Carson Shaddy leads the SEC in home runs with five, but it's doubles that Arkansas coach Dave Van Horn has been asking for of his sophomore third baseman.
Shaddy gave Van Horn a pair of two baggers on Tuesday night against Grambling, driving home six runs to lead the No. 13 Razorbacks to a 14-4 victory. Van Horn was smiling.
"I like those doubles," Van Horn said. "They keep innings alive."
Shaddy hit a three-run double off the wall in right in the first, then legged out a gap hit for a double in the third for two more runs. His six RBI were the most since 2010 when Brett Eibner plated seven against Grambling in the NCAA tournament and Zack Cox plated six against Alabama.
Arkansas improved to 14-3. Grambling is 4-10. Attendance at Baum Stadium was 3,742, including about 20 dogs in the Hog Pen. It was Bark in the Park Night.
There was a brisk wind blowing out to right. It helped Rick Nomura's two-run homer in the fourth. Nomura lined another shot off the top of the wall in the Hogs' four-run seventh, but Luke Bonfield wasn't running from second and didn't score.
"We pitched well and I liked the doubles, but we made a couple of base running mistakes that didn't hurt us," Van Horn said, obviously referencing the Bonfield mistake.
Nomura said he gave Bonfield some good-natured grief.
"Bonfield told me, 'Dude, so sorry,' and I know he felt bad," Nomura said. "We are brothers and they love to hate, but I love him."
Van Horn said the wind caused a few hitters to swing for the fences, something that he warned them about in pre-game.
"We talked about hitting line drives," he said. "I thought some guys were swinging too big at the start, but we settled down and took what the pitchers were giving us."
Nomura admitted his "eyes got big" when he saw the wind. He is a switch hitter, but saw only righthanders and stayed in the left batter's box. He said hitting coach Tony Vitello gave him good advice just before the home run.
"He told me to relax and stay through the middle," Nomura said. "But the guy threw me a lot of off-speed pitches and I stayed in my legs and flicked my hands."
Shaddy returned to the lineup after a nasty collision with catcher Tucker Pennell on the weekend.
"I was a little sore, but no headaches," Shaddy said of the shoulder injury.
Grambling starter Creighton Hoover tried an assortment of soft pitches against the Hogs. The side-arm pitcher only touched 80 mph once and his breakers were in the 60s. Shaddy said it was a rare fast ball that he hit in the first inning.
"It had been all curve balls and I thought at some point he'd try to sneak a fast ball past me," Shaddy said. "I just tried to take the approach that Coach Vitello preaches, stay to the middle and swing out.
"With side-arm guys you don't see high velocity. It's important to just stay back.
"The doubles? Finally. I've been wanting some for Coach Van Horn. I was glad to get the (double) monkey off my back. He wants me to hit doubles, not home runs and I understand."
Van Horn said the key to the victory was plenty of strikes from five pitchers. The Hogs walked only two batters.
Starter Isaiah Campbell (2-0) pitched four innings and got the victory based on a pitch count. He allowed three runs on four hits. Angel Peguero and Daniel Barrett cracked solo homers off Campbell in the third.
"Our pitchers did a nice job," Van Horn said. "Lots of stirkes. Isaiah had good velocity (in the low 90s) but if he elevated, they have got some good hitters in the top of the lineup."
Peguero, hitting .364, went three for four. Barnett, at .444, had three hits in four trips with 3 RBI. They accounted for six of the eight hits by the Tigers.
Hunter Hart pitched 2.1 innings, allowing two hits and one run.
"Hunter didn't throw well in the first inning, but I let him pitch through it and he was much better in the second," Van Horn said.
Ty Harris, James Teague and Jake Reindl pitched the final 2 2/3 innings, allowing just two hits.
"We are trying to bring Teague along," Van Horn said. "He was good and he only threw five pitches. He could have pitched another inning, but we wanted to keep him fresh for Friday night."
Arkansas meets Grambling for a 3 p.m. game Wednesday before opening SEC play Friday at South Carolina. Van Horn said he's sure about part of his weekend rotation. Dominic Taccolini will start Friday, Keaton McKinney on Sunday. He said he'd announce his Saturday starter later in the week.