FAYETTEVILLE — More than once this year an Arkansas baseball player has earned a national award for his play, but then had to settle for Co-SEC Player of Week or nothing from the league.
The right-handed relief pitcher was named Collegiate Baseball Newspaper National Player of the Week as well as the SEC Co-Pitcher of the Week on Monday after helping lead No. 1 Arkansas to a series win at No. 11 South Carolina.
Some fans are amazed a player can be the national player of week, but have to settle for SEC Co-Player of Week. Dave Van Horn addressed that on Wednesday.
“Those two groups don’t work together,” Van Horn said. “That’s how. You’ve got the SEC and they could probably care less what the national people will say. They’re going to on what they see. I think (Kumar) Rocker had an incredible outing. Kopps had an incredible two days for us so I guess they decided to pick two of them. They couldn’t decide on one obviously.
“Collegiate Baseball is out of Arizona they just kind of look at the numbers and make a decision. So I get where the fans are coming from, but then again I get it.”
Van Horn noted that selecting one or even two players for their performances that week can’t be an easy task.
“There’s great outings all over the place whether it’s a hitter or pitcher,” Van Horn said. “It’s probably really, really difficult to select a guy. If somebody throws a perfect game or hits a big game against good competition that might be easy, but when things are going on the way they go on in our league. They’re so talented. I get the sharing thing. I wouldn’t want to be in their shoes honestly picking some weeks.”
Van Horn, Kopps and the Hogs will be in Baton Rouge for a three-game series beginning Friday at 6 p.m. and televised on the SEC Network.