|2017 Arkansas Razorbacks baseball team|
|University||University of Arkansas|
|Athletic director||Jeff Long|
|Head coach||Dave Van Horn (14th season)|
|Home stadium||Baum Stadium at George Cole Field
|Colors||Cardinal and White
|College World Series runner-up|
|College World Series appearances|
|1979, 1985, 1987, 1989, 2004, 2009, 2012, 2015|
|NCAA Tournament appearances|
|1973, 1979, 1980, 1983, 1985, 1986, 1987, 1988, 1989, 1990, 1995, 1996, 1998, 1999, 2002, 2003, 2004, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2008, 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015, 2017|
|Conference tournament champions|
|1989, 1990, 1999, 2004|
The University of Arkansas Razorbacks baseball team, sometimes referred to as the OmaHogs or Diamond Hogs, are members of the National Collegiate Athletic Association and the Southeastern Conference (SEC), and are currently coached by Dave Van Horn. The program started in 1897, and is in its 95th season of play (70th consecutive) in 2017. Arkansas is one of only four schools in the SEC to turn a profit from its baseball program in recent years, along with SEC Western division rivals LSU, Mississippi State and Ole Miss. Many large schools such as Iowa State, Colorado, and Wisconsin have dropped their baseball programs because of financial losses.
The Razorbacks play baseball home games in Baum Stadium at George Cole Field, which holds 10,737. Arkansas was the first program in the nation to have an average attendance over 8,000 for the course of the season. The Razorbacks sold 10,727 tickets for a game against LSU on May 5, 2007. Baum Stadium hosted NCAA regionals three of the four years between 2008 and 2011. The Arkansas baseball team also hosted the NCAA Super Regional in 2015, welcoming Missouri State to Baum Stadium.
Baum Stadium was the best college baseball venue in 1998 according to a Baseball America survey. Baum Stadium was rated the second-best college baseball venue in 2003, behind only Auburn's Plainsman Park. Rivals rated Baum Stadium the best college baseball facility, in front of Rice's Reckling Park in 2008. Baum was referred to as the "palace of college baseball stadiums" in the article, adding that "everyone aspires to have a facility like the University of Arkansas".
In 2007, Arkansas led the nation in attendance, with 8,069 attendees per game, over 700 more per game than second-place LSU.Mississippi State, another SEC school, was third with an average of 6,795 per game.
Before Baum Stadium was built, the Razorbacks played on the original George Cole Field from 1975-1995, named for former all-conference quarterback, shortstop and athletic director George Cole. The field was next to John McDonnell Field, home of the outdoor track and field team, and has since been turned into the practice field for the football team.
Arkansas first fielded a baseball team from 1897 to 1930. The modern era of Razorbacks baseball began in 1947, under Deke Brackett. Bill Ferrell led the team from 1950 to 1965, and Wayne Robbins took over from 1966 to 1969.
In 1970, Cole hired 28-year-old Norm DeBriyn after another man took the job but resigned after only one day. DeBriyn inherited a program that played at a dilapidated stadium at the Washington County Fairgrounds, and whose paperwork was contained in a single manila folder. He immediately set about upgrading the program. Within three years, he had the Razorbacks in the NCAA Tournament for the first time in school history. He then persuaded athletic director Frank Broyles to build a new on-campus stadium, George Cole Field.
DeBriyn's 10th team put the Razorbacks on the national map. The Razorbacks won 49 games, lost 15, and finished second in the Southwest Conference (SWC). The Hogs defeated George Washington, Florida, and Delaware twice to move out of the East Regional (played at Seminole Stadium in Tallahassee, Florida). The Razorbacks then went to Omaha and defeated Pepperdine, 5-4 and an Arizona Wildcats club, with a young Terry Francona, 10-3. A match-up with SWC champion Texas loomed next for the Razorbacks. The Hogs had gone 1-4 against the Longhorns up to this point in the season. The Razorbacks prevailed, 9-4, and earned a contest with Cal State Fullerton for a championship. Texas was eliminated. Arkansas lost twice to the Titans, 13-10, and 2-1, to give the trophy to Cal State Fullerton. Freshman Kevin McReynolds was named to the all-tournament team as an outfielder, along with Steve Krueger at pitcher, Larry Wallace at shortstop, and Marc Brumble as an outfielder.
Arkansas came into the South regional hot winning twelve straight games (last loss against fellow CWS team Mississippi State), and winning the SWC tournament with the help of tourney-MVP Dave Patterson. A 20-13 victory over Eastern Kentucky started things off on the right foot for the Hogs. Wins against George Mason, hometown FSU, and Georgia Tech would push the Hogs to their second College World Series.
