Arkansas Right Fielder Ignites Offense

HOOVER, Ala. -- Although it'd been almost a month since Wayne Hrozek started a game for the Arkansas Razorbacks, he knew what to do when the opportunity presented itself again.

"It's like riding a bicycle," Hrozek said. "You don't forget how to do it. You've just got to make sure you do ride that bike once you get on it again.
"And you have to produce."
After pedaling his way back into the starting lineup Wednesday, Hrozek more than earned his promotion.
His early heroics helped Arkansas beat Alabama 6-0 on Wednesday in the opening round of the Southeastern Conference Tournament in Regions Park.
Hrozek, playing right field Tuesday, was making his first start since April 25 in Baum Stadium.
"It was good to get back in there," he said. "I just had to make the most of my opportunity. I had to be ready to go when they called my number."
Hrozek's two-out, RBI single ignited the Arkansas offense and staked Nick Schmidt to a 1-0 lead. Hrozek struck out, walked twice and stole a base.
"It was good to strike first," Nick Schmidt said. "Hrozek got a good two-out hit to get us started. It really got everybody going.
"That gave us the early lead and that was important. It sparked us in the dugout.
"It got me going."
Hrozek, who delivered a pinch-hit, three-run home run on May 17 against Ole Miss in a loss, then had a two-out, three-run double in the 10th inning the next night to seal the SEC Western Division title for Arkansas, has been clutch lately.
"Every day you come to the park, you've got to be ready," Hrozek said. "They could call upon you at anytime. I had my opportunities against Ole Miss last week and knew I'd get another one if I got a chance to start again.
"I was happy for the chance."
And Razorbacks coach Dave Van Horn was happy Hrozek responded so well, too.
"You know, Danny worked hard for that walk before he stole second base," Van Horn said. "They tried to get a breaking ball by (Hrozek) the second pitch and he slapped it up the middle.
He did what you're suppose to do.
"It was a good piece of hitting."
Woes Continue For Nutt
Arkansas designated hitter Jeff Nutt continued his horrible slump at the plate by going 0-for-4 Wednesday against Alabama.
That extended Nutt's hitless streak to 0-for-20 in the last five games. His average has slipped to .247 in the process.
Ironically, his slump began against the Crimson Tide on May 11 when he went 0-for-14 in the three-game series. In that span, he left 10 men on base and was 0-for-5 with runners in scoring position.
He started the first Ole Miss game on May 17 but was replaced after going 0-for-2. He did not play the rest of the series.

Tourney Tidbits
Arkansas won its first Southeastern Conference tournament game since May 28, 2004, when it defeated Tennessee, 4-1. Before Wednesday's victory, the Razorbacks had lost their last five tournament games... The Diamond Hogs are now 6-8 all-time in the first round of the SEC Tournament, but had not won an opening-round game since 1999... No Arkansas player has been named to the SEC All-Tournament team since Jake Dugger made the list as a freshman in 2004... Arkansas improved to 15-23 all-time in SEC Tournament games and moved to 2-4 against Alabama in the tournament... Nick Schmidt pitched the first 2-hitter in tournament history. There had been seven 3-hitters thrown in tourney history. On Deck
Arkansas plays South Carolina at 5 p.m. today in the winner's bracket. The Razorbacks did not play the Gamecocks during the regular season and are 6-4 against South Carolina under coach Dave Van Horn.
The two teams will be meeting for the sixth time in the SEC Tournament. South Carolina has won four of the previous five meetings with Arkansas in conference tournament play.

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