Georgia at Arkansas

Arkansas (11-3) hosts Georgia (6-6) in a three-game SEC opening series beginning Friday at 6:35 p.m. at Baum Stadium.

FAYETTEVILLE — The question was first asked almost as soon as the 2007 season ended. Then again when the new team rolled in this year, it was still there.

And now as Arkansas is about to begin Southeastern Conference play with a three-game series against Georgia beginning at 6:35 p.m. Friday night at Baum Stadium, the same question remains. Who will pitch?

More precisely, who will take the ball on the weekend in SEC play seems to be the biggest brainteaser involving Razorbacks baseball these days.

"You know it brings a lot of questions every week from the media to me," Arkansas coach Dave Van Horn said. "I still don't really know exactly who we're going to throw (against) Georgia. We (threw) three freshmen against Arizona State in Tempe and if one of those guys looks good, we might throw one of them on Sunday."

With Arkansas replacing each of its top three starting pitchers from last season, Van Horn can't blame everyone for wanting to know who's next in line. But as he has said from day one this season, finding a top three in the rotation this year isn't that easy.

"We're excited about this season," Van Horn said. "But we've still a lot of questions on the mound."

So far, the Razorbacks (11-3) have used seven different starting pitchers this year. And while that's not an unusually high number at this point, most teams have settled in on a rotation by now. Most teams, that is, except Arkansas.

With Cliff Springston, Shaun Seibert and possibly James Mahler expected to throw in the three games against Georgia (6-6), the Razorbacks could be going with a different weekend set for the fourth straight week to start the season. And while Arkansas continues to sort out its pitching questions, Van Horn knows SEC opponents won't go lightly on his Diamond Hogs.

Including this week's foe.

"We expect a lot from Georgia," Van Horn said. "We played them down there last year and easily could have lost all three games. All three games were close and now they've got six or seven starters back. They've got their guys rolling, they've got probably the top shortstop in the league (in Gordan Beckham), one of the top offensive players in the league. Their closer is back, he's getting after it this year. And they've got pop in the lineup.

"So we are very aware of how talented Georgia is and we will have our hands full."


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