FAYETTEVILLE — Back after splitting four games in San Diego beating Arizona and San Diego State and losing to Cal Poly-San Luis Obispo and the University of San Diego, Arkansas’ baseball Razorbacks return to Baum Stadium for a Wednesday through Sunday five games in five days homestand against the Dayton Flyers and Pac 12 power University of Southern California Trojans.
The teams bear contrasting records. Dayton, playing all road games in a swing through North Carolina and South Carolina is 1-5 beating only Evansville, in a battle of cold-weather Indiana and Ohio based teams touring the South.
South Carolina-Upstate, Wofford and High Point administered the defeats though the Flyers progressed their final two games of losing a 3-game sweep to High Point falling only 8-7 and 4-3.
Dayton does have a power hitter, Pat Meehan with three home runs and six RBI in six games.
Going into Tuesday’s game with Loyola Marymount, USC is 6-1.
Dayton plays 3 p.m. games against Arkansas today and Thursday.
USC plays a 3-game series against the Hogs at 2 p.m. Friday, 3 p.m. Saturday and 12:30 p.m. Sunday.
Having swept Bucknell three games opening its season the weekend previous to the San Diego trip, Arkansas is 5-2 and looking to play better than last week.
“You can use the excuse that we’re tired but I’m not buying it right now,” Arkansas Coach Dave Van Horn said after Sunday’s 7-6 loss to the University of San Diego. “We just didn’t play very well.”
Van Horn is expected to pitch weekend starters Blaine Knight of Bryant, 1-0, 0.82 ERA, and Isaiah Campbell, 1-0, 2.00 ERA, Friday and Saturday against Southern California and seems likely eventually to maneuver lefty Kacey Murphy, last Wednesday’s s 1-0 victor over Arizona throwing six shutout innings, into the weekend rotation.
However with so much time between starts it’s possible Murphy could start against Dayton today.
Right-hander Keaton McKinney has not pitched since a 2-inning start against Bucknell.
Lefty reliever Matt Cronin is 2-0 with a save in three appearances and a 0.00 ERA for 7 1-3 innings.
Freshman left fielder Heston Kjerstad, .409, leads the Razorbacks hitters.