Why the heck did Arkansas baseball lose to Cal Poly and San Diego?

SEC Country reporter Eric W. Bolin will candidly answer your Arkansas Razorbacks sports queries each weekday in our  Mailbag Question of the Day. Join the conversation by sending your questions via Twitter to  @SECCountryHogs or by email to Eric at  ericwbolin@gmail.com.

Question of the Day: Monday, February 26, 2018

It was not an uncommon question I saw floating around social media on Sunday. Baseball, despite being the best of the big three sports at Arkansas, tends to play third fiddle to basketball and football. The die-hard Diamond Hogs fans know the answer to this question posed. Those who are just general fans of Arkansas sports, it’s not as obvious.

Razorbacks basketball coach Mike Anderson has a regular habit of saying the name on the front of the jersey doesn’t matter. A good team is a good team. That’s doubly true for college baseball, which is completely dissimilar to hoops and football.

The sport being an outdoors one that cannot be played in inclement weather limits the quality of some teams. It’s why you rarely find teams from north of the Mason-Dixon line in the College World Series. Happens on occasion. Not often. On the other hand, the reverse is true, too. Teams from warm-weather climates (i.e. the South and the West) are typically the powers.

It includes Cal Poly and San Diego, teams that may be headed for the NCAA Tournament this year. At the very least, those two are teams that play in conferences likely or somewhat likely to get multiple bids. And it gets a heck of a lot colder — and wetter — in Fayetteville than it does San Diego.

Of course, yes, Arkansas is the superior team. But also throw in that the Diamond Hogs lost those two games by one run each. Dave Van Horn’s bunch didn’t exactly look like amateurs out there.

The truth is that it probably won’t be the last time Arkansas loses to an inferior team in nonconference action. It’s baseball. The Diamond Hogs have a target, they schedule better than almost any team in the country, and it’s February. They won’t be outside the top 10 when the polls are released.

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