FAYETTEVILLE — For one of the few times in their baseball history the Arkansas Razorbacks had no midweek games during spring break.
Spring break at the UA began with the close of last Friday’s classes and ends with classes resuming Monday.
The Razorbacks, 15-6, overall/0-3 in the SEC, have practiced but played no games in the SEC interim of getting swept three in their SEC season-opening series last weekend at South Carolina. They begin a three-game series at home this weekend against Auburn.
"We couldn’t find anybody," Arkansas coach Dave Van Horn said of finding nonconference games.
So Van Horn, pitching coach Dave Jorn and hitting coach Tony Vitello work in practice to regroup the Razorbacks from getting swept in the SEC opening series just as they did last year, righting the ship from a season-opening sweep by Vanderbilt during a subsequent 15-15 overall start to finish.
Butch Thompson arrives at Baum as Auburn’s first-year head coach but is familiar with the SEC since 2002. He coached pitchers at Georgia then Auburn from 2002-2008 and was Mississippi State’s pitching coach from 2009-2015 before summoned back to Auburn.
Hitting, a .317 team batting average, rather than pitching is Auburn’s forte, manifested in the Tigers’ opening SEC series last weekend in Auburn, Ala. against the nationally No. 2 Texas A&M Aggies.
All were slugfests with Auburn winning, 9-7 and losing, 12-8 and 12-10.
Gabe Klososits winning seven innings of 1-run relief by far marked Auburn’s best pitching effort against A&M.
TRACK OPENS OUTDOORS
What was presumed to be barely more than a Razorbacks intrasquad meet plus some regional teams wanting to get their outdoor track and field feet wet this weekend at John McDonnell Field, has swolleb into a large in numbers meet for coach Chris Bucknam’s Razorbacks men and Lance Harter’s Razorbacks women.
At least 14 teams will compete with entrants in addition to Arkansas from Ole Miss, Missouri, Oklahoma State, Tulsa, Illinois State, Missouri State, Southeast Missouri State, Wichita State, Southern Illinois, South Dakota State, Iowa Central, Barton Community College and Arkansas Baptist.
Bucknam and Harter both said most of the Razorbacks who helped the Arkansas men and Arkansas women finish as national runner-ups to Oregon at the NCAA Indoor Championships will either rest or train through this meet, although women’s pole vault coach Bryan Compton said All-American freshman twins of Cabot — Lexi Weeks, the NCAA indoor champion, and Tori Weeks, sixth at the NCAA indoor, do plan to vault Saturday.
Saturday’s running events run from 3 p.m. to 8 p.m. with the 2-day men’s decathlon and women’s heptathlon beginning Friday.
Bucknam’s men and Harter’s women go whole Hog into the outdoor season with next week’s Texas Relays in Austin.
MOSES MAYBE EXPLORING
Moses Kingsley, "one of the most improved players in the country bar none," Arkansas coach Mike Anderson said during his basketball season wrapup press conference Monday, has said he intends to return to the UA for his senior year rather than turn pro as an underclassman as Razorbacks Bobby Portis and Michael Qualls did following the 2014-2015 season.
However Kingsley could still return to the UA and go through NBA evaluations if he didn’t take the next step of declaring for the summer NBA draft.
"That’s something Moses and I are going to sit down and talk about," Anderson said when the players return from spring break and he meets with them individually.
"Obviously he may want to get some feedback, but we’ll find out next week. We’ll know more in terms of what he actually wants to do, but certainly we’ll get some feedback for him. Right now, Moses is trying to finish up school. The little time I talk to him that’s all he talks about."