Goodwin Swinging Hot Bat

FAYETTEVILLE -- After a slow start, Arkansas' Clay Goodwin is heating up offensively and has pushed his batting average over .300 for the first time this season.

The senior from Benton continued streaking by going 1-for-4 with two RBIs during Wednesday's 14-5 win against Southwest Missouri State in front of 2,274 in Baum Stadium.

"I hope I can keep it up," Goodwin said. "I'm not doing anything different, just seeing the ball longer and hitting it where it's pitched. That's something I wasn't doing early on."

Like most seniors should, Goodwin got the offense cranking Wednesday when he stretched a single to right-center field into a double to lead off a three-run second inning.

"He's been really consistent lately," said Arkansas coach Dave Van Horn. "He's been battling when we needed him the most. The last couple of weeks, he's just stepped up for us and if he stays injury free, he's going to have a great year for us."

Goodwin, a career .319 hitter entering this season, has eight hits in his last 20 at-bats (.400 batting average). He's second on the team in extra base hits with 11 doubles, four homers and a team-high two triples.

Often overshadowed by his offense, Goodwin has been one of the more consistent defensive players in the Razorbacks' infield. His .968 fielding percentage is bested only by first baseman Danny Hamblin's perfect 1.000, but Hamblin has started only 14 games at first while Goodwin has 27 starts at third.

"It all starts with defense," Goodwin said. "Especially on the weekends, you've got to play good defense to win ball games."

Van Horn Ejected
Van Horn received a standing ovation when he finally exited the field after being ejected in the top of the seventh inning. He vehemently disagreed with home plate umpire Tom Svehla when Southwest Missouri State's Tim Rafferty was awarded a walk after a full-count check swing.

With third base umpire Jeff Bowerman holding him back, Van Horn challenged Svehla verbally for several minutes before leaving the field to a loud round of applause from the Hogs' faithful.

It was the first time Van Horn's been ejected since a 5-3 win against Oklahoma State last April. He said he was arguing because Blake Parker was rang up with a strikeout earlier after a similar check swing.

"To me, that was a no-doubter that he came across the plate on that 3-2 swing," Van Horn said. "Just backing up our guys a little bit, a little frustrated and (Svehla) said something that pissed me off and I just went out there and got some of him."

In Van Horn's absence, first base coach Matt Deggs moved over to coach third while Steven Bell, a volunteer assistant, coached first base.

Familiar Faces
Four Southwest Missouri State players called the Hogs before they were Bears.

Kirk McConnell, who lettered twice at Arkansas from 2002-03, started in left field and hit in the two-hole Wednesday. The senior from Magnolia went 1-for-4.

Another SMS starter, third baseman Jerrod White, transferred from Arkansas at the end the fall. He went 1-for-3 in Wednesday's game.

Other former Razorbacks are Bears pitchers John Findley and Chris Krawcyk. Findley, who's from Jonesboro, spent one season (2003) at Arkansas while Krawcyk was with the team in the fall of 2002.

Name Change
Effective Aug. 28, Southwest Missouri State will simply be called "Missouri State" after a law was signed on March 17 by the Missouri state legislature allowing the school to change its name for the fourth time since its inception in 1905.

Other past names of Missouri's second largest college was the Missouri State Normal School, Missouri State Teacher's College and Southwest Missouri State College.

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