Arkansas Newcomers Make Most Of Opportunity

FAYETTEVILLE -- Talk about an introduction. Brad Secrist and Jacob Julius were two names on the Arkansas baseball roster you might have overlooked before this weekend. After Sunday, Secrist and Julius might be two names Razorbacks fans will soon not forget.

Given the chance to show what they could do after being used little -- or in Julius' case, none before this weekend -- the two new faces made the most of their time in the lineup, leading Arkansas to a blowout, 28-2 win against Wisconsin-Milwaukee in the finale of a Sunday doubleheader in the Diamond Hogs' 2007 home opener in front of 4,794 at Baum Stadium. "I've said all along we've got guys on the bench that can play," Arkansas coach Dave Van Horn said. "A guy like Brad Secrist, you've got to love that guy. He's been here a year a half, we redshirted him last year and he's put on some weight and gotten stronger. And I just want an aggressive hitter and he came out and let it fly and came out and got five hits. That's a pretty good day for your first start. "In Julius, he's had a hamstring injury that's slowed him a bit, but he got the biggest hit of the (second) game with a double that cleared the bases and it was good to see those guys contribute. It just puts a little more competition in there and makes my job a little bit harder, which is all right. That's what it's all about." Secrist, a redshirt freshman from Joplin, Mo., and Julius -- a junior college transfer from Spaulding (Ky.) University -- combined for seven hits and eight runs batted in as the Razorbacks finished off what they started late in the first game, tearing through the Wisconsin-Milwaukee pitching staff for the easy win in the nightcap. "It was great," Secrist said. "When they give you a shot, you've got to make the best of it and be aggressive and today it just worked out in my favor. "Coming into this weekend, (coach Van Horn) said he was going to give a lot of people a chance to play. So I knew at some point I was going to get my shot and I just wanted to make the best of it." In the opening game of the doubleheader, another Arkansas newcomer -- Casey Coon -- was the difference, as the Southern Nevada Community College transfer went 4-for-4 with five RBIs to lead the Diamond Hogs to a come-from-behind, 8-3 win. Coon's two-run double in the seventh sparked a four-run inning as Arkansas rallied from a 3-2 deficit. "That was a big hit (by Casey), couple of runners on and he hits it over the center fielder's head," Van Horn said. "So that was big for us. "But I think in the first game, both team's played like they played like we hadn't been outside in a while. Timing was off a little bit, but in the second game we broke out a little bit."

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