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Block out the noise: Arkansas baseball goes to Aggieland with title on the line | Whole Hog Sports

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Block out the noise: Arkansas baseball goes to Aggieland with title on the line | Whole Hog Sports


COLLEGE STATION, Texas — A baseball championship will be on the line when Arkansas ends the regular season at Texas A&M. 

The Razorbacks have heard that before.

Thirty-five years ago Arkansas went to College Station one game ahead of Texas A&M in the Southwest Conference standings. The Razorbacks won the first game 11-9 in 16 innings to claim a share of their first SWC crown, but split the SWC title with the Aggies who swept a Saturday doubleheader. 

Five years ago Arkansas went 1-2 at Texas A&M on the final weekend. The Razorbacks did not know they had won the SEC West title until well after their final game had ended, when Mississippi State lost to South Carolina to create a split championship. 

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Barring something unforeseen, there will be no split title this year, at least not in the SEC West. Second-ranked Arkansas (42-10, 19-8 SEC) enters the series with a two-game lead over fourth-ranked Texas A&M (42-10, 17-10) in the standings. 

If the Razorbacks win once, they will win their fifth division title in six seasons dating to 2018. The Aggies must sweep to win the division for the second time in three seasons. 

“It makes it a little more interesting, I guess,” Arkansas coach Dave Van Horn said. “It’s the two teams at the top playing each other the last day.” 

Given the West has produced the past three national champions, those division titles tend to mean a little something extra. 

“This is the big leagues of college baseball,” Texas A&M coach Jim Schlossnagle said. 

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Both teams are also alive in the conference title race. 

The Razorbacks are one game behind Kentucky and tied with Tennessee for second in the SEC. Arkansas has won two of the past three conference championships, including last season when the Razorbacks split with Florida. 

The Aggies are three games back of first place and must sweep Arkansas, then hope for upsets elsewhere on the leaderboard to share the conference crown. 

Van Horn said he hasn’t spoken to the team about title contention. 

“We’re just going to go play,” Van Horn said. “Obviously we want to win the series. That’s our goal at a minimum…and then let the chips fall where they may.” 

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Arkansas could celebrate in College Station similar to the 1989 team that won one of the most memorable games in program history. The 16-inning victory over the Aggies lasted 5 hours, 57 minutes — time-wise the longest game in SWC history. 

“I was looking for aspirin tablets in the 11th inning,” then-Arkansas coach Norm DeBriyn told the Arkansas Democrat following the game. “I never found any.” 

Texas A&M matched Arkansas scores in the top of the ninth and 14th innings to extend the game. 

The Razorbacks went ahead for good when Greg D’Alexander hit a two-run bloop double in the top of the 16th. Phillip Stidham, pitching his eighth inning in relief, struck out the SWC’s leading hitter, John Byington, to end the game after Chuck Knoblauch hit a two-out single. 

The game ended at 1:04 a.m. 

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“I remember the atmosphere more than the actual game,” said Bubba Carpenter, a sophomore outfielder that season. 

Carpenter also played at Texas A&M in 1991. Speaking on the Whole Hog Baseball Podcast, Carpenter said Texas A&M was the most hostile place to play in the SWC. 

“I remember getting off the bus for [batting practice] and they lined the sidewalks and they were all over us from the time we got off the bus, during BP, everything we did in that game,” Carpenter said. “It was all choreographed. I grew up in Winslow and went to West Fork High School. We didn’t get giant crowds at George Cole Field….That was the first time I played in front of a really big crowd that was hostile. I loved it. I remember standing on deck and looking around thinking, ‘This is unbelievable.’

“I was amazed at how organized their rags were. They did everything in unison. They were prepared for everything you did.” 

Carpenter, who is in seventh season as the color analyst for the Razorback Sports Network, expects Arkansas’ players to get similar treatment this week.  

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“The key is: it’s baseball,” Carpenter said. “Don’t take it serious. Enjoy it….It’s a challenge for us. I think the makeup of this team, they’re going to go in there and eat it up. We don’t have guys that are nervous.” 

Blue Bell Park has a listed capacity of 6,100, but portable bleachers will be added to the stadium to increase attendance and volume for the final series and postseason games. 

“Their fans are loud and organized and they have a good time at the ballpark,” said Van Horn, who added, “It’s going to be wild down there.” 

It always is when Arkansas and Texas A&M have a championship on the line. 

