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Dave Van Horn Still Playing Numbers Game Starting Hagen Smith

No, Connor Noland won't be starting but it's all hands on deck against Ole Miss in College World Series

Arkansas' Dave Van Horn is sticking with the numbers.

Picking tonight's starting pitcher for a must-win College World Series is either going to be a good move or questioned forever.

According to multiple outlets, Van Horn and pitching coach Matt Hobbs have decided to go with left-hander Hagen Smith in the game starting at 6 p.m. on ESPN and Fubo.tv.

Hagen Smith-UNC Super 02

Smith had one of his best starts against Ole Miss at the end of April in the regular season, but then struggled against Auburn and Vanderbilt, going to the bullpen after that.

He last pitched against North Carolina in the Super Regional.

A lot of talking heads had been speculating Connor Noland would be on the mound Wednesday night, but that didn't really seem to make sense.

"It's the only choice," one bleacher expert said about Noland after an 11-1 win over Auburn.

Brady Tygart-OSU NCAA Regional

Actually it made more sense to start Smith, who hasn't thrown a pitch in awhile and has been very effective when he's had plenty of rest this season.

There's still Brady Tygart available out of the bullpen and the dream scenario for Van Horn might to only use those two guys against the Rebels tonight.

But, as he said Tuesday night, it's going to be whatever has to be done to win.

They'll face Ole Miss again Thursday night if they win tonight.

But it all adds up to the drama for tonight's must-win game for the Hogs and the Rebels are batting .251 against lefties (.291 against right-handers).

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The Hogs tried that formula Monday night but it didn't make any difference and Ole Miss won easily.

We'll see how it works tonight.


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