New Indoor Facility for Baseball & Track a Big Hit With Hog Coaches

Ask Razorback assistant baseball coach Tony Vitello to name the biggest benefit of the team's new indoor practice facility and you may leaving him scratching his head.

"It's touchy what you can and can't say with recruiting but there's a young kid who literally told us he chose us over Ole Miss simply because of this building," Vitello told the Razorback Nation. But if the building is already affecting recruiting results Vitello could not help but speculate how it might have helped the Hogs on the field this past season.

"I think it would have helped us tremendously with our arms," Vitello asserted, "because we had a lot of question marks with those pitchers. Quite frankly those questions weren't solved until the very end of the year. So it would have sped up that process."

"We won't fall behind LSU or Florida if we've got cold weather out here or some ice and our guys can't throw," Vitello continued. "As you all know in the dead ball era there's a ton of one-run baseball games. We literally might win a game this coming spring because of some work that's done in here on small ball or just little intricasies of the game." 

The two head track coaches on campus also see both recruiting and practice benefits to the facility but add that it will also make the University of Arkansas even more attractive as a venue for the top indoor track meets in the nation.

"We can warm up in here and then walk right across the hall and jump on the track," Men's head track coach Chris Bucknam explained. "We can throw the shot. We can throw our weights. We don't have to have a shuttle bus up to Walker (football indoor practice facility). It's not separated from the rest of the track meet." 

And recruiting?

"I mean it just knocks their socks off," women's head track coach Lance Harter gushed. "So it's a great advantage for us in the future and we're really looking forward to cashing in on that part of it."

There is one more benefit to the new building. It has brought the coaches of the two sports closer together. "We worked real hard, Lance and I, to make sure that this facility would be available to to coach Van Horn at anytime of day," Bucknam told reporters. "So it was really a fun time for us as staffs to get together and work together to make Arkansas athletics better."

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