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Arkansas

Arkansas parents adopt boy who lived in 25 foster homes

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Arkansas parents adopt boy who lived in 25 foster homes


After being sent to 25 homes in just four years, an Arkansas foster child has found his forever home.

Cassie and Bradley Kissinger joined “America’s Newsroom” with their newly adopted son, Luke, 11. 

“I know that this is going to be forever… I never thought that forever was a thing anymore,” he said.

According to the U.S. Administration for Children & Families, 53,700 children were adopted in 2022; 368,500 children were in foster care that same year. The amount of children in foster care has been steadily declining over the previous four years. 

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FOSTER CARE SHORTAGE IN MANY STATES AS COLORADO NONPROFIT SEEKS MORE PARENTS WILLING TO HELP

Cassie said she grew up in a family of fostered and adopted children. This inspired her to adopt a child of her own. When she discovered Luke through his Project Zero video, she “immediately knew that he was ours.” Project Zero is an Arkansas organization that helps waiting children find families. 

After the years in foster care, Luke said he was “shocked” he found his forever home. 

Bradley said they had “no doubt since day one” that Luke would fit into the family. The couple also has a 14-year-old girl and another 11-year-old boy. 

“They’re one of the best brothers and sisters I’ve ever had,” Luke said.

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NORTH DAKOTA RANKED BEST STATE FOR CHILDBIRTH, MISSISSIPPI RANKED WORST: REPORT

Luke’s parents’ advice to those looking to foster a child or adopt is, “just go for it.” She said it’s not an easy road to be a foster parent, but it’s even harder for the children. She stresses that children need a stable and loving home as they walk through life. 

The More Than Enough dashboard allows users to discover the foster care situation in their local community. It provides information on children in each county awaiting adoption, children in foster care placement and more. 

Everyone should have a family by their side when they go through life, get married and have their own families, Cassie said. No one should do it alone. 

Cassie Kissinger works for The C.A.L.L. in Arkansas, which aims to recruit foster and adoptive families. Similar organizations exist in states around the U.S. 

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Since it’s been a while since he played a sport, Luke said he’s excited about playing football this summer with his new family.



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Arkansas baseball to host NCAA Regional

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Arkansas baseball to host NCAA Regional


FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. (KAIT) – Baum-Walker Stadium has been selected as one of 16 NCAA regional sites.

Arkansas, selected as a host for the second consecutive season, will host regionals for the 11th time in program history and the 10th time under head coach Dave Van Horn. Each regional field features four teams, playing in a double-elimination format. All 16 regionals are scheduled to be played from Friday, May 31 to Monday, June 3 (if necessary).

Arkansas is one of five SEC programs, along with Georgia, Kentucky, Tennessee and Texas A&M, that will host a regional.

The full 64-team field, top-16 national seeds, first-round regional pairings and site assignments will be announced at 11 a.m. CT Monday, May 27, on ESPN2. The committee will set the entire 64-team bracket through both the super regionals and the first round of the Men’s College World Series and will not reseed the field after play begins.

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Selection of the eight super regional hosts will be announced on www.NCAA.com/mcws, at 9 a.m. CT Tuesday, June 4.

For complete coverage of Arkansas baseball, follow the Hogs on Twitter (@RazorbackBSB), Instagram (@RazorbackBSB) and Facebook (Arkansas Razorback Baseball).

To report a typo or correction, please click here.





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Honoring the nation’s fallen servicemen is true meaning of holiday | Arkansas Democrat Gazette

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Honoring the nation’s fallen servicemen is true meaning of holiday | Arkansas Democrat Gazette


Since 1971, Americans have observed Memorial Day as a legal federal holiday occurring on the last Monday of May. Commonly known as the unofficial start of summer, it is part of a three-day weekend filled with cookouts, travel and concerts and, most important, ceremonies honoring the nation’s war dead.

Before it was Memorial Day, it was known as “Decoration Day,” a tradition that began in the aftermath of the Civil War as cities and towns in both the North and South set aside days to decorate the graves of the fallen. And it had nothing to do with summer celebrations and retail sales. It was simply a time of healing as Americans sought to honor those who died in the nation’s deadliest war.

The first nationally proclaimed “Decoration Day” took place on May 30, 1868, at Arlington National Cemetery, the nation’s most sacred burial site for veterans. However, the origin of the holiday itself has become unclear over time with more than 25 cities and towns laying claim as its birthplace.

