#8 Arkansas Opens 2021 Campaign at State Farm College Baseball Showdown
FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. – The Razorbacks’ road to Omaha starts this weekend in Arlington, Texas.
No. 8 Arkansas begins the 2021 season against three top-10 programs at the State Farm College Baseball Showdown at Globe Life Field, home of the Texas Rangers.
The Razorbacks open the year against No. 3 Texas Tech at 7 p.m. on Saturday, Feb. 20, followed by No. 9 Texas at 7 p.m. on Sunday, Feb. 21. Arkansas takes on No. 9 TCU in the tournament finale, with first pitch set for 6 p.m. Monday, Feb. 22.
This weekend’s action, originally scheduled to be played Friday-Sunday, was pushed back due to inclement weather affecting the area. The original schedule was moved back one day with Friday’s games now taking place on Saturday, Saturday’s games on Sunday and Sunday’s games on Monday.
All three of the Razorbacks’ games will stream live on FloBaseball, with Scott Galetti and former Philadelphia Phillies pitcher Pat Combs on the call. Catch all the action from any web browser or via the FloSports app, which is available on iOS and Android or through your TV on Roku, Fire TV, Chromecast and Apple TV.
The games can also be heard on the Razorback Sports Network from Learfield/IMG, including locally in Fayetteville on 92.1 FM. Phil Elson will have the call all weekend long.
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
Pitching Matchups & History
Saturday – vs. Texas Tech
RHP Zebulon Vermillion vs. LHP Patrick Monteverde
Last year, Texas Tech jumped out to a 16-3 start before the season was suspended due to the pandemic. The Red Raiders were the nation’s top-ranked team for the first time since 1997.
Saturday’s meeting will be the 62nd all-time clash between the Razorbacks and Red Raiders. The series dates back to 1974 when the two teams met annually as members of the Southwest Conference from 1974-91.
Arkansas leads with an all-time record of 46-15. The Razorbacks have won six out of their last eight games against Texas Tech, including a 7-4 victory during their 2018 College World Series run.
Sunday – vs. Texas
RHP Peyton Pallette vs. RHP Tristan Stevens
Texas began its 2020 campaign on a nine-game win streak and was 14-3 overall when the season was suspended due to the pandemic.
Sunday’s meeting will be the 89th between the two programs. The series also dates back to 1974 when the Hogs and Longhorns met annually as members of the SWC from 1974-91.
The Longhorns hold the advantage over the Razorbacks in all-time meetings, leading the series, 56-32. Arkansas, however, has won five of the last six matchups between the two teams.
Monday – vs. TCU
LHP Lael Lockhart vs. LHP Austin Krob
TCU started out the 2020 season with an 11-4 record, beginning the year with five consecutive wins.
Arkansas and TCU, longtime SWC foes, will clash for the 67th time on Monday. The first meeting between the Razorbacks and Horned Frogs was in 1961 when Arkansas pulled out a 7-4 win on the road in Fort Worth, Texas.
The Razorbacks lead the series, 47-19, winning each of the last six meetings between the two programs.
And So It Begins
Head coach Dave Van Horn’s Razorbacks begin the 19th season under his watchful eye. Arkansas’ 2020 campaign was cut short due to the pandemic, but not before Van Horn notched his 700th win as the Hogs’ skipper.
The Razorbacks topped Grand Canyon, 10-9, (3/11/20) thanks to a game-ending double play that sent the Hogs unknowingly into the offseason. Van Horn’s 700 wins are the second-most in school history trailing only the legendary Norm DeBriyn’s 1,161.
All About the Razorbacks
Arkansas enters the campaign ranked in all six major national preseason polls, cracking the top 10 in three of them:
D1Baseball – No. 8
NCBWA – No. 8
USA Today Coaches – No. 8
Baseball America – No. 14
Perfect Game – No. 20
Collegiate Baseball – No. 22
The Razorbacks’ four team captains for the 2021 season are catcher Casey Opitz, outfielder Christian Franklin, right-handed pitcher Kevin Kopps and right-handed pitcher Zebulon Vermillion. Opitz and Franklin, a consensus preseason All-American and Golden Spikes Award watch list honoree, were two of the four Hogs to earn spots on the Preseason All-SEC First Team.
Second baseman Robert Moore and designated hitter/utility Matt Goodheart also picked up preseason first-team All-SEC recognition from the conference. The Razorback foursome is the most of any program in the conference – a feat Arkansas also achieved ahead of the 2019 and 2020 campaigns. No other school has more than two first-team honorees on this year’s preseason All-SEC squads.
Moore heads into his sophomore campaign as a preseason third-team All-American by D1Baseball. He also holds a spot alongside Franklin on the Golden Spikes Award watch list.