FAYETTEVILLE — Arkansas coach Dave Van Horn believes the Razorbacks are dangerous in a three-game series because of their pitching depth.
His team’s success in Southeastern Conference play is proving it.
Arkansas has won seven of nine series in conference play with Sunday’s victory against Tennessee. The Razorbacks won the three-game series despite falling in a 0-1 hole following the 8-3 loss Friday night. But the Razorbacks outscored the Volunteers 21-3 the final two games of the series to improve to 17-9 in SEC play.
“It was a great job by our team,” Van Horn said. “They did a great job of being extremely focused, really, the last two days after a disappointing first game. I felt like it was a lack of focus combined with a great pitching performance by Tennessee’s (Zack Godley). Saturday was outstanding. (Sunday) was a carbon copy.”
Arkansas’ only series losses came at home against Ole Miss and LSU.
The Razorbacks dropped both with extra-innings losses in the finale.
The 7-2 series record equals the program’s best since 1999, when the Razorbacks won eight of their 10 conference series en route to the SEC championship.
The Razorbacks can’t win the SEC title (Vanderbilt clinched it last weekend) or the SEC West (LSU has won the division crown) this season. But Arkansas has secured a top four seed for the 2013 SEC Tournament, which ensures a first-round bye.
It also keeps Arkansas’ hopes of being named one of the NCAA’s 16 regional hosts alive. The Razorbacks close the regular season with a three-game series at Auburn, which begins Thursday night. SEC Tournament play begins next Tuesday.
The Razorbacks — who remained No. 11 in this week’s Baseball America poll — haven’t hosted an NCAA Regional since the 2010 season.
“We’d love to play at home and in front of this crowd,” Arkansas senior Matt Vinson said. “It’s tough to win here at Baum. If anybody comes here, we feel like we can win. But at the same time, we feel fine on the road. We feel just as comfortable there.
“So it would be great to have a regional. But it’s not that important to us.”
— Robbie Neiswanger • Arkansas News Bureau