FAYETTEVILLE — No. 1 Arkansas hopes what is the beginning of a very successful postseason today when it takes on New Jersey Institute of Technology at 2 p.m. in Baum-Walker Stadium in the Fayetteville Regional.
Arkansas Coach Dave Van Horn is impressed with how his team has handled being No. 1 most of the season even with high expectations placed on them.
“I don’t feel extra pressure,” Van Horn said. “I just feel like if we play well we have a chance to win. If the games don’t go our way, they don’t go our way, but our guys will get after it and give you everything they’ve got. As far as the players, I don’t feel like they feel any pressure. I don’t talk to them about it. I don’t want to ask them. They don’t need it. I see guys bouncing around and acting exactly like they acted three months ago and two months ago. I don’t see a bunch of guys with a different look on their face or being quiet because they’re nervous. I just see the same team.
“You think about who all we’ve played. You take on everybody, and it’s gone pretty good. It’s been a battle. It’s not like we blew people out of the water, we had to fight for our wins. Our team knows how to fight. It doesn’t come easy all the time, so if things don’t go well we’re not going to roll over. We’ll fight you until the last out.”
Van Horn wouldn’t show his hand when asked who will pitch Game 2 on Saturday.
“Our Game 2 starting pitcher?,” Van Horn said. “What do I think about him? I think he’ll be left-handed, and he’ll be pretty good.”
Van Horn was referring to Patrick Wicklander and Lael Lockhart, both left-handed pitchers.
The rest of this report is from the Arkansas Communication’s press release.
NCAA Fayetteville Regional Schedule
Friday, June 4
Game 2 – Nebraska vs. Northeastern – 7:00 pm
Saturday, June 5
Game 3 – Game 1 Loser vs. Game 2 Loser – 2:00 pm
Game 4 – Game 1 Winner vs. Game 2 Winner – 8:00 pm
Sunday, June 6
Game 5 – Game 3 Winner vs. Game 4 Loser – 2:00 pm
Game 6 – Game 4 Winner vs. Game 5 Winner – 8:00 pm
Monday, June 7 (If Necessary)
Game 7 – If the Game 5 Winner Wins Game 6 – 6:00 pm (time subject to change)
Matchups & History
NJIT RHP Tyler Stafflinger (6-5, 3.77 ERA) vs. Arkansas RHP Caleb Bolden (2-0, 4.43 ERA)
Arkansas has never faced NJIT, who is making its NCAA Tournament debut. The Highlanders earned the America East Conference’s automatic bid after the league’s championship game was rained out. NJIT was the only undefeated team remaining in the tournament.
Friday’s contest between Arkansas and NJIT will stream nationally on ESPN3 with Steve Lenox (play-by-play) and Lance Cormier (analyst) on the call. Fans can watch via WatchESPN or through the ESPN app.
The game can also be heard on the Razorback Sports Network from Learfield/IMG, including locally in Fayetteville on 92.1 FM. Phil Elson and Bubba Carpenter will have the call.
Conway – KASR-FM 92.7
El Dorado – KELD-AM 107.1 (FM Translator)
Fayetteville – KQSM-FM 92.1
Forrest City – KXJK-AM 950
Forrest City – KXJK-FM 106.5
Fort Smith – KERX-FM 95.3
Little Rock – KABZ-FM 103.7
Marshall – KBCN-FM 104.3
Mena – KTTG-FM 96.3
Rogers – KURM-AM 790
Rogers – KURM-FM 100.3
Stuttgart – KWAK-FM 105.5
Texarkana, TX – KKTK-AM 1400