State of the Hogs: Close Calls

The Arkansas baseball team won a lot of 1-run decisions earlier this year. A couple have gone the other way in the last two weekends, but the sky isn't falling.

I think some get the idea that this Arkansas baseball team has gone in the tank. Obviously, some have even posted that on message boards and some will throw that out on talk radio this week.

I heard that comment sitting in the stands Sunday. I heard one guy moan that the entire staff should be fired for messing up a national championship team. Yeah, right. They are the same coaches that took the Hogs to the College World Series last year.

That's the nature of fans. LSU is in a long SEC losing streak right now. Fans in Baton Rouge are probably ready to change coaches just a few months down the road from winning at Omaha.

Yes, that's a little harsh, but the nature of fans. They get the right when they buy tickets. I just see it differently and I buy tickets, too.

What I've watched is a strong team win and lose against some other very strong teams. I've seen them win a lot of 1-run games and I've seen them lose a few 1-run games of late.

This is not the greatest team that's ever played college baseball. They are very good and continue to do some very good things. They are fun to watch. Zack Cox is as good as I've seen at this level wearing Razorback red in a long time.

Yes, this team has some flaws. It doesn't have perfect pitching or perfect defense. The Hogs are OK in both of those areas, but not perfect. This is a team that can hit, but has a few guys not hitting as well right now.

Still, the last two weekends the difference between winning two of three and losing two of three is a couple of 1-run games that didn't go the right way. The Florida series came down to a couple of close calls on Sunday, both of which I'd argue were wrong.

The Auburn series came down to Monk Kreder or Thomas Hauskey not delivering clutch hits in the bottom of the ninth. I'll say that both have been pretty good the last month in clutch situations and won some games. You aren't going to go 100 percent in baseball in those situations.

I look around the SEC and see a lot of teams beating up on each other. There are 8-9 quality teams that can hang with each other for three games. The key is not to get swept and you don't go very far either direction in the standings and that's what has happened good for the Hogs the last two weekends.

Hopefully, the top of this lineup gets it going again. Collin Kuhn and Bo Bigham have done a great job of setting the table for our meat -- Cox, Brett Eibner and Andy Wilkins. Since Wilkins hurt his hamstring, he hasn't had the same pop in his bat, but it seems to be coming around ever so slowly.

It was a trip to Norman that ignited these guys last year. I'm guessing the Sooners will be waiting on them this time, but the wind is usually blowing out and it seemed to excite these guys last year. Maybe the same thing will happen when they go to Norman in a couple of weeks for a midweek game.

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