Fayetteville, Ark. – The Arkansas Razorbacks opened their 2013 college baseball season with a series win over Western Illinois but suffered a shocking upset on Sunday losing 7-5 to the Leathernecks. The loss should not be taken as a dramatic setback by Razorback Nation but after suffering through the 2012 college football season Arkansas fans became immediately concerned.
Arkansas started the year as the consensus No. 1 team in college baseball. With high rankings come high expectations. No one reasonably expected the Hogs to fly through the 2013 season undefeated. Still the loss to Western Illinois did wave some red flags about the team’s dominate pitching staff going into the year.
If the rankings are any indication the Hogs did not disappoint too badly among college baseball pollsters. NCBWA dropped the Razorbacks from No. 1 to No. 3 moving North Carolina and LSU to No. 1 and No. 2 respectively.
Collegiate Baseball moved the Hogs from No. 1 to No. 2 giving UNC the top spot in their poll as well. Baseball America still ranks the Hogs at No. 3.
To put the loss by Arkansas into perspective on a larger scale, of the 25 teams ranked by Baseball America 12 teams lost over the weekend. Of those 12 Stanford lost two games and TCU was swept in their three-game series. Six of the top 10 teams in the nation lost over the weekend including No. 2 Vanderbilt, No. 4 Louisville, No. 7 South Carolina, and No. 8 North Carolina State, and then No. 9 Stanford.
College baseball teams lose, it happens. Hopefully the loss the Razorbacks suffered early will wake the team up letting them know they are the hunted this season and cannot expect to skate by this season.
A couple of injured players aside the Hogs should bounce back well from their upset loss.
Notes from Arkansas’ weekend series
Brian Anderson got off to a hot start going 6-11 (.545) with two doubles, one triple and swiping two bases.
Tyler Spoon hit .500 in the opening series with three RBI.
Arkansas hit .306 for the series.
The pitching staff posted an ERA of 2.33 against the Leathernecks.
Ryne Stanek and Barrett Astin earned the first wins of the season for the Hogs on Friday and Saturday.