"They were going with a lefthander, so we wanted all the righthanded bats we could find so we just left Tim in there," Van Horn said. "It worked out great. He got two big hits, scored two big runs."
Carver, redshirt freshman from Fayetteville, got the Hogs on the board with a two-run single in the second inning and they never looked back en route to an 8-4 victory Saturday over Florida.
The Hogs (11-3, 2-0) won the opener Friday, 11-4. They'll go for the sweep at 1 p.m. Sunday with lefty Drew Smyly on the mound.
Carver faked a bunt before pulling the bat back and swinging away for the first big hit of the game. He stroked a sharp line drive to left to plate two runs in the six-run second inning. After the Gators rallied to within 6-4, Carver helped the Hogs scramble for some insurance in the seventh inning, leading off with a single, moving up on a sacrifice bunt, then scoring on a Scott Lyons single. Andy Wilkins hit a solo homer in the eighth to set the final score.
"The fake bunt hit was huge," Van Horn said. "And, then to start the seventh with a hit was very big, too. Tim did a really good job."
Mike Bolsinger was the starting pitcher for the Hogs, but gave way to T. J. Forrest when he couldn't find the plate in the third inning. Forrest, the 6-6 junior, was superb with four innings and 81 pitches. Justin Wells and Stephen Richards pitched the last 2 2/3 to get the Hogs out of trouble.
Arkansas was coasting at 6-1 when Forrest tired in the seventh inning. The Gators got things started with a hit batsman and a walk and took advantage of one error to get back in the game. Wells got two strikeouts to get the Hogs out of the jam.
Carver had played in only four games before getting the starting nod at third base for the first two games of the SEC series.
"We had Dallas Keuchel on the mound Friday night and he's a ground ball pitcher," Van Horn said. "Tim is about our best defensive infielder and so that's why he was out there Friday. Today, they had the lefty going, so we just wanted some righthanders in our batting order."
Van Horn also inserted lightly used Tom Hauskey in the lineup as the designated hitter.
"Hauskey is right-handed, too," Van Horn said. "We wanted to do whateve we could to get their lefthander out of the game and then we were going to make switches (back to the regular lefty hitters in the UA order). I thought Hauskey would get a couple of at bats and he's really been hammering it in the cage."
One of the regular UA lefties was not available. Leadoff man Chase Leavitt is still day-to-day with a sore hamstring. Collin Kuhn took his spot in right field and had three hits and a run scored and has put together two good days in the series.
"Leavitt could have been available to pinch hit today," said Van Horn, who indicated Leavitt would not be in the lineup Sunday.
"Kuhn has been on base five or six times in the first two games. That's two freshmen, Carver and Kuhn, playing well. You can see what a redshirt year does. They are calmer and not jumping at the ball and trying to do too much."
Forrest was solid on the mound until the seventh.
"He did a great job," Van Horn said. "This was a day (with a slight breeze blowing out) that you needed to keep the ball down and he had it right around the knees. Then, we had Justin and Stephen pitch well at the end."
Did Van Horn think about saving Richards for Sunday with the Hogs up by four runs in the ninth?
"No, we respect that lineup over there and they thought they were still in it," Van Horn said. "We've seen things happen and when you get a chance to win an SEC game, you go get it. this is just a big team win."
Tim Carver recorded the first RBIs of his career with his second inning hit.
Ben Tschepikow has a 9-game hitting streak.
It was Collin Kuhn's first 3-hit game.
T.J. Forrest sets a career-high for strikeouts with 7 in 4 innings of relief.
Arkansas ' 11 hits Saturday marked the first back-to-back 10-hit games since the first two games of the season against Washington State.
Ben Tschepikow slides home against the Gators.
Collin Kuhn had three hits on Saturday.
Tim Carver prepares for a grounder.
T. J. Forrest throws to first after fielding a bunt.
Stephen Richards pitched a scoreless ninth against the Gators.
Scott Lyons gets a big hop on a grounder.
The Gators made an error when two outfielders collided.
This Dave Van Horn protest was met with deaf ears by the umpires.
Photos by Marc F. Henning, Hawgs Illustrated