Hamblin Drives Arkansas Home

FAYETTEVILLE -- Arkansas' Danny Hamblin could have used a shotgun with the number of ducks he saw on the pond during Friday's 6-5 win against Vanderbilt in Baum Stadium.

In his first three at-bats, Hamblin stepped to the plate with the bases loaded twice and a runner on second in his other at-bat. The sophomore was 2 for 2 in those appearances with a sacrifice fly and a career-high four RBIs to lead the Razorbacks' offensive charge.

"That's the spot that I love to hit in," said Hamblin, who's a hunter but rarely sees many real ducks in the ponds around his home in Rowlett, Texas. "Being in the four-hole, especially when there's that many guys on (base), it's where you want to be as a hitter and fortunately, I was able to drive them in."

With two outs in the sixth, Hamblin finally got to swing away with no one on base and ended up flying out to right.

"He got some big hits for us," said Arkansas coach Dave Van Horn. "He drove in (four) runs and we needed that. He's hitting in the clean-up spot and that's what he needs to do."

A second-team All-Southeastern Conference pick in the preseason, Hamblin is seeing the ball extremely well lately as evidenced by the way he has hit the ball hard in most at-bats, even though the result has sometimes been a line out to short or a long drive to the warning track in center.

In 106 at-bats, Hamblin's second among active Arkansas players with a .349 batting average. He leads the team with 11 doubles and is third with 26 RBIs.

Last season, Hamblin hit .304 with 19 doubles, 8 homers and 42 RBIs in 253 at-bats.

Pitchers' Duel?
Despite entering Friday with a combined ERA of under two runs per game, neither Arkansas starter Nick Schmidt (2.68 ERA) nor Vanderbilt starter Jensen Lewis (0.96) made it past the third inning.

Schmidt was relieved with one out in the third after giving up four consecutive singles while Lewis also left with one out in the third after allowing two runs on three hits in the inning.

"(Schimdt) was up to 60 pitches already which is ridiculous," Van Horn said. "He was spotting it up great for two (innings) or so, but there was some borderline pitches that he didn't get and it just kind of slipped away from him.

"That one inning he's got to get through and he might have gone six (innings) for us but, hey, we might use him again on Sunday."

Injury Update
Arkansas senior pitcher Trey Holloway had surgery Friday to repair a fracture in his left (throwing) elbow. He's expected to miss at least six weeks.

Hogs outfielder Chris Hollensworth is day-to-day with strained muscles in his hand. He did not play Friday, but could be available today.

Daily Double
Turning a double play isn't always as easy as the Hogs have made it look 27 times this season. Case in point came with one out in the second inning when Hogs shortstop Scott Hode, moving to his right, fielded a grounder and quickly flipped the ball to second baseman John Henry Marquardt.

With Vanderbilt's Dominic De La Osa making a hard slide at second, Marquardt was knocked off his feet as he released a soft throw to first, which barely nabbed Aaron Garza in time to end the inning.

"They (the umpires) actually called a double play on that even without the throw," Van Horn said. "Because Marquardt was to the side of the bag and the guy didn't slide straight in, but it was a great play."

The duo of Hode and Marquardt turned another double play, this one much more routine, to end the fifth inning.

Heads Up Ump!
After working a two-out walk in the fifth, Arkansas' Craig Gentry nearly hit home plate umpire Dennis McComb with the bat as it stuck in his hand when he tried to flip it back toward the Hogs' dugout.

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