Hogs Return Home With Another Championship

FAYETTEVILLE -- Arkansas coach Dave Van Horn walked into his office for his Monday news conference wearing a pair of shorts.

Where did he think this was, Hawaii?

Unseasonably warm weather greeted Van Horn and the Razorbacks when they arrived Sunday morning from Honolulu where they played -- and won -- the Rainbow Tournament in Les Murakami Stadium.

"Overall, I thought it was a pretty good trip," Van Horn said. "The weather wasn't very cooperative, it rained every day. I think the weather was better back here but we've been fortunate to have played in good weather when the weather was bad back here in Fayetteville.

"We got five games in, played a lot of people, pitched everybody we had for the most part. We played outstanding defense. I think we went two or three games where we did not make an error.

"So, I was proud of our guys."

All-Tournament Razorbacks
Arkansas placed four players on the All-Tournament Team in Hawaii. Outfielders Stephen Robison and Chris Hollensworth, pitcher Nick Schmidt and first baseman Danny Hamblin were selected.

Hamblin, a junior from Rowlett, Texas, was named the tournament's Most Outstanding Player.

During the tournament, Hamblin hit .450 with 3 doubles, 3 home runs, 4 runs scored, 12 RBI, a 1.050 slugging percentage and a .478 on-base percentage. He, too, tied his career high with 5 RBI last Wednesday against Texas-Arlington. Hamblin had multiple RBIs in four of the five games

"You know what?" Van Horn said. "What Danny did all week was hit in the clutch, drove in a lot of runs over there. When he led off innings and when no one was on, you didn't see a lot, but when people were on base, it meant something.

"He came through with some big hits."

Hamblin is hitting .345 with a team-high 4 homers and 22 RBI.

Gentry Still Mending
Razorbacks senior center fielder Craig Gentry, who recently broke his left hand, had it X-rayed Monday.

"I haven't heard anything yet," Van Horn said. "We are just trying to find out when he can swing the bat again. He can do everything else.

"We tried to keep him in shape (in Hawaii) by running him in the outfield, doing pregame work and playing catch. If the fracture is healed up enough, then he'll be able to play this weekend (against Cal State-Northridge).

"We were told when it happened, he for sure would be ready for the Florida series (March 17-19 in Gainesville in the Southeastern Conference opener)."

Gentry is hitting .375 in six games played. He has started four times.

Up Another Spot
Arkansas moved up one spot in the latest Baseball America poll released Monday.

The Razorbacks (13-1) moved to 10th after being ranked No. 11 before traveling to Hawaii last weekend.

Georgia Tech (13-0) is No. 1, followed by Clemson (7-2) and Rice (13-3). Tennessee (11-2) is the highest ranked SEC school at No. 5 while Mississippi State (6-0) is No. 6 and South Carolina (9-2) is No. 9.

Short Hops
Arkansas went 4-1 en route to the title in Hawaii ... the Razorbacks are 2-0 against Top 25 competition ... The Hogs have won all three tournaments they have played in. The others are the Jaguar Invitational in Mobile, Ala., and the Al Ogletree Classic in Edinburg, Texas ... Arkansas is 36-2 in non-conference action over the past two seasons ... the Hogs downed host No. 24 Hawaii 5-1 last Thursday and knocked off Texas-Arlington three times to claim the tournament title.


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