OMAHA, Nebraska – The Arkansas baseball team took practice at Bellevue East High School south of Omaha on Sunday morning. The dimensions of the park there weren’t all that different from TD Ameritrade in the city. Keeping things as close to normal is important right now.

OMAHA, Nebraska – The Arkansas baseball team took practice at Bellevue East High School south of Omaha on Sunday morning. The dimensions of the park there weren’t all that different from TD Ameritrade in the city. Keeping things as close to normal is important right now.


With one more loss, the season is over. It’s that simple.


Yet for a team that has either been oblivious to or ignorant of what it’s achieved, even that fact isn’t anything to worry about.


So they’re not. The Razorbacks did their drills, hit their batting practice and finished their day. A team that hasn’t lost consecutive games but once over the last 80 days will seek to avoid the dubious feat Monday at 2 p.m. when it plays Miami (FL) for the right to continue its season.


"You can’t think about you got to win x-amount of games and our back’s against the wall, all the things that add up – we don’t have enough of this or that. You’ve just to to play and let it happen. If you catch fire good things can happen," Arkansas coach Dave Van Horn said.


For any of the team’s followers, it’s common knowledge what the Razorbacks have had to overcome: an inglorious start, a sub-.500 record as late as March, the loss of two starting pitchers to injury and a roller-coaster season from the rest of them. Whether luck, skill or effort has allowed Arkansas to make it this far is irrelevant. All three will likely be required against the Hurricanes.


No school in the country has made the NCAA Tournament more consecutive times than Miami’s 46 straight. Its four national championships are tied for fifth most in the country. The 23 College World Series appearances are second all-time. As for just this year, the Hurricanes are sixth in the country in batting average (.311) and spent most of the season ranked inside the top 10.


But they’re also a team coming off a shock. Florida beat Miami, 15-3, only hours after Virginia beat Arkansas, sending both teams to the elimination game.


And despite Van Horn’s 21 years as a head coach, he’s never played Miami. The Hogs also have never beaten the Hurricanes, either.


It’s right-hander Keaton McKinney’s job to snap that 0-4 streak. The freshman has had a disastrous last month. After collecting five wins in six starts from April 12 to May 15, his last three starts – all in the postseason – have gone 1 inning, 4 innings, 1 1/3 innings. He’s walked eight and given up six earned over that course.


He’s also fought a hip issue, though depending on the day and who is asked, may or may not be the root cause. But certainly a wall had been hit.


"I think if he gets off to a good start I think that will help a lot," Van Horn said. "I don’t think there’s really any pain there. He just hasn’t been able to work out like normal. Just maybe a different feel. Not feeling as much as he normally does. But it would be big for him to go out there and gain some confidence."


Given the elimination circumstances everyone out on the pitching staff, save Saturday starter Trey Killian, will be available Monday. Even then there aren’t many options. Jackson Lowery is likely the first of which if McKinney struggles. Jacob Stone would be the primary bridge to the late innings. And Zach Jackson is the tight-game primary. Josh Alberius and Lance Phillips have also pitched in the postseason.


That’s it. It’s going to have to be all hands on deck if Arkansas wants to continue its season. The team with the fewest MLB draft selections of the eight in Omaha may be the first eliminated. But as Van Horn has said for weeks, whatever happens happens. He seemed encouraged at Don Roddy Field on Sunday.


The team that’s never been bothered this season shouldn’t be now.