Razorbacks Recharged

FAYETTEVILLE — What a difference a week makes. The last time Arkansas was getting ready to play Oral Roberts, the Razorbacks were licking their wounds. But when the two teams square off again at 7 p.m. today in J.L. Johnson Stadium, a re-energized group of Diamond Hogs will take to the field.

Unlike a week ago when Arkansas entered its game with the Golden Eagles fresh off a demoralizing loss against Auburn, this time around the Razorbacks will have an upbeat feel. That's because for the first time this season, Arkansas (19-15) was able to win a Southeastern Conference series when it took two of three games at Florida over the weekend.

And now, with momentum back in their corner the Diamond Hogs look for a little midweek revenge.

"Every game is big now. (Oral Roberts) put it on us pretty good at our place and now we've got the chance to go to their place and pay them back," Arkansas catcher/designated hitter Jeff Nutt said. "They're a good team this year. They've got a good record.

"Every game from here on out is big. Every win we can get is going to be good. I know our RPI is good. We've played some really tough teams this year. As long as we have a winning record and make the sec tournament, we've got a very good shot of making a regional and that's all we're worried about right now. Make the sec tournament and make it to a regional. So, yeah, every win is big."

Last Tuesday, the Golden Eagles (24-8) made quick work of Arkansas in a 9-4 win at Baum Stadium. With the Razorbacks relying on the bottom of the bullpen, Oral Roberts feasted on the Arkansas pitching and picked up a quality nonconference win.

"They try to get ready for tournament play because they know they're going to be in the (NCAA) tournament," Arkansas coach Dave Van Horn said. "There's probably a 90 percent chance every year that they're going to get in the tournament by winning their league. So they probably get more excited sometimes to play in the middle of the week this time of year than the weekend."

Unlike the Golden Eagles, Arkansas is still putting more focus on the weekend games and getting back in the SEC race. But that doesn't mean the Razorbacks wouldn't like to keep up the winning ways in the middle of the week.

Against a team like Oral Roberts, though, a victory won't come easy.

"Every time we play them, no matter who the best team is, it's always a close game," second baseman Ben Tschepikow said. "It's always a battle. It's just going to come down to who wants to outhustle the other team.

"Hopefully we come out with the intensity like we did (Sunday) and keep playing and have a good goal at the end of the season and just keep playing hard."

Arkansas will again use a bullpen approach today, with Van Horn electing to save the regular starters for Wednesday's game against Alcorn State.

"We'll probably mix it up," Van Horn said. "Tuesday will be more of the mixed night, then more of a longer start on Wednesday to save guys for the weekend."


Arkansas Razorbacks at Oral Roberts Golden Eagles

WHEN: 7 p.m.today

WHERE: J.L. Johnson Stadium, Tulsa, Okla.

RECORDS: Arkansas 19-15; Oral Roberts 24-8

TV: none

ON THE AIR: KFAY 1030 AM; KURM 790 AM, 100.3 FM; KHGG 1580 AM, 103.1 FM; KXIO 106.9 FM

SERIES: Arkansas leads, 60-34

LAST MEETING: Oral Roberts won 9-4 on April 8 in Fayetteville

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