Diamond Hogs schedule two fall exhibitions

Posted: September 14, 2018 at 2:42 p.m.

Dave Van Horn, Arkansas head coach, Thursday, May 31, 2018, during practice for the NCAA regional at Baum Stadium in Fayetteville.

FAYETTEVILLE — Arkansas’ baseball team will play a pair of exhibitions against regional opponents this fall.

The Razorbacks will travel to Norman, Okla., to face the Sooners on Saturday, Sept. 22 at noon, and will host Wichita State at Baum Stadium on Oct. 5 at 6 p.m. Neither game will count toward the team’s regular season schedule, which is capped at 56 games, thanks to NCAA rule changes.

Arkansas coach Dave Van Horn said the scrimmages will help break up the monotony of fall ball while also giving him the opportunity to develop a single starting lineup.

"Obviously you aren't playing 18-20 guys like you do in a scrimmage," Van Horn said. "You're playing nine. It opens some eyes. ... But the main thing we're trying to do is get guys in the right situation and see how they can handle it a little bit."

Van Horn added the scrimmages will likely run 14-15 innings, and after nine innings, coaches on both sides will make changes to allow younger players to gain playing experience. Van Horn said he and Wichita State coach Todd Butler, a former Arkansas hitting coach, have tossed around the idea of playing 14 innings.

"In the first nine innings we could throw as many as four or five guys," Van Horn said. "Then those last five innings, we may throw five guys one inning (each) just to get some experience pitching on the road or to somebody else. I imagine we’ll just keep score the whole game."

With so many newcomers on the fall roster, Arkansas will head to Norman a day early to give the scrimmage a true road-trip feel.

"We're going to try and make it a real situation," Van Horn said.