Well, two of our starting pitchers are freshmen, so there’s no doubt they’ll have to perform well for us to get very far, but as a rule they’ve done that. Noland pitched really well yesterday. Wicklander had a terrible outing Friday, but sometimes that happens. We’ve got pitchers who are capable enough that we could win it all. Not saying we will or that none of them will falter, but I think our chances are about as good as anybody’s. Vandy is formidable. I’m sure UCLA is, too. Several SEC teams could get hot, but I still like where we’re at.
Another positive factor that I meant to include in my last post, but forgot; we have a top 5 record against Q1 (top 50) opposition - and 40% of those wins were ROAD wins.
Those metrics carry a lot of positive mojo for us.
I don’t see Arkansas falling out of a top eight seed at this point. I do see gloom and doom here from some that always see the sky falling. What most don’t even think about is that other teams lose, too. As they say, in the SEC, someone is always going to win and someone is going to lose. Of the other teams in the SEC that are playing in the SEC tournament, two of them are going to lose two games, as well. Only two can end up playing for the SEC title. There will be losses pile up everywhere you look. It’s the nature of sports, someone wins and the other team loses and that is going to happen over and over in Hoover.
Predicting 2 losses simply means we don’t win the tourney. (And when has DVH EVER thrown the kitchen sink at trying to win the whole thing? … unless he believed that was the only way to make a Regional?)
If you’re predicting we lose BOTH games, I suppose you COULD end up being proven correct. There are many in the national media who say Arkansas is a lock for a National Seed. If DVH is of that same belief, he may not “try very hard” to win either game. He may care ONLY about setting up our pitching for the NCAAs.
Personally, I hope that is his exact frame of mind. The SEC baseball tourney is like the SEC basketball tourney. From 1989/90 through 1994/95, Arkansas, under Nolan was the winningest basketball program in the country. Nolan did not win an SEC tourney in any of those six years. Just like DVH, his teams were already in great shape for the NCAA tourney, which was the only important goal he had. Those 2 SEC tourneys are important only for those teams that are not yet set well for the NCAA tourney. And to make more money for the SEC.
Got that right.