FAYETTEVILLE — Arkansas has suffered through plenty of struggles at the baseball plate and its share of occasional stumbles on the mound.

FAYETTEVILLE — Arkansas has suffered through plenty of struggles at the baseball plate and its share of occasional stumbles on the mound.

After climbing as high as No. 3 in the Baseball America poll, the past month hasn’t been easy to endure. Arkansas is 7-9 since March 30, has lost eight of 12 Southeastern Conference games and two straight series.

But Arkansas coach Dave Van Horn has found some promise from his team this week.

“It seems like every team goes through a little bit of a down spell,” Van Horn said a day after his team beat Oral Roberts 6-1 to grab its second straight win. “I think we’ve had that. I think we’re coming out of it.”

No. 21 Arkansas (29-12, 9-9 in SEC) can prove it during an important weekend series at No. 5 Florida (32-10, 11-7), which begins at 6 tonight. It’s a chance for the Razorbacks — who are still clinging to slipping hopes of hosting an NCAA Regional at Baum Stadium in June — to make a big impression. The Gators are widely regarded among the nation’s top teams this season.

It’s easier said than done, but Arkansas first baseman Dominic Ficociello said the Razorbacks understand the stakes as the final month of the season begins. So they realize a series win at Florida could go a long way to determining how Arkansas closes the year.

“It happens,” Ficociello said of the struggles. “I think all of the players believe, and I’m sure the coaches believe the same thing, we’re back on track. We’re about to get things going in the right direction.”

It must start at the plate for Arkansas, which is hitting .261 in conference games and faces a talented Florida pitching rotation.

The Razorbacks were limited to two runs in the series opener at Ole Miss last weekend and were shut out in the second game. They broke out in the series finale, scoring 11 runs in a win and added six more Tuesday.

“We feel like we’ve been too picky at the plate,” Arkansas third baseman Matt Reynolds said. “We’re going to start swinging the bat, being aggressive in hitter’s counts.

“If they throw a changeup or a slider in a hitter’s count, we’re going to be aggressive and take a good swing at it.”

But Ficociello said the pitching must remain sharp as well this weekend.

Arkansas has been impressive on the mound most of the season, but has had some struggles to start a series. The Razorbacks have allowed seven runs or more in four of its six series openers in SEC play.

Florida’s loaded lineup could make it five.

“They hit the crap out of the ball,” Ficociello said of the Gators. “So we need the pitchers to stay on track, too.”

Both teams are trying to stay in the hunt for the SEC’s regular season championship, adding more intrigue to the series.

Florida is two games behind Kentucky in the standings. Arkansas is four games back.

So the Razorbacks know how important a series win will be in Gainesville, Fla.

“It’s kind of getting to that time where if things haven’t been going real good … it’s time to make your move,” Van Horn said.

“I’m hoping that is what is going to happen. It seems that way. They know what they want to do and that’s play all the way to the end of June.”

No. 21 Arkansas (29-12, 9-9 in SEC) at No. 5 Florida (32-10, 11-7 in SEC)

When: 6 tonight, 6 p.m. Saturday, 2:30 p.m. Sunday

Where: McKethan Stadium in Gainesville, Fla.

TV: Sunday — ESPN