Arkansas Welcomes Familiar Foes To Regional
FAYETTEVILLE (KFSM) – Arkansas found out earlier this week the three teams that would be joining them in Fayetteville this weekend, all of which the Razorbacks are familiar with. On Friday, the Hogs will face Oral Roberts, a team that hasn’t beaten the Hogs in nearly a decade.
This year’s version of the Golden Eagles are a step above previous teams as they dominated the Summit League winning their 18th conference tournament title.
“I think we are as balanced as we can be going into this part of the year,” said ORU coach Ryan Folmar. “I think you got to feel good where your club is at and we feel really good with how we are playing going into the tournament. You talk about other teams in the regional we are obviously very familiar with everybody that’s there. I think that gives your players a sort of a [comforting] feeling knowing who’s going to be there.”
Oral Roberts has faced both Oklahoma State and Missouri State this season. The Cowboys lost to ORU at the beginning of May, but after that loss the Cowboys started to surge, putting together a six-game win streak that was capped with the Big-12 tournament crown.
“To watch these kids and what they have done in the last two weeks has been probably the most rewarding and educational thing as a coach that I have been a part of witnessed,” said OSU coach Josh Holliday. “Just absolutely amazing.”
The Cowboys may have the least impressive record of the group, sitting at 30-25 on the season, but their coach is impressed with the fight led them to their fifth straight NCAA tournament appearance.
“There will never be another situation in our kid’s lives where they run into some adversity they won’t believe that they can turn it around,” said Holliday. “As an adult at 40-years-old, they showed me that they taught me that.”
Missouri State is a familiar foe for Arkansas. Not only have they faced one another this season, but the Hogs and Bears matched up in the 2015 Super Regional with Arkansas taking the series to advance to Omaha. Missouri State is relying on it’s veteran players to help them through the regional.
“We just learned you just can’t give up no matter how rough the game starts or how well the game starts you have to play the full nine innings,” said Missouri State pitcher Bryan Young. “The younger guys are going to lean on us for advice and leadership in this and I think we are ready.”
Arkansas will play Oral Roberts Friday at 7:00 p.m. CT at Baum Stadium.