Arkansas Turns Focus To Homestand

FAYETTEVILLE — As a preventative measure, Arkansas coach Dave Van Horn gave his baseball team a checkup from the neck up before it left Knoxville, Tenn., on Sunday.

Van Horn wanted to make sure his team didn't get the big head or become too cocky before it returned home to start a nine-game homestand, beginning at 7:05 p.m. today against Northern Colorado in Baum Stadium.

The second game of the series has been rescheduled for 5:05 p.m. Wednesday because of Northern Colorado's travel plans.

After sweeping Tennessee in a critical Southeastern Conference series Sunday, Van Horn wanted to make sure his balllclub got its mind back right.

"I think we made a point of that yesterday (Sunday) after the game," Van Horn said Monday. "We just won three games in a row on the road and we stood out there in left field for 20 minutes and talked about the series.

"Tennessee had a little pow-pow and they got off the field before we did.

"We feel like a lot of times after you win that's a good time to teach. We went over the things we did wrong, how we need to improve, about the week, the game with Northern Colorado and a big weekend series with Mississippi State."

The No. 6 Razorbacks (22-8) captured their first SEC road sweep since beating LSU three straight in Baton Rouge, La., in 2004.

"We feel like we have a chance to be a lot better," Van Horn said. "You do have to stay level headed in this league .They had just won a series at home, they're feeling really good about it. They've got another series coming in and they lost all three.

"So this league can turn on you real quick."

Winning midweek games, too, serve as a purpose.

"We need to get better on Tuesday and Wednesday," Van Horn said. "We're going to try and do that by throwing some young pitchers and try and get our bullpen going a little bit, and get ready for (Mississippi State)."

Northern Colorado, an NCAA Division I independent team, is 7-15 overall but has played teams tough. In fact, the Bears split with the Razorbacks last year.

They are coached by Kevin Smallcomb, a former graduate assistant coach at Arkansas (1989-90) under former coach Norm DeBriyn.

"Last week they go to Lincoln to play Nebraska and they played them close, I think 4-1, 5-3," Van Horn said. "They didn't give up a lot of runs. We're going to have to pitch well to beat them and on the other hand we're going to have to score some runs in the mid-week and again, we'll be facing their best guys.

"I know they beat us last year and their coach said beating us last year made their season."


Northern Colorado (7-15) at No. 6 Arkansas (22-8)

WHEN: 7 p.m., today

WHERE: Baum Stadium, Fayetteville

TICKETS: $10 for adults, $7 18 and underv ON THE AIR: KFAY 1030-AM; KYNG 1590-AM; KHGG 1580-AM; KHGG 103.1-FM; KURM 790-AM; KURM 100.3-FM; KXIO 106.9-FM; KHGG 103.1-FM; KTTG 96.3-FM

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