Another Record Falls Into Place

HOOVER, Ala. — It was another day, another milestone for Arkansas first baseman Danny Hambli

However, there were no fireworks, no celebrations for yet another mind-boggling record and really no big reason to mention it.

After Arkansas lost 7-4 against No. 1 Vanderbilt in the finals of the Southeastern Conference Tournament on Sunday in Regions Park, all the laughter had turned into sorrow.

Still, Hamblin deserved his recognition for a job well done.

Hamblin provided the greatest measurement of success on an otherwise dreary day for the Razorbacks.

His second-inning, two-run home run to left field — it looked like it might go foul — sliced the Vandy lead to 4-3. Historically, it made Hamblin the school's all-time leader in homers with 57, officially eliminating Ryan Lundquist from the sharing the top spot.

Hamblin tied Lundquist for the lead on Wednesday with a three-run jack in a 6-0 win against Alabama in the opener.

"Let's see, change-up, change-up, I swung through both of them," Hamblin said. "Fastball down and away. I knew he'd come back with a change-up. So I was just sitting and he left it up. I don't think that's where he (Vandy starter Tyler Rhoden) wanted to throw it.

"I just put a good swing on it.

"To be honest, I didn't have any doubt it was going to be fair. When I was running to the (first base) bag I didn't look. I didn't know until Bubbs (Arkansas first base coach Bubbs Merrill) started yelling.

"I didn't really know. I was just praying (the umpire) would call it fair. I really thought it was going to be fair."

Hamblin, who earned all-tournament honors, went 2-for-3 with 2 RBIs Sunday. His homer gave him 22 for the season, right behind Lundquist's school-record 24.

"He got us going in the first game of the tournament with a big home run," Arkansas coach Dave Van Horn said. "He got us back in the game today with a big home run and played outstanding defense. He also got a two-strike single base hit up the middle.

"He just played well.

"You take away the first half of the season and he's probably hit .380. Like I've said many times, he's preserved and he's gone through it. He's stayed strong or us.

"He's just been getting done."

Hamblin said he hopes to keep getting it done, all the way to Omaha, Neb., site of the College World Series.

"Our goal is to get there," Hamblin said. "We're headed in that direction. I wanted to end my career on a good note. Records are nice, but getting back to Omaha would be the ultimate.

"My career here, it's gone fast, but at the same time, it's been the ride of my life, especially the way we've topped things off this year. We didn't play good down the stretch and we still win the (SEC) West. Everybody was doubting us, saying we're not playing good ball.

"We came in here and won three straight and battled Vanderbilt. It's just a good feeling, to play good ball.

"It's been awesome."

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