If a couple of things had gone differently, Arkansas would be in the driver’s seat of their four-team group at the College World Series in Omaha.

Instead, they’re heading home as the first of the eight teams eliminated after losing two games by a total of two runs. On Saturday, they fell to Florida State 1-0, and on Monday, they lost 5-4 to Texas Tech in an elimination game.

After the loss, Arkansas manager Dave Van Horn reflected on the season. He said he’s proud of what the Razorbacks accomplished, since not many expected them to make it to Omaha again this year (via ASAPSports.com):

You know, just really proud of the team. Told them that after the game. Told them to walk out of there with their head high. We were real close to winning two games. We ended up losing two one-run games; kind of hard to swallow. But overall it was a really good year, getting a part of the Western Division championship with a really good Mississippi State team, but throughout the year we swept Mississippi State at our place. And getting back here, just proud of them and appreciated the effort they gave us all year. Those guys showed up every day and worked hard, smiled a lot, and it made it fun to work with them. I just appreciate the effort.

I’m going to miss (Dominic) Fletcher, that smiling, goofy center fielder. That guy can play with anybody. You know, you think about Trevor Ezell coming in and just really, really solidified our lineup. I’m going to miss that guy, his leadership, and it wasn’t all verbal, it was just by work ethic and toughness. (Jack) Kenley had an incredible year and he kind of came out of nowhere and we had to have that.

I could probably go on and on. A lot of the pitchers, as well. (Isaiah) Campbell, you only get one or two of those guys every now and then. I’ve had one the last two years. We’re going to have to find somebody or somebody has got to try to become that guy if we’re going to have an opportunity to make it this far next year.

It was a good year. I know there’s a lot of people back home disappointed, but probably like me, if they just take a step back and take a breath and kind of realize what we replaced and how we did after we replaced all those players, it was a pretty good year.

This isn’t the trip Hog fans wanted, but it was a great season for a team not many expected to make it to Omaha this year.

Van Horn has this team going in the right direction, so it’ll be exciting to see how things go in 2020.