Hogs Second Baseman A Handful For Cowboys

STILLWATER, Okla. -- Arkansas second baseman Scott Bridges may still have numbness in his right hand, but since returning to the lineup he's obviously feeling no pain.

Or at least it didn't look like it during his team's 11-7 win against Oklahoma State in Allie P. Reynolds Stadium here Tuesday.

Bridges was hit with a pitch on his right elbow in the first game of the Minnesota series on Feb. 25 in Baum Stadium and suddenly had no feeling in his right hand.

He was taken to the hospital, but X-rays showed he hadn't broken his hand. Bridges missed the next two games against Minnesota and he didn't play again until last weekend's series against Illinois-Chicago.

In that UIC series, Bridges was 5-for-12. That trend continued against Oklahoma State on Tuesday when Bridges was 3-for-5 with an RBI and 3 runs scored.

"Actually, it (the hand) was a little sore before the game started," Bridges said. "I think feeling is trying to come back. Maybe that nerve was loosing up and that caused the soreness.

"It really wasn't that bad."

Bridges wasted no time picking up where in left off against Illinois-Chicago. Bridges singled to left field in the first Tuesday. He promptly stole second, his 13th this season in 13 attempts.

In the fourth, Bridges roped an RBI double to right. In the sixth, he doubled again, this time to left field. In his other at-bats he popped up to the shortstop and struck out.

In the last four games, the 5-foot-10, 170-pound senior is 8-for-17 which translates to a .471 average.

How's he doing it? Bridges can't explain.

"No, actually I can't," Bridges said. "I guess I'm just seeing the ball real good right now and just hitting good pitches."

Perhaps the major reason for his success is simply because the pain is almost completely gone.

"Once I got going today, it felt a little better," Bridges said. "As far as feeling in my hand, I pretty much have gotten all that back. As far as the pain, it was like a tingling feeling. "That's gone now.

"I'm just happy to be back playing again. I didn't like watching from the bench. I wanted to be out there contributing so I was glad to be back in the lineup."

So was Razorbacks center fielder Casey Rowlett.

"You knew if there was any way to get back into that lineup Scotty was going to find it," Rowlett said, "He's a senior and he wants to make the most out of his last season.

"I'm not surprised he got back so fast."

Razorbacks third baseman Clay Goodwin wasn't either.

"Bridges is a tough player," Goodwin said. "I know that hand had to hurt him because he said it did. Still, he kept battling back and just worked hard.

"His hard work is paying off."

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