This weekend the Razorbacks (#5 nationally, #1 in Fayetteville) will host Southern Miss, Dallas Baptist and Oral Roberts in the Fayetteville Regional of the NCAA Tournament. 

Arkansas will be meeting Oral Roberts for their third straight NCAA Tournament, having defeated ORU 8-6 in Stillwater in 2015, 3-0 to start last year’s Fayetteville Regional and 4-3 to eliminate the Golden Eagles. The Razorbacks hold a 68-35 record in the series, as well as a 37-14 record in Fayetteville. Arkansas currently owns a seven game winning streak.

Arkansas trails Southern Miss in the series, 4-8 but has a 2-1 advantage for games played in Fayetteville. The last time the Razorbacks and Southern Miss met, Arkansas won 8-2 in 1995.

Arkansas leads the overall series versus Dallas Baptist 11-7, including a 9-5 advantage in Fayetteville. The last time Arkansas and Dallas Baptist met, Arkansas won 8-1 in Dallas. The last time Dallas Baptist and the Razorbacks met in Fayetteville, Arkansas won 13-3 in 1992.

Oral Roberts Golden Eagles (38-18, Summit League Regular Season and Tournament Champions)

The fourth seeded Golden Eagles are the worst hitting team in the regional when it comes to average, hitting just .285 on the season. ORU isn’t a long ball team, hitting only 37 home runs (would be 14th in the SEC. Arkansas is 1st with 84), but hits doubles at a similar rate to Arkansas (95 to Arkansas’ 98). They average 6.2 runs per game (Arkansas averages 7.0). ORU steals a few more bases (38 compared to Arkansas’ 35) and has a strikeout to walk ratio of 505:258 (Arkansas is 417:276).

Player to Watch: Sophomore INF Spencer Henson – .368. 9 HR, 54 RBI

Oral Roberts is slightly better on the mound. They have a team ERA of 3.88 (Arkansas’ is at 3.53), with the Golden Eagles’ opponents hitting just .233 (Arkansas’ opponents hit .240 on the season). While Oral Roberts doesn’t hit a lot of home runs, their pitching staff doesn’t give up many long balls, with opponents hitting just 34 on the season (Arkansas has allowed 45). ORU has a ~2:1 strikeout to walk ratio (Arkansas has a~3:1 ratio).

Player to Watch: Senior RHP Miguel Ausua – 8-1, 3.27 ERA, 2:1 Strikeout to Walk Ratio, .238 opp. batting average (Last year vs. Arkansas: 6.1 IP, 2 Rs, 1 ER, 6 Ks, 3 BBs, 8 hits)

2018 Common Opponent: Lost 6-5 @ Missouri State (Arkansas won 11-7 vs. Missouri State)

Southern Miss (43-16, Conference USA Regular Season and Tournament Champions)

The number two seed Golden Eagles of Southern Miss have the best hitting average of the four teams in the regional, with a .304 average (11th nationally). They are fairly middle of the road in terms of home runs with 69 (would be 6th in SEC), but is 35th nationally in doubles with 112. Southern Miss averages 8.1 runs per game (5th nationally), has stolen 52 bases this season and has a 501:310 strikeout to walk ratio.

Player to Watch: Junior INF Luke Reynolds – .400 avg (T-9th nationally), 15 HR, 60 RBI

On the mound, the Golden Eagles have a combined team ERA of 3.55 (31st nationally), while allowing opponents to hit just .251. Teams struggle to take the Southern Miss deep, with opponents having hit on 32 home runs on the season (would be tied for 1st in the SEC) with a 3.5:1 strikeout to walk ratio.

Player to Watch: Junior RHP Nick Sandlin – 9-0, 1.13 ERA (1st nationally), ~9:1 Strikeout to Walk ratio, .154 opp. batting average

2018 Common Opponents: Sweep vs. Miss. St (Arkansas swept at Miss. St), lost at Alabama 3-0 (Arkansas sweep vs. Alabama), lost to Ole Miss twice (Arkansas lost two of three to Ole Miss), split two games with Charlotte in C-USA Tournament (Arkansas lost 6-3 at Charlotte).

Dallas Baptist (40-19, 2nd in Missouri Valley Conference)

The third seeded Patriots hit .296 on the season (26th nationally). They are no stranger to home runs with 77 on the year (9th nationally), but lead the nation with 144 doubles. The Patriots score 7.4 runs per game and is active on the base paths, totaling 72 stolen bases on the season. 

Player to Watch: Senior OF Devlin Granberg – .426 avg (3rd nationally), 11 HR, 65 RBI

Dallas Baptist’s pitching staff is very middle of the road. They have a cumulative ERA of 4.38 and allow opponents to hit .257 on the season. Teams have proved that the Patriots can be taken deep, with the staff giving up 53 home runs this season (would be 13th in the SEC) with a ~2.5:1 strikeout to walk ratio.

Player to Watch: Junior RHP Jarod Bayless – 2-3 (26 appearances out of the bullpen), 2.36 ERA, 4 saves, ~3:1 strikeout to walk ratio

2018 Common Opponents: Won vs. Texas Tech, 6-5 and at TTU, 10-4 (Arkansas won vs. TTU, 4-0). Lost 3 of 4 to Missouri State (Arkansas defeated Missouri State in one game series).