Diamond Hogs Upbeat

FAYETTEVILLE -- The outcome was exactly the same as the week before for Arkansas' baseball team, with the Diamond Hogs winning two of three games on the road. The only difference this time around was the mood afterwards.

In the Razorbacks' season-opening series against Louisiana Tech, taking two of three games against the Bulldogs wasn't good enough for coach Dave Van Horn and his players, mainly because of the way in which the Hogs performed throughout the entire series. But after a week to improve the batting swings, the feeling was much better after Arkansas returned from a 2-1 series win at Troy. The Diamond Hogs crushed the Trojans, 13-1 on Friday, lost, 13-8 on Saturday and then wrapped up the series with a convincing, 16-2 victory Sunday. "I think overall, if you take away a couple of innings, it was a very good weekend for us (at Troy)," Van Horn said. "You look at Saturday, we gave up 10 runs after scoring five runs in the first. And I told our guys after the win Friday that we needed to come out Saturday and pick up where we left off and we did that. But (Shaun) Seibert comes out and walks the first two hitters and they come out score seven, and that's the way the game works. "Overall, though, I thought we played real well. We hit over .330 as a team for the weekend, raised our batting average 70 or 80 points and obviously we had some guys get off to a slow start and some of those guys are a lot of our returners. But the positive is when we do get those guys going, it will be complete throughout that lineup. So it was a good weekend." After struggling with the bats at Louisiana Tech the weekend before -- scoring just 12 runs and failing to come up with many big innings -- the Diamond Hogs found their power in a big way at Troy. Junior college transfer Casey Coon led the way, belting three home runs, while Arkansas as a team knocked eight dingers out of cozy Riddle-Pace Field in the three-game series. If there was a downside to the weekend, it was the performance of Seibert. Expected to be Arkansas' No. 2 starter in the pitching rotation, the junior right-hander gave up five runs in just one inning of work Saturday, blowing the Razorbacks' early 5-0 lead. Van Horn said Seibert -- who is now 0-1 with a 12.60 earned run average in two starts -- will move to the bullpen for this weekend's home opener series against Wisconsin-Milwaukee in Baum Stadium. "We know he's going to get better, we just felt like (Shaun) would get off to a better start, being an older guy and all," Van Horn said. "It's really just he's got to throw more strikes. He's got to compete and get after it and we're going to bring him out of the bullpen for a week or two and give Dallas Keuchel a start. "That's really just the way we do things around here. We've got to go with the guy who's getting it done and if you're struggling, we've got to go with someone else." Weekend Ticket Wisconsin-Milwaukee at Arkansas WHEN: 3 p.m. Friday; 2 p.m. Saturday; 1 p.m. Sunday WHERE: Baum Stadium, Fayetteville RECORDS: Wisconsin-Milwaukee 0-0, 0-0; Arkansas 4-2, 0-0

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