Dave Van Horn got a unique experience Thursday night. He witnessed his daughter Hollan graduate from high school in Springdale -- while his Arkansas baseball team was playing an SEC game in Knoxville.
"I got a little antsy Thursday," Van Horn said. "It was great watching her, but it was pretty strange (not being at the game)."
Van Horn said the day started with an 8:30 awards assembly. But Van Horn found himself looking for things to keep him busy in the afternoon to fill time -- normally something not necessary in the hours before an SEC game.
"I went running," he said. "I got real antsy after that. I took a shower and then we went to the arena (for graduation).
"I sat in the car listening to the first couple of innings and stayed there as long as I could. (Wife) Karen kept texting me to come in."
The good news is that the Hogs jumped up 6-0 early in the game and put it in cruise control. DJ Baxendale took a no-hitter into the sixth inning. He went eight innings and combined with Ty Wright on a shutout. The Hogs slammed four home runs, two by Derek Bleeker.
"When I got to my seat, my other daughter had blogs on her phone to follow the game," Van Horn said. "Really, it seemed like about 40 percent of the folks in the arena had something going on their phone. They have that stuff figured out better than I do. I am at the game and don't need it. So I depended on everyone else.
"It was neat to see how many people keep up. That's something I've never experienced before."
Van Horn said he was appreciative of the way the team played in his absence, as were coaches Todd Butler and Dave Jorn.
"We really haven't had a game like that in a few weeks," Van Horn said. "Todd told me after the game they just got to watch. They didn't put up a sign other than Jorn calling the pitches. It's been forever since we had one like that."
Van Horn said when he got on the team bus Friday -- the first time he was back with the team -- there wasn't much to say.
"I told them good job," he said. "Keep doing what you did last night."
And they pretty much did through the weekend, sweeping the Vols to move to 16-14 to finish SEC play.
The Hogs start play in the SEC tournament on Tuesday against Mississippi State in Hoover, Ala. They play the second game of the day, 30 minutes after the 9:30 a.m. game is completed. Van Horn will be there.
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