Arkansas Seniors Saluted

FAYETTEVILLE — At times this season, Aaron Murphree punched holes in the atmosphere with his powerful home runs on a regular basis.

Jeff Nutt threw out runners like a nightclub bouncer, and Sean Jones stole bases like a New York City pickpocket steals wallets.

All three Arkansas seniors had their shining moments during their final season as college baseball players.

And they were rewarded for their efforts when Razorbacks coach Dave Van Horn penciled them into the starting lineup Sunday.

A Senior Day crowd of 5,067 showed up in Baum Stadium to salute the Razorbacks seniors — the other one was right-handed pitcher Travis Hill — and cheer Arkansas to a 4-2 win against No. 17 South Carolina.

"They deserved to start," Van Horn said. "They are seniors. It's Senior Day. They deserved play. They came through again ... Murphree drove in the first run. "

Nutt said he won't soon forget Sunday.

"It was huge and all," Nutt said. "I remember looking up in the seventh inning and they were calling the Hogs. I said, ‘Man, this might be the last time I may ever hear this.' I was just trying to enjoy the day.

"You know, I've been struggling at the plate a little bit, trying to figure some stuff out and I think I'm coming out of it. Tough game, baseball is a tough game.

"All I could concentrate on was catching and calling the game and just staying with (starting pitcher) Dallas (Keuchel). Me and him were on the same page all day. He threw a great game, fabulous game.

"Hats off to Dallas."

Nutt, a catcher/designated hitter who transferred from Navarro (Texas) College last year, said he knew the significance of Sunday's game.

"This might be my last game to play here," said Nutt, who has been limited to playing in only 24 games because of shoulder injuries. "It was cool. It was awesome."

Murphree, a first baseman/outfielder who transferred here from Northeast (Texas) Community College in 2007, had perhaps the most dramatic senior season. In his first 12 games, he blasted 12 home runs but has been stuck on 13 since March 15.

"It was a big weekend coming in, last home series," Murphree said. "So, that was always exciting, too, having that in the back of my mind.

"You know, it was a big day, man. We needed a big win here. It could potentially be the last game I ever play here in this stadium.

"It was an emotional feeling. It was good to come out here with the guys and get that win and against a really good team.

"It feels good."

Jones, who also transferred from Navarro last year, has six stolen bases in six attempts this season. Because of a broken left hand at the start of the season, the outfielder has played in only 26 games.

"It really means a lot," Jones said. "This is definitely the victory I wanted pretty much out of this whole year, especially with the situation we're in. We took Friday and Saturday, going for the sweep.

"I wanted this game more than all the games this year because it puts us right back in the running for the SEC Tournament.

"Senior day, last SEC series for some players, so it was very big for me."

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