The Official Website of the Southeastern Conference
The Official Website of the Southeastern Conference

Arkansas misses head coach Dave Van Horn

37 days ago
Kevin Scarbinsky
Photo: Michael Wade

Welcome to the 2022 SEC Baseball Tournament Blog, your online home for the big news, behind-the-scenes notes and quotes and special moments that make this annual event at the Hoover (Ala.) Met the best college baseball tournament in the nation. Check back for updates each day throughout the week.

There was something different about the Arkansas team that returned to Hoover to try to defend its 2021 SEC Tournament championship. The Razorbacks were without longtime head coach Dave Van Horn. About 45 minutes before the first pitch against Alabama, the official Arkansas Baseball Twitter account announced that he would not be in attendance.

"He is not feeling well but is resting comfortably," the announcement said. There were no further details provided. After the game, a 4-3 Alabama win, Arkansas pitching coach Matt Hobbs said he had not received any updates on Van Horn's condition.

Right-fielder Chris Lanzilli said Hobbs told the players "right before the game" that Van Horn - now in his 20th season as head coach at his alma mater - was out sick.

"He said, 'Don't let it affect you. Coach Van Horn doesn't want you guys thinking about it at all. He's doing well,' " Lanzilli said. "Obviously we'd love to have him here, and he affects the game hugely. That's why he's got such a good reputation. I don't know. Maybe that was a big part of (the loss)."

Lanzilli stepped up with a two-run homer, but Arkansas struggled in all phases, Hobbs said, while Alabama "played clean baseball. Their pitchers threw strikes, and they took advantage of our mistakes." Two Arkansas errors led to two unearned Alabama runs that made all the difference in a one-run decision. It was the Tide's third straight victory over the Hogs in a week dating to the last series of the regular season.

Alabama coach Brad Bohannon noticed Van Horn's absence.

"It was really weird looking over at the Arkansas dugout and not seeing Coach Van Horn so I hope he's feeling better," Bohannon said. "He's one of the GOATS as far as I'm concerned."