The Northwestern State baseball team will face its third nationally-ranked team on Tuesday at 6:35 and Wednesday at 3:05 when the Demons play at No. 24 Arkansas in non-conference action at Baum Stadium.
Both games will be carried on 100.7 KZBL-FM in Natchitoches and streamed for free on NSUDemons.com.
Northwestern State (22-17) has wins in its last four non-conference games, and will face Arkansas (25-16), who downed Southland Conference rival Stephen F. Austin before its last Southeastern Conference series.
The Demons played Louisiana-Lafayette, who was ranked No. 1 and 14, and LSU, who was ranked fourth at the time, earlier this season.
"(The Razorbacks) are coming off of a really good weekend. They beat Vanderbilt who is the No. 11 team in the country," said Demon head coach Lane Burroughs.
UA took two games of a three-contest set against Vanderbilt, in Arkansas.
"We have our work cut out for us. They have one of the best environments in college baseball, and I'm excited our guys have a chance to play in an environment like that," said Burroughs.
Right-hander Brandon Smith (0-1, 3.96 earned run average) will start for Northwestern State in Tuesday's game, and lefty Colin Poche (3-0, 1.71) will oppose him for Arkansas.
Freshman lefty Devin Bear (0-1, 16.20) is expected to start for the Demons on Wednesday. UA's starter will be Alex Philips (3-0, 2.25) for game two.
"We are going up there to try and win these games, but we're banged up and we are going to try and get some people into the games," said Burroughs. "We want to give some of the younger guys an opportunity to prepare for our stretch run in league play."
Chase Daughdrill leads Northwestern State in hitting with a .313 batting average and 32 runs batted in. Bret Underwood, who missed the entire Texas A&M-Corpus Christi series with an injury, has a .307 average.
Caleb Dugas has a .299 batting average, Nathan Lyons has .298 average, and Cort Brinson has a .290 average.
Joe Serrano leads the Razorbacks with a .321 batting average, and Brian Anderson has a .320 average. Anderson also leads the team 33 RBI.
"It will be a good match for stretch run in the conference play, and they are a great program," said Burroughs. "It'll be exciting to play them, but we'll have to get our lunch pail and get after it."
Razorback head coach Dave Van Horn was Northwestern State's head coach from 1995-97 and accumulated 106 wins and two Southland Conference championships.
"I worked for Coach Van Horn, and he's a very good friend of mine," said Burroughs. "I worked for him here at Northwestern. I'm excited to see him and his family."
Van Horn is on a long list of head coaches in the SEC that worked at Northwestern State, including Mississippi State's John Cohen and Alabama's Mitch Gaspard.
After Arkansas, the Demons will turn their sights to Central Arkansas for another crucial league series. Both teams are in a five-way tie for fourth place in the standings. The first game of that series will start at 6:30 on Friday.
Wednesday, August 20 2014 11:13 PM EDT2014-08-21 03:13:36 GMT
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