FAYETTEVILLE — Arkansas baseball unveiled its 56-game schedule Tuesday. And Arkansas coach Dave Van Horn believes it will be one of the NCAA’s toughest.

FAYETTEVILLE — Arkansas baseball unveiled its 56-game schedule Tuesday. And Arkansas coach Dave Van Horn believes it will be one of the NCAA’s toughest.


Arkansas will play 22 games against teams that reached an NCAA Regional last season, including early Southeastern Conference dates with 2014 national champion Vanderbilt and College World Series participant Ole Miss. The schedule includes 36 home games, beginning on Feb. 13 with a three-game series against North Dakota.


"Our schedule sets up once again to be one of the toughest in the country," Van Horn said in a news release. "With a compilation of challenging home and road games early on, we should be able to prepare ourselves for a loaded conference slate."


Arkansas’ nonconference schedule is highlighted by an early-season road trip to Mobile, Ala., where the Razorbacks will play games against Central Florida (Feb. 20), South Alabama (Feb. 21) and Maryland (Feb. 22). It will be followed by nonconference games against California (Feb. 26-March 1), Louisiana Tech (March 4), Loyola-Marymount (March 6-8) and Gonzaga (March 10-11) in Baum Stadium.


Arkansas also has a two-game series against Memphis that will be played in North Little Rock’s Dickey-Stephens Park (March 24) and Memphis (March 25). The Razorbacks play a late-season game at Creighton (May 12), too. Creighton plays in TD Ameritrade Park in Omaha, Neb., which is the home of the College World Series.


Van Horn said he didn’t agree to the game simply because of the stadium. But he believes his players could benefit from experience in the ballpark if they’re fortunate enough to return to Omaha for the College World Series.


"I won’t even say that," Van Horn said. "They know. It’s something you’ve got to earn. But it will be good for them to play in that ballpark and just see how it plays."


Arkansas will have to get through a 30-game conference schedule first. The Razorbacks open SEC play with a three-game series at Vanderbilt (March 13-15), then face LSU (March 20-22) and Ole Miss (March 27-29) in Baum Stadium.


Arkansas also plays at home against Kentucky (April 10-12), Mississippi State (April 24-26) and Tennessee (May 8-10). The Razorbacks travel to Auburn (April 3-5), Texas A&M (April 17-19), Alabama (May 1-3) and Georgia (May 14-16).


"They’re all the same to me," Van Horn said about the difficult start to SEC play. "Maybe you can catch a team when they’re down or have an injury. It’s kind of the luck of the draw sometimes. But why not go open up with Vanderbilt?"


— Robbie Neiswanger • Arkansas News Bureau