Picture Perfect Win For Diamond Hogs

FAYETTEVILLE -- Call it a snapshot of a dramatic weekend. A Kodak moment.

Now, focus on the freeze frame.

See Arkansas senior shortstop Scott Hode standing up there at the plate patiently waiting for the right pitch? He takes 10 pitches in one at-bat in the sixth inning.

And none of them get him out.

It was typical of the way the No. 14 Razorbacks scraped and clawed all weekend against Vanderbilt.

Arkansas swept the Southeastern Conference series with a 3-0 win against the Commodores in front of 6,788 fans in Baum Stadium on Sunday.

Hode's sixth-inning RBI-double provided the Razorbacks with a 2-0 lead in a too-close-to-call thriller.

"I knew there was a guy at second," Hode said. "I knew I needed to step it up big-time because that's what I was sent up there to do."

Then another Kodak moment.

Making it even more dramatic was the hold-your-breath play before Hode's final swing.

A fan in the right field stands reaches for a foul ball as Vanderbilt right fielder Bill Kleinschrodt quickly approaches.

The fan leans forward as Kleinschrodt's glove collides with his hands, barely inside the stands.

Kleinschrodt's protest of fan interference is overruled.

Then Hode drives the next pitch down the left-field line, driving in Clay Goodwin, who doubled before him.

Hode's lengthy at-bat didn't really surprise Vandy coach Tim Corbin, who still remembers Hode as a peach-fuzzed face freshman.

That's when Corbin was an assistant at Clemson where Arkansas played in the NCAA Super Regionals.

"Hode is a solid player," Corbin said. "I know he might not tool out as player, but I'll tell you what, he's pretty good."

Hode went 2 for 2 with two walks Sunday. He was hitless coming into the series finale.

Frankly, it really didn't matter.

"Our whole team attitude is never give up," Hode said. "That's what happened to me today, I said, ‘Never quit, never give up.' That guy on the mound (Vandy starter David Price) was awesome.

"I had to get it going. Goody had a great one-out double and you know ... just get up there against a great pitcher. I just kept thinking, ‘Believe.' That's what coaches keep on telling us, just believe and good things are going to happen.

"It felt great to get that second run because you knew it was going to be a close game. Really, everyone stepped up ... there were so many good plays, you just go around and pick anyone.

"There was no quit in anybody."

Teammate Danny Hamblin, whose eighth-inning home run provided another insurance run, nodded.

"I mean, that's Arkansas baseball for you, never quit," Hamblin said. "Yesterday's win (a 5-4 win in 10 innings on Saturday) was huge for us this weekend and this one was even better."

Razorbacks left fielder Jake Dugger, who went 0 for 4 Sunday, figured someone, eventually, would come through at the right time.

"Yeah, this was typical of us," Dugger said. "We just scratched out runs. You never know who is going to get it done.

"Hode did a good job of getting it done."

Arkansas coach Dave Van Horn noticed.

"We talked about that after the game," Van Horn said. "It was about guys stepping up and getting it done. Runner at second base and one out .... for Hode to come up and foul off all those pitches and turn on that pitch down the line to score that second run.

"That was huge for us."

Yeah, it was a Kodak moment.

"I'm proud of the guys," Van Horn said. "They weren't just satisfied with winning the series.

"They wanted it all"






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