Arkansas arrived in Omaha in as dramatic fashion as they left it. The Diamond Hogs defeated the Gamecocks of South Carolina in a 14 inning affair, 1-0, but Arkansas would lose to Mississippi State three days later, and fall to the loser's bracket. Facing elimination, the Razorbacks crushed Stanford 10-4, eliminating the Cardinal from the College World Series. Now a win away from the Championship series with Miami (Fl), Arkansas had to face Southwest Conference rival Texas.
Said Razorback third baseman Jeff King of Texas, "We figured we would meet them again." The Hogs were 4-1 against the Longhorns in 1985, including two wins in the Southwest Conference Tournament. Arkansas lead the game 7-0, but the Longhorns battled back and sent the game to extra innings. Texas' Bill Bates hit a leadoff triple in the bottom of the tenth inning with the score tied 7-7. Arkansas coach Norm DeBriyn opted to intentionally walk the bases full and pull the infield in. Doug Hodo then hit a single past the infielders, allowing Bates to score and the Horns to move on, 8-7 in ten innings. The situation was oddly similar to the last time the Hogs reached the College World Series, except Texas was 4-1 against the Hogs in 1979 (including two SWC tournament wins), and Arkansas prevailed in the 1979 CWS match up.
Arkansas was 51-16 in 1987, and finished in fifth place at the CWS. The Hogs finished second in both the SWC regular season and postseason tournament. The Regional was played in Huntsville, Alabama, and the Razorbacks defeated Middle Tennessee, West Virginia, and Clemson (twice) in order to play in Omaha. Texas, who Arkansas had gone a lowly 1-4 against during the season and now was ranked #1 nationally, loomed in a Rosenblatt Stadium showdown.
Texas defeated Arkansas, 13-6, but Arkansas rebounded with a win against future SEC foe Georgia, eliminating the Bulldogs. Georgia was led by pitcher Derek Lilliquist (14-2), who had 19 HR and 60 RBI entering Omaha. Another future SEC opponent was on the horizon, this time in the form of Tigers from LSU. The Tigers came out on top, 5-2, but were eliminated two days later, with Texas eliminated a day later.
Ten years after the successful 1979 campaign, the Razorbacks were again headed to Omaha. First, the 51-16 Razorbacks played their way through the Northwest Regional, losing first to Le Moyne before defeating George Washington, Illinois, Arizona State, and Le Moyne to move to the College World Series.
Once in the College World Series, the Diamong Hogs met Wichita State. The Shockers had actually been defeated by the Razorbacks 5-1 in Fayetteville, which was the Razorbacks' first game of the season. Arkansas lost 3-1 on June 2, and had to stave off elimination against North Carolina. The Tar Heels were eliminated, and Arkansas had another shot at the Shockers, who had lost to Florida State and was now fighting to remain in Omaha, as one more loss would eliminate them.
Wichita State defeated Norm DeBriyn's Razorbacks, 8-4, eliminating them. The finish was good for fifth place in the CWS. Wichita State would go on to win the National Championship, fighting off elimination three times more. Six of the eleven all-CWS team were members of the Wichita State Shockers, including Eric Wedge. Arkansas Razorbacks outfielder Troy Eklund was elected to the All-American team.
Arkansas won the SEC Western Division, a portion of the SEC crown, and visited the College World Series again in 2004.
The Hogs were picked to finish last in the SEC, but instead was the #1 seed in the SEC Tournament. The Diamond Hogs lost to Luke Hochevar and the Volunteers of Tennessee, 6-8 in 13 innings. Kyle Norrid of Tennessee hit a three-run double in the 12th inning, but the Hogs returned with four straight singles to keep the game going. Chris Kemp hit a game-winning double the next inning, and Craig Cobb retired the Razorbacks to earn the save. The game was the third of the day to extend into extra innings. The Hogs then defeated Ole Miss and Tennessee by the counts of 4-3 and 4-1 respectively, before losing to South Carolina, 2-3. Arkansas went into the ninth down 3-0, and loaded the bases with no outs. Jake Dugger drove in a run with a single. Following a strikeout, Brett Hagedorn added to the Razorbacks score with a sacrifice fly. Scott Hode grounded out for out number three, and the rally fell short. The Gamecocks would win the championship by defeating Vanderbilt. Arkansas finished third in the SEC tournament.
The Razorbacks began play in their home stadium in the Fayetteville Regional. Arkansas defeated Le Moyne first, but lost to Wichita State 4-1. The Razorbacks had not seen the last of the Shockers, though, and after a 10-7 win over Missouri, defeated them two times on June 6, 2004 to advance to the Super Regionals.
Arkansas was an eight seed in 2004, and for the fourth time in five Hog appearances, Arkansas' first game in Omaha was against the Texas Longhorns. #1 Texas prevailed 13-2, and the Razorbacks were one loss from elimination. The Arizona Wildcats would bump the Razorbacks from Rosenblatt Stadium in their next game, 7-2.
