When the regional assignments were released Monday, Van Horn orginally had freshman left-hander Nick Schmidt penciled in as the starter. But after looking deeper into the regional pairings, the coaching staff decided to go with Boyce, a junior right-hander.
"We don't want to go down there and just win a game or two," Van Horn said. "We want to win the whole thing and we think (starting Boyce in the opener) gives us the best chance to do that.
"With our lack of pitching depth, we would rather have to win three games instead of four."
The reasoning behind the switch is the winner of Arkansas' game will play the winner of Friday night's game between top-seeded Texas and fourth-seeded Quinnipiac. That will likely be the Longhorns and Schmidt, who has shut down teams like South Carolina and Florida this season, would provide a better matchup against Texas.
It also means Boyce could be recycled in relief for the second game or possibly even start a third game, which would be in the finals should Arkansas stay in the winner's bracket. He has made two appearances in six of 10 Southeastern Conference series and also pitched in both games of last week's SEC Tourney.
Another thing to note is the Hogs will have the services of freshman right-hander Shaun Seibert, who injured his right elbow three weeks ago. He could start a game or be used in relief.
Boyce To Start Regional Opener
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