After struggling both on the mound and at the plate and hearing all kinds of motivational speeches, Brett Eibner was finally left to exorcise his demons all by himself.
Eibner does give credit to former Arkansas star Danny Hamblin in some after-practice work in the batting cage. But Van Horn said the coaches just left him alone after everyone took a turn at getting him going. What did he say to him early on?
"What was everybody saying," Van Horn responded. "Everyone took a turn. I was nice to him, I jumped him, I was trying to motivate him, patting him on the back, we got after him, challenged him.
"We told him he wasn't any good and challenged him. We did everything we could. Then, we'd get him off to the side and tell him, 'We know you are good. We are just trying to get you going.' He was really good. He handled it. I really got to give him credit.
"He said he knew everyone was just trying to get him going.
"We finally told him it's your own fight. It's not your parents, not the coaches, it's you. You have to figure it out. I think he did."
He began to come out of his hitting slump two weeks ago, then has had two solid outings on the mound. But his play Tuesday night in a 2-0 victory at Missouri State was spectacular. He pitched four stellar innings and also hit a pair of solo home runs for all of the game's scoring.
Van Horn saw it coming in his iniital at bat, a leadoff walk that didn't bear fruit.
"His first at bat, he saw 10 pitches," Van Horn said. "He was down 1-2 in the count, fouled a couple off. Then, it was 2-2, fouled a pitch off. Then it was 3-2 fouled off 4-5, then he walked. When he came in at the end of the inning -- we didn't score -- that that was the leadoff man and I was kinda disappointed. We popped up a bunt. I told him how I excited I was about his at bat and the next two at bats he hits two home runs.
"I have to say he's feeling it. He had a great game and with the way he swung the bat in the doubleheader (Sunday), I