Arkansas began hot in 2009, starting the year at 10-2 including back-to-back wins over #1 Arizona State that set Baum Stadium attendance records. The Hogs luck changed entering SEC play, as they dropped series against Vanderbilt, Georgia, and LSU, and were swept by Alabama and Ole Miss to end the year. Limping into the 2009 SEC Baseball Tournament, the Hogs defeated Florida twice, but were bumped from the tournament by Vanderbilt. The Razorbacks were the #2 seed in the Norman Regional, hosted by the Oklahoma Sooners.
The Hogs defeated Washington State in game 1 in Norman, setting up a match up with #9 Oklahoma, who the Hogs had beaten at home a month earlier on a Brett Eibner walk-off bases-loaded walk. Arkansas collected 20 hits in a 17-6 win over the Sooners, setting up super regional berth with another win. Razorback Andy Wilkins went 5-5 in the following game with two doubles, two home runs, four runs scored and five RBI in an 11-0 rout. The win pushed the Hogs to a meeting with Florida State in Dick Howser Stadium.
The Hogs last met Florida State in the 2004 Fayetteville Super Regional, with the Hogs advancing to Omaha. Arkansas scored five runs in the last three innings to win game 1, and Andrew Darr propelled the Hogs to the College World Series on his two-run walk-off double in the bottom of the ninth.
The Razorbacks opened the College World Series in game 1 against #1 national seed Cal State Fullerton. Dallas Keuchel pitched well, with Zack Cox and Andy Wilkins both homering in a resounding 10-6 win. The win set a rematch with LSU, who had beaten Arkansas in a hard-fought series earlier in the year. LSU got a first-inning home run from pitcher Brett Eibner, and the Hogs bats fell silent in a 9-1 loss. Both fighting for their tournament lives, Arkansas met Virginia in an elimination game. The Razorbacks offense was again quiet, and the Hogs were down to their last strike when Brett Eibner homered to keep the Razorbacks in Omaha. The Hogs would prevail after another timely Andrew Darr double in the tenth inning. A rematch with LSU sat on the horizon, and the drained Arkansas pitching staff struggled. Closer Stephen Richards started the game for the Hogs, who were losing 4-0 by the third inning. After an error and a wild pitch, the Razorbacks gave up runs in six separate innings, and lost 14-5. The Hogs finished tied with Arizona State (who Arkansas defeated twice in the regular season) for third place.
Arkansas began the 2012 season with high expectations, including a consensus top ten ranking and D. J. Baxendale, Nolan Sanburn, Dominic Ficociello, and Ryne Stanek receiving preseason All-America honors. The team began the season playing well in non-conference games, and finished with a 16-14 SEC record. After a quick two losses at the SEC tournament, it was announced the Hogs would play in the Houston Regional, hosted by Rice University. Arkansas defeated the Sam Houston State Bearkats twice and Rice once to advance to the Waco, Texas Super Regional against Baylor. The Razorbacks dropped the first game to Baylor, 8-1. Facing elimination, Arkansas won game 2 after consecutive hit by pitches with the bases loaded gave the Hogs the tying and winning runs. Arkansas won game 3 when Jake Wise drove in Brian Anderson with a double in the 10th inning, pushing across the game's only run and sending the Hogs to Omaha.
Arkansas won their first game of the 2012 College World Series, an 8-1 victory over Kent State Golden Flashes. DJ Baxendale pitched into the seventh inning, with Joe Serrano, Brian Anderson, Bo Bigham, and Jake Wise all collecting multiple hits. Two nights later the Razorbacks faced SEC foe and two time defending champion the South Carolina Gamecocks, who came into the game with a 22-game postseason win streak. A Dominic Ficociello RBI in the first inning gave Arkansas a 1-0 lead, as they never trailed, winning a 2-1 pitcher's duel. Stanek pithced six innings, allowing just one run on three hits. Reliever Barrett Astin finished the job, pitching the final three innings allowing no runs, and just one hit.
Arkansas was not expected to make it to the College World Series in 2015, especially after a slow start to the season left the Razorbacks sitting at .500 heading into April. But the Razorbacks caught fire behind SEC and national player of the year Andrew Benintendi and won both the Stillwater Regional and Fayetteville Super Regional to advance to Omaha for the eighth time and fourth time under Van Horn.
In the first game, Arkansas got a stellar pitching performance from Trey Killian, but normally lights-out closer Zach Jackson didn't have his best stuff and Virginia came back and forced the Razorbacks into an elimination game, beating them 5-3.
Arkansas then faced No. 5 national seed Miami, and fell behind 2-0 when Jacob Heyward hit a 2-run shot off reliever Jackson Lowery, who had just been inserted for Keaton McKinney. The Razorbacks rallied twice to tie the game at 2-2 and 3-3, but lost 4-3 when Heyward hit a walk-off single. It was the first time since 2004 that they failed to win a game in Omaha.
