FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. (KAIT) - Arkansas baseball is less than 24 hours away from postseason play. The Diamond Hogs held their final practice Thursday afternoon to prepare for the Fayetteville Regional.
The Razorbacks also met the media. One of the storylines is true freshman Connor Noland getting the ball in the regional opener vs. Central Connecticut State. The Greenwood native is embracing the challenge. “We have a good opportunity,” Noland said. “Obviously they don’t hit as well against right handed pitchers. So for me to get that opportunity is a big deal, and I’m ready for the challenge. It’s a Regional, but other than that it’s a game, and I’m going to go out and pitch the same way. It went really well, we got a lot of work in this week.”
Dave Van Horn was blunt when asked why start a true freshman in a NCAA opener. “Well, if we didn’t think he could handle it, we wouldn’t stick him out there. I think he can handle anything. He’s pitched in front of 10 thousand here against SEC teams and big games, games to sweep people, or win a weekend series. I think it’s just another game to Connor as far as his mentality and his makeup."
Arkansas faces Central Connecticut State Friday afternoon at Baum-Walker Stadium. First pitch is at 1:00pm, you can watch the game online here.
Fayetteville Regional (Baum-Walker Stadium)
Friday, May 31st
1:00pm: Arkansas vs. Central Connecticut State (ESPN3)
6:00pm: California vs. TCU (ESPN3)
Saturday, June 1st
12:00pm: ARK/CCSU loser vs. CAL/TCU loser (Elimination Game)
6:00pm: ARK/CCSU winner vs. CAL/TCU winner (1-0 Game)
Sunday, June 2nd
2:00pm: Game 5
8:00pm: Regional Championship Game
Monday, June 3rd
6:00pm: Regional Championship Game (If Necessary)