    Women prepare for Decoration Day in 1899. (Library of Congress)
 
 

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THE BLUE AND THE GRAY

The practice of decorating graves with flowers dates to ancient times, and following the Civil War with its devastating casualties, citizens across the country had begun decorating the graves of the war dead.

According to “The Genesis of the Memorial Day Holiday in America” by Daniel Bellware and Richard Gardiner, the first request for a decoration day holiday came from Mary Ann Williams, secretary of the Ladies Memorial Association of Columbus, Ga. Williams wrote a March 10, 1866, letter to the Columbus Daily Sun that called for establishing “at least one day in each year to embellishing their humble graves with flowers.” The letter soon appeared in newspapers across Georgia and throughout the South leading to establishment of April 26, 1866, as “Decoration Day.” However, a Memphis newspaper erroneously reported the date to be April 25, which prompted a group of women in Columbus, Miss., to go ahead with their decorating a day earlier, thereby staking their claim as to being first. They also decorated the graves of both Confederate as well as Union soldiers who died fighting on Southern battlefields. This inspired poet Frances Miles Finch to write the poem “The Blue and the Gray,” which included this stanza:

“From the silence of sorrowful hours

The desolate mourners go,

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Lovingly laden with flowers

Alike for the friend and the foe:

Under the sod and the dew,

Waiting on the judgment day,

Under the roses, the Blue,

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Under the lilies, the Gray.”

The poem’s popularity helped spread the word of the event to cities in the North, Bellware and Gardiner wrote. Inspired by people in the South, Maj. John A. Logan, the head of the Grand Army of the Republic, an organization of Union Army veterans, decided a national decoration day should be established. On May 5, 1868, the GAR issued General Orders No. 11 or the “Memorial Day Act,” officially establishing “Memorial Day” as the date to remember the war dead and decorate their graves with flowers, according to the National Cemetery Administration of the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs. The department said he chose that date because it was a time when flowers would be in bloom across the country.

In the order, Logan wrote that the nation should never forget the costs of the war. “We should guard their graves with sacred vigilance. … Let pleasant paths invite the coming and going of reverent visitors and fond mourners. Let no neglect, no ravages of times, testify to the present or to the coming generations that we have forgotten as a people the cost of a free and undivided republic.”

  photo  A Memorial Day ceremony at the Tomb of Unknown Soldier at Arlington National Cemetery. (Library of Congress)
 
 

In 1873, New York became the first state to officially recognize the holiday and by 1890 all of the previously known Union states also adopted it. After World War I, the event was expanded to include the fallen Americans of all wars. Still, there was no official federal holiday approved by Congress. In 1950, through congressional joint resolution, lawmakers requested that the president issue a proclamation “calling upon the people of the United States to observe each Memorial Day as a day of prayer for permanent peace and designating a period during each such day when the people of the United States might unite in such supplication.”

Another congressional resolution in 1966, which was proclaimed by President Lyndon B. Johnson, officially recognized Waterloo, N.Y., as the birthplace of Memorial Day. (Waterloo, led by Henry C. Welles, a local druggist, spearheaded a decoration/memorial day that took place on May 5, 1866.) Two years later, the Uniform Monday Holiday Act was passed to become effective in 1971 and designated Memorial Day a national holiday. The act also moved it from May 30 to the last Monday in May, creating a three-day weekend for American workers.

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In 2000, the National Moment of Remembrance Act became law. It created the White House Commission on the National Moment of Remembrance, which promotes Memorial Day commemorations. It also encourages all Americans to pause wherever they are at 3 p.m. local time on Memorial Day for a moment of silence to remember and honor those who died in military service.

“It’s a way we can all help put the ‘memorial’ back in Memorial Day,” said Carmella LaSpada, the first executive director of the commission.

In a Washington Post article, LaSpada said she was inspired, in part, to raise awareness about Memorial Day’s true meaning when she met a group of schoolchildren in Lafayette Park in Washington and asked them what Memorial Day meant.

The article says the children responded, “That’s the day when the swimming pool opens.” She responded: “True, but remember that we can go to the pool or a baseball game because brave Americans died for our freedom.”

  photo  Wanda Malone (left), Linda Townsend (top left) and Paulette Yarbrough (right) all of Heber Springs plant flags in front of headstones in preparation for Memorial Day on Wednesday, May 26, 2021, at the Arkansas State Veterans Cemetery at North Little Rock. More photos at www.arkansasonline.com/527flags/ (Arkansas Democrat-Gazette/Thomas Metthe)
 
 



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