Arkansas baseball coach Dave Van Horn went through recruiting, his starting lineup and hopes for an indoor practice facility Monday before a packed house at the first Swatter's Club meeting of 2010.
There were no surprises in his thoughts about the lineup. He said the first game Feb. 19 against Ball State might feature some of the older guys in the outfield, but he noted true freshman Matt Vinson is pushing for a starting slot. He also said the toughest call right now is at shortstop where sophomore Tim Carver and true freshman Matt Reynolds are locked in a dogfight.
Reynolds might be the better defender. His arm gives him an advantage there, but Carver has continued to sparkle at the plate.
Van Horn said the recruiting class might be among his best ever. He noted there are 14 in the current class and he hopes as many as 12 make it to college. As many as three are two-way players, something that is helpful with the current 35-man roster limitations.
"We are really excited with these 14," he said. "If we can get 12, that would be really excited. If we get all 14, I don't know what I'll do."
Van Horn said the Hogs worked out Saturday and Sunday in Walker Pavilion, but that may not be practical during the week when football has that facility until 6 p.m. each day.
"We need an indoor facility," he said. "We'd work and work and work if we had it. We'd really use it. A lot of teams in our league have it. We are one of the northern most teams so we would really benefit from it. We'd like to turn our batting cages into the weight room and get a new facility with an infield somewhere down here -- maybe in the next two years."
Van Horn mentioned there are several games already scheduled in the future that would qualify as headliners. The Hogs are scheduled to play at San Diego State in 2011 against the host school, San Diego and Oregon. In 2012, the Hogs will play in a tournament in Houston (Minute Maid Classic) with Texas, Rice and another Big 12 school. The Hogs also are going to play a home-and-home series with Southern Cal in 2012 and 2013.
"We told Southern Cal it would be 75 and sunny here," Van Horn said. "We will play the return trip out there on the weekend.
"When you look at this schedule, what I will tell you is that we have good talent in our freshman class and have recruited well. We plan on being good in the future."
Van Horn said there are no plans to move the fields in at Baum Stadium, something he mentioned in a previous Swatter's Club meeting -- unless stands are added behind right field.
"Our lefthanded hitters would love that," Van Horn said. "They talk about it every day -- that the wind blows in here.
"But we won't do that unless we put seats behind right field. There's just no room there unless we do move in the fences. If we did, we'd raise the fence from 10 feet to maybe 25 feet."
As for the makeup of this team, Van Horn said, "We've got great leadership. We've got some experience. You could see that in the fall."
The Hogs have been ranked in several top 25 preseason polls. All of that is good news.
"I like being in the top 25, but it doesn't matter where right now," Van Horn said. "It's more important later. We have great talent in this league right now so it'll be tough. We know that. But I'll use something that Coach (Norm) DeBriyn used to say: We are laying in the weeds ready to strike."
Van Horn Excited About Future
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