Arkansas has produced one winner of the Golden Spikes Award and Dick Howser Trophy, bestowed annually to the best amateur baseball player in the United States. It was created by USA Baseball and is sponsored by the Major League Baseball Players Association.
The Razorbacks have also produced 19 Freshmen All-Americans.
39 former Razorbacks have played at least one game in the Majors.
|Name||Years in MLB||Years at UA||Team(s)|
|Darrel Akerfelds||1986-1991||1981-1982||Oakland Athletics, Cleveland Indians, Texas Rangers, Philadelphia Phillies|
|Sid Benton||1922||1912||St. Louis Cardinals (a cup of coffee)|
|Andrew Benintendi||2016-present||2014-2015||Boston Red Sox|
|Bud Bloomfield||1963-1964||1955-1956||Minnesota Twins, St. Louis Cardinals|
|Kevin Campbell||1991-1995||1984-1986||Oakland Athletics, Minnesota Twins|
|Bubba Carpenter||2000||1988-1991||Colorado Rockies, New York Mets|
|Chuck Corgan||1925-1927||1922-1925||Brooklyn Robins|
|Babe Ellison||1916-1920||1914-1916||Detroit Tigers|
|Matt Erickson||2004||Milwaukee Brewers|
|Logan Forsythe||2011-present||2006-2008||San Diego Padres, Tampa Bay Rays, Los Angeles Dodgers|
|Craig Gentry||2009-present||2005-2006||Texas Rangers, Oakland Athletics, Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim, Baltimore Orioles|
|Gerry Hannahs||1976-1979||1971-1974||Montreal Expos, Los Angeles Dodgers|
|Howard Hilton||1990||1984-1985||St. Louis Cardinals (played only two games)|
|Eric Hinske||2002-2013||1996-1998||Toronto Blue Jays, Boston Red Sox, Tampa Bay Rays, Pittsburgh Pirates, New York Yankees (MLB Rookie of the Year)|
|Dick Hughes||1966-1968||1957-1958||St. Louis Cardinals|
|Lefty Jamerson||1924||1919-1921||Boston Red Sox (cup of coffee)|
|Skeeter Kell||1952||1948-1951||Philadelphia Athletics|
|Dallas Keuchel||2012-present||2007-2009||Houston Astros|
|Jeff King||1989-1999||1984-1986||Pittsburgh Pirates, Kansas City Royals|
|Jimmy Kremers||1990||1985-1988||Atlanta Braves|
|Les Lancaster||1987-1993||1982-1984||Chicago Cubs, Detroit Tigers, St. Louis Cardinals|
|Cliff Lee||2002-2014||2000||Cleveland Indians, Texas Rangers, Philadelphia Phillies|
|Tim Lollar||1980-1986||1977-1978||New York Yankees, San Diego Padres, Chicago White Sox, Boston Red Sox|
|Kevin McReynolds||1983-1994||1979-1981||San Diego Padres, New York Mets, Kansas City Royals|
|Mike Oquist||1993-1999||1987-1989||Baltimore Orioles, San Diego Padres, Oakland Athletics|
|Tom Pagnozzi||1987-1998||1983||St. Louis Cardinals (All-Star and 3 time Gold Glove winner)|
|Kit Pellow||2002-2004||1995-1996||Kansas City Royals, Colorado Rockies|
|Scott Pose||1993-2000||1988-1989||Florida Marlins, New York Yankees, Kansas City Royals|
|Johnny Ray||1981-1990||1978-1979||Pittsburgh Pirates, California Angels|
|Ronn Reynolds||1982-1990||1979-1980||New York Mets, Philadelphia Phillies, Houston Astros, San Diego Padres|
|Pat Rice||1991||1979-1980||Seattle Mariners|
|Jeff Richardson||1989-1993||1984||Cincinnati Reds, Pittsburgh Pirates, Boston Red Sox|
|Reyn Rogers||2008||2006-2008||Seattle Mariners|
|Tim Sherrill||1990-1991||1986-1987||St. Louis Cardinals|
|Drew Smyly||2012-present||2008-2010||Detroit Tigers, Tampa Bay Rays, Seattle Mariners|
|Phil Stidham||1994||1989-1991||Detroit Tigers|
|Jess Todd||2009-2010||2006-2007||St. Louis Cardinals, Cleveland Indians|
|Chuck Tompkins||1912||1909-1911||Cincinnati Reds (cup of coffee)|
|Matt Wagner||1996||1991-1992||Seattle Mariners|
|Jim Walkup||1934-1939||1928-1929||St. Louis Browns, Detroit Tigers|
|Jack Whillock||1971||1962-1964||Detroit Tigers|
|Roy Wood||1913-1915||1912-1913||Pittsburgh Pirates, Cleveland Indians|
|Dan Wright||2001-2004||1997-1999||Chicago White Sox|