Diamond Hogs Can't Overlook Next Opponent

FAYETTEVILLE -- Arkansas baseball players say they can't consider the simply fact of playing teams outside the Southeastern Conference as a gimme when it comes to winning.

Apparently, that's the message which seems to be the gospel among the Razorbacks, who play at 6 p.m. today against Missouri State on the road.

"We don't like losing to anyone," Arkansas third baseman Logan Forsythe said. "It doesn't matter who we play, we know every game is important to reaching our goal."

That goal is getting back to Rosenblatt Stadium in Omaha, Neb., for the potential of winning the College World Series. Razorbacks senior center fielder Jake Dugger, an Omaha native who played in the CWS as a freshman, agreed with that assessment.

"Yeah, it doesn't matter who we play," Dugger said. "We have to be ready to play because every game, no matter who we play, is important, especially from here on out. "That's what we need to, have to, remember."

Missouri State (19-16), which played Missouri on Tuesday night, looks for revenge tonight against No. 9 Arkansas (29-10), which won the first close encounter 2-0 last week in Baum Stadium.

In that game, four Arkansas pitchers combined for four hits and 11 strikeouts in a midweek masterpiece for the Hogs. Since then, Arkansas has swept Florida and made the turn in the SEC standings at 11-4, the best in the league.

"That's as good as we could be after the weekend before (losing a series against Mississippi State)," Arkansas coach Dave Van Horn said. "So, I'm happy with it but we have a lot of baseball left. In this league, it really can turn on a dime. "I've seen it happen. In '04, when Georgia starts our 0-5 or 6 and it ended up winning (the SEC East).

"So, anything can happen."

So, what about tonight, playing against the Bears?

"We'll just keep working hard and keep doing what we are doing," Van Horn said. "We'll take it one game at a time, that's an old cliche, but it's true."

Razorbacks first baseman Danny Hamblin, who Monday was named the SEC Hitter of the Week, said his team needs to keep its momentum.

"We are just playing good ball, man," Hamblin said. "We're just playing good team ball. Like the pitching staff had a little letdown today (Sunday) but we were able to bale them out offensively.

"It's a team playing defense, playing good team ball, trusting everyone you're got. We have talent but overall we're becoming a great team.

"That's the main thing."

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