FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. – The Arkansas baseball program on Thursday released its 2017 schedule, which features a 33-game home slate, as well as games in Frisco, Texas, and Kansas City at Kauffman Stadium, the home of the Kansas City Royals.
Arkansas head coach Dave Van Horn enters his 15th season at the helm of the baseball team and will be looking to get the Hogs back into the NCAA Tournament, something they missed out on last year for the first time since 2001.
Van Horn returns nearly his entire pitching staff for 2017 as well as his top two hitters in juniors Luke Bonfield and Carson Shaddy. Both Bonfield and Shaddy were the only Razorback players to hit over .300 last season. Shaddy led all Arkansas hitters with a .332 average, eight home runs and a .521 slugging percentage. Bonfield led all players with 39 RBIs.
Top 4 Can’t Miss Series At Baum
Razorbacks vs. Miami (Ohio) – Feb. 17-19
Arkansas opens its 95th season of competition against the Redhawks of Miami (Ohio). The opening series will be the first time the two teams have faced each other since the 2005 NCAA Tournament. Arkansas has not lost the opening series to a season since 2001, two years before Van Horn took over as head coach.
Razorbacks vs. Mississippi State – March 17-19
The Hogs return to SEC play against the same team it ended against last year, only this time, it’s on the Razorbacks’ home turf. The Bulldogs finished the year 10th in the nation according to Baseball America, and as a host to an NCAA Super Regional, are coming off a 44-win season and an SEC regular season championship. New Razorback pitching coach Wes Johnson spent one season in Starkville in 2016 before taking over in Fayetteville for longtime Razorback coach Dave Jorn.
Razorbacks vs. LSU – April 7-9
In what is usually one of the more hotly contested series every year, Arkansas and LSU renew its rivalry with a three-game series at Baum Stadium in early April. LSU was also a Super Regional host last year and one of nine 40-win teams on Arkansas’ schedule this season.
Razorbacks vs. Vanderbilt – May 12-14
Arkansas concludes its home schedule with a three-game series against Vanderbilt. It is the first time that Arkansas has hosted Vanderbilt since 2014, when the Razorbacks won two of three. Vanderbilt is another Regional host from last year and one of nine 40-win teams on Arkansas’ schedule this season.
Other Notable Games
Frisco Classic – March 3-6
The Razorbacks will be part of the inaugural tournament in early March that will arguably be the best non-conference weekend on the schedule. All games of the tournament will be played at Dr. Pepper Ballpark, home of the Frisco Roughriders, the Double-A affiliate of the Texas Rangers. Arkansas is scheduled to play two of the 2016 College World Series teams in Arizona and Oklahoma State, as well as Nebraska, the former head coaching stop of Dave Van Horn.
Razorbacks vs. Kansas State (Kansas City, Mo.) – April 25
In conjunction with the Dick Howser Trophy, Arkansas and Kansas State will square off at Kauffman Stadium for its final non-conference game of the 2017 season. The Razorbacks went a perfect 3 for 3 at the Houston Astros’ home of Minute Maid Park last year as part of the Houston Shriners College Classic and will look to continue their success in major league ballparks next season.