Part-Time Starters Give Full-Time Effort
In the Razorbacks' 11-7 win against Tennessee, Jones and Willard were two of the hottest sticks going as Arkansas completed its first Southeastern Conference road sweep since 2004 and only its second sweep of the Volunteers ever. Hitting second in the order, Jones -- a 6-foot transfer from Navarro (Texas) College -- came to bat six times, and reached base six times with three singles and three walks. Then there was Willard. Last year's starting shortstop for the Razorbacks, Willard has been shifted to more a platoon role with freshman Tim Smalling in 2007. But that didn't stop the sophomore from belting out a 3-for-5 effort Sunday, including a crucial two-run double in the second inning as Arkansas began to blow the game open with a five-run frame. "I've just got to do my job whenever I get the chance," Willard said. "As far as coming off the bench, it doesn't matter who gets the credit as long as everybody does their job. That's all that matters and that's what we're all trying to do. "When me and Jones get in there, we've just got to try and get the job done." Arkansas hitting coach Todd Butler said Jones and Willard have both earned his trust over the past few weeks, despite still spending time in and out of the regular lineup. "Jones started out where he was striking out early and he's not a strikeout guy," Butler said. "But he's got it back where he's got it going again and now he's a guy you can trust with two strikes. And Willard, he's a lot better with two strikes since last year. "So I have a lot of confidence in those guys to give us quality at-bats." Congrats, Coach With the win Sunday at Tennessee, Dave Van Horn reached quite a coaching milestone. Van Horn picked up his 500th career coaching win at the Division-IA level Sunday. In 13 years as a Division-IA coach, Van Horn has now compiled a 500-254 record. The Arkansas coach also is 180-97 in his fifth season as the head man of the Razorbacks. McLelland Shuts The Door Jess Todd was supposed to be Arkansas' stopper Sunday out of the bullpen. But as most Sunday's in the SEC go, things sometimes don't work out as planned. So when Travis Hill, Todd -- and then Chris Rhoads, and then James Gilbert -- all failed to put out the fire started by Tennessee's offense, the Razorbacks turned to senior right-hander Brian McLelland. Desperately needing someone -- anyone -- to put the finishing touches on Sunday's game, McLelland delivered, getting the final four outs to seal up the win. "McLelland came in and did a nice job," Van Horn said. "He got a fly ball to right to end the eighth inning and then he got a quick out in the ninth, got a ball that hit his glove up the middle. Then he got a strikeout on a pinch hitter and got a ground ball to Logan (Forsythe) to end the game. "He did a good job."
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