It’s not time to hit the panic button just yet. But that time is steadily approaching.
The Arkansas baseball team is scuffling through the meat of the schedule. They’ve only scored two runs in the last 24 innings and that includes the first time in history the team has been no-hit.
Fans can handle losing two of three games to No. 2 ranked LSU, with one of those coming in extra innings. Those same fans cannot handle being swept by a Nebraska team who is 16-19 on the year and play in a conference that doesn’t have a team ranked higher than No. 20 in the country.
It’s pretty simple to see where the flaws lay with this team. The offense and the defense. That’s only two of the three parts of the game. Luckily for the Hogs, the third part of the game of baseball often makes up for the other two. Arkansas’ pitching staff is still dominant with a team ERA of 1.77. The problem is the defense has 66 errors, resulting in 35 unearned runs.
Arkansas has only allowed 69 earned runs in more than 350 innings of work. A team fielding percentage less than .970 is considered average. Arkansas is at .958.
Despite a less than great defense, the Hogs have plenty of chances to get back into the hunt of hosting a regional. They are still ranked in the top 15 though that will likely change next Monday when the newest rankings are released.
Flip things over to the offensive side of the plate, things have taken a turn south. Just three players are hitting better than .300 on the year. Only two players have more than 20 RBI. Offense is down all across the country because of the new bat regulations but Arkansas has to find a spark from somewhere. Tough to imagine what would have happened if Tyler Spoon didn’t start the year on fire.
There is plenty of time for the Razorbacks to finish strong and still host a regional but if the current path remains, the fans and more importantly the administration will not be happy.
The latest mock regional has Arkansas traveling to Norman for a regional hosted by Oklahoma. And the Hogs would be playing Central Arkansas in a No. 2 vs. No. 3 matchup. And we all know how most of the state feels about the potential of that ever happening.