Preseason favorite Arkansas eyes more success

AP Sports Writer

FAYETTEVILLE (AP) - Arkansas hopes to take another step forward this season and deliver the school's first national championship.

The Razorbacks, under coach Dave Van Horn, are ranked No. 1 in three preseason polls. They expect to return this season to the College World Series, where they came within one win of reaching last season's championship series against eventual winner Arizona.

Arkansas returns much of a pitching staff that was fifth in the country in ERA last season, including starter Ryne Stanek. The junior was 8-4 with a 2.82 ERA in 17 starts last season.

One area the Razorbacks must improve is offensively. They were 170th in the country last season in runs per game (5.2), a number Van Horn expects to rise thanks to overall depth.

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