FAYETTEVILLE (ArkansasRazorbacks.com) - The 25th-ranked Arkansas baseball team is set to open its season with a three-game weekend home series against Appalachian State.
The Razorbacks and Mountaineers are scheduled to play at 3:05 p.m. Friday, 12:05 p.m. Saturday and 1:05 p.m. Sunday in Baum Stadium. To purchase tickets, click here. For the complete set of game notes, click here.
Arkansas is the preseason No. 25 team in the Baseball America poll and ranked 27th by the NCBWA. Appalachian State is not ranked this week.
Head Coach Dave Van Horn
Dave Van Horn is entering his 12th season as the head coach of the Razorbacks. Coach Van Horn has led Arkansas to three College World Series appearances, 11 NCAA Tournament berths, one SEC overall title and three SEC Western Division titles. Coach Van Horn has a 444-245 (.644) record as the Razorbacks' head coach, averaging more than 40 wins a season. In his career, he has an overall record of 1,029-485 (.680) as a head coach. Coach Van Horn has never faced Appalachian State as the Arkansas skipper. More information on Coach Van Horn is available on page 9.
Arkansas in season openers
The Razorbacks have been successful in season openers, posting a record of 43-11 in the first game of the regular season since the 1960 season. Arkansas has won 19 straight regular season openers, including a 9-1 victory over Western Illinois last season. Arkansas jumped out of the gate, scoring seven runs in the first three innings, and eight of the Razorbacks' nine starters recorded at least one hit. First baseman Eric Fisher plated Arkansas' first three runs by hitting a two-RBI double in the first inning and leading off the third with a solo home run.
Anderson named preseason All-American
Arkansas second baseman Brian Anderson was named a second-team Preseason All-American by Baseball America and Perfect Game this season. He started 59 games last season and earned second-team All-SEC honors. He led the Razorbacks with a .325 batting average and also led the team with 47 runs scored, 68 hits, 12 doubles, five triples, 102 total bases, 41 walks, a .488 slugging percentage and an on-base percentage of .448. In addition, he tied for the team lead with four home runs and added 36 RBI. He ranked third in the SEC in walks, fourth in the conference in triples, fifth in on-base percentage and tied for 10th in runs scored. His three triples in conference play tied for the SEC lead, and he also ranked second with a .472 on-base percentage and third with a .581 slugging percentage against conference opponents.
Six position starters return from 2013
Arkansas returns the majority of its lineup from the 2013 team, which allowed the Razorbacks to advance to the NCAA Tournament for the 12th straight season. Catcher Jake Wise returns behind the plate, and the infield features returners Eric Fisher at first base, Brian Anderson at second base and Brett McAfee at shortstop. In the outfield, left fielder Joe Serrano and right fielder Tyler Spoon are back.