

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. on Monday on ESPN2.

Hode Honored
Hogs shortstop Scott Hode is one of 12 players named to the SEC Baseball Good Works Team, which highlights one player from each school who "gives back to their community in superior service efforts."

The senior from Crystal Lake, Ill., has been a part of Arkansas' Student-Athlete Advisory Committee during his career with the Razorbacks. Hode also spoke at several Fayetteville area middle schools on the dangers of drugs and alcohol and signed autographs at the Boys and Girls Club.

Late Start
Arkansas' game against Florida was delayed 35 minutes after South Carolina's 12-2 win against Tennessee didn't end until 4:42 p.m. The first pitch of the Hogs' game was orginally scheduled for 5 p.m., but grounds crews needed time to prepare the field.

Another delay (this one much shorter) came minutes before the start when Florida was presented its SEC Championship trophy.

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