"He's good," Van Horn said of Smith. "Last year I saw where he beat Georgia the second weekend down in Athens."
Both starters will be on limited pitch counts. Van Horn says Stanek will throw between 70 and 80 pitches. Which pitchers take the mound after that has a lot to do with the way the game goes.
"We'll go with a little bit of everybody depending on the situation," Van Horn explained. "A tight game will probably mean more of the guys (relievers) who are experienced. If we're fortunate enough to have a (safe) lead we'll go other ways."
One Razorback the fans will not see on opening weekend is senior left-hander Randall Fant who is recovering from a hamstring pull. Van Horn hopes to have Fant back by the Arizona State game on February 28.
Another injured Hog pitcher is likely to see action. Top reliever Colbi Suggs (7-1, 1.38) was throwing hard without difficulty during Thursday's final pre-season practice.
"He's telling me he's fine," Van Horn revealed. "He'll probably pitch. It would be nice if I didn't throw him at least until Sunday."
At the plate senior Matt Vinson will be Arkansas' leadoff hitter and play left field. The two-hole will be filled by redshirt junior centerfielder Jacob Morris. Redshirt freshman Tyler Spoon will bat third and play right field. Junior Dominic Ficociello moves to second base this season and will bat cleanup.
Those four will be followed by sophomore Brian Anderson at third, redshirt sophomore Kevin Fisher at first, freshman Willie Schwanke at the D.H. spot, junior Jacob Wise behind the plate and sophomore Brett McAfee at shortstop.
Van Horn also indicated that sophomore outfielder Joe Serrano will play in at least two games the first weekend. Serrano has been battling an arm problem which also affected his hitting for a while.
Arkansas ended it's three-week pre-season with a final tune up on a perfect day for baseball.
"I wish we would have played today," fifth year senior lefty Trent Daniel told the Razorback Nation. "With this Arkansas weather you never know. The next day it could be snowing."
Actually there is no snow in the forecast for Friday but the weather won't exactly be fan or player friendly. "It's supposed to be around 40," Van Horn noted. A little light wind out of the northwest. I sound a little bit like a weatherman."
Stanek says he plans to take advantage of the chilly temperatures. "On a day like that you're able to work a little bit more inside," Stanek explained. "Somebody gets jammed, they're really going to feel it more. Because of that you try to stay more aggressive."
"I'm sure Western Illinois will be fine with it," Van Horn added. "They're used to this kind of weather.
If it were later in the season I'd worry more about it with our players but frankly they want to play somebody else so bad they probably won't notice ."
First pitch is set for 3:05 p.m. at Baum Stadium.