Takeaways from Arkansas' 2021 baseball schedule
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With the season exactly one month away, Arkansas announced its 2021 baseball schedule Tuesday afternoon.
The Razorbacks have a 54-game slate, which is two under the maximum allowed by the NCAA, that includes 33 games at Baum-Walker Stadium.
Fans will have to wait an extra week to see Arkansas at home, though, as it will open the season at the State Farm College Baseball Classic in Arlington, Texas. Played at Globe Life Park, the home of the Texas Rangers, it is essentially a Big 12/SEC Challenge.
Arkansas will play three former Southwest Conference foes, beginning with rival Texas on Feb. 19 and followed by matchups with Texas Tech and TCU. The other SEC teams participating are Ole Miss and Mississippi State, meaning all six teams at the event are in D1Baseball’s preseason top 10.
It will be the first time since 2007 that the Razorbacks will open the season away from home. The home opener isn’t until Thursday, Feb. 25, when they welcome Southeast Missouri State to Fayetteville for a four-game series.
The non-conference slate also includes weekend series against Murray State and at Louisiana Tech. The midweek schedule is highlighted by a single game against Oklahoma at Baum-Walker Stadium, which will shrive as the final tune-up before SEC play on March 16, as well as matchups with all four in-state Division I programs.
The Razorbacks’ first ever baseball game against Arkansas State will wrap up the non-conference slate on May 11. It is believed to be the first regular-season matchup between the two schools in a major sport since they played in men’s basketball in 1948.
There will also be a two-game midweek series against Little Rock (April 6-7) and UAPB (April 13-14), as well as a single game against Central Arkansas (March 30).
The game against Grambling State on April 20 was originally scheduled to be Arkansas' annual game at Dickey-Stephens Park in North Little Rock, but it was moved to Fayetteville to minimize additional travel during the pandemic.
As expected, Arkansas will play the same SEC teams it was supposed to play in 2020 and at the same locations, but in a different order.
Instead of opening conference play in Starkville, Miss., against Mississippi State, it will now welcome Alabama to Baum-Walker Stadium on the SEC’s opening weekend.
It is worth noting that for the first time in a decade, the Razorbacks will end the regular season at home. They host consensus preseason No. 1 Florida beginning May 20 before heading to the SEC Tournament in Hoover, Ala.
With only 54 games currently scheduled, Arkansas will have the flexibility to add two more games to the docket, which could come in handy during this COVID-19 era.
2021 Arkansas Baseball Schedule
Feb. 19 - vs. Texas^
Feb. 20 - vs. Texas Tech^
Feb. 21 - vs. TCU^
Feb. 25-28 - vs. Southeast Missouri State
March 5-7 - vs. Murray State
March 12-14 - at Louisiana Tech
March 16 - vs. Oklahoma
March 19-21 - vs. Alabama*
March 23-24 - vs. Memphis
March 26-28 - at Mississippi State*
March 30 - vs. Central Arkansas
April 2-4 - vs. Auburn*
April 6-7 - vs. Little Rock
April 9-11 - at Ole Miss*
April 13-14 - vs. UAPB
April 16-18 - vs. Texas A&M*
April 20 - vs. Grambling State
April 23-25 - at South Carolina*
April 27 - vs. Missouri State
April 30-May 2 - at LSU*
May 7-9 - vs. Georgia*
May 11 - vs. Arkansas State
May 14-16 - at Tennessee*
May 20-22 - vs. Florida*
May 25-30 - SEC Tournament (Hoover, Ala.)
Home games in bold
^State Farm College Baseball Showdown (Globe Life Park in Arlington, Texas)