FAYETTEVILLE--With a two hour practice Friday afternoon at Baum Stadium the Diamond Hogs officially started work for the 2013 season ranked No. 1 in a pair of pre-season polls. Collegiate Baseball and the USA Today coaches poll both have Arkansas as the nation's top ranked team.
"The coaches poll, to me, that was big," Van Horn told reporters prior to the Hogs first practice of the season. "That might be the poll I would use if I was asked. We're talking thirty coaches across the country who pretty much know the in's and out's. For them to put us ahead of a couple of other people, that was nice"
"It's an honor but it's just a beginning," Van Horn continued. "We play a lot of games. It's going to fluctuate. I'd just like to hang around the top ten all year. If we do it means we're having a really good season and will have a chance to host a regional and go from there."
The Hogs will scrimmage Saturday and Sunday with each scrimmage beginning at approximately 1 p.m. All practices and scrimmages are open to the public.
"We're trying to get us in line to be ready to roll on the (February) 15th," Van Horn noted. "That gives us three weeks. The guys we're planning on starting will get three starts (in pre-season scrimmages)."
Van Horn said it doesn't seem that long since the last game of the 2012 season, a 3-2 loss to South Carolina in a bracket final at the College World Series.
"I think that the players are ready to get out on the field and make a run to get back to the College World Series," Van Horn admitted.
Freshmen left handed pitchers Adam Meyer and Colin Poche participated in the workout. The two were arrested January 20 after allegedly shoplifting two cases of beer and two sandwiches from an area Walmart.
Van Horn said Meyer and Poche will face suspensions and other disciplinary action but will remain on the team.
Arkansas concentrated on bunt defense and situational defense followed by a lengthy batting practice on day one of the pre-season.
The Razorbacks open the season at home Friday, February 15 with a 3:05 p.m. contest against Western Illinois, the first of a three-game series.
SEC play starts for the Hogs Friday, March 15th against Ole Miss at Baum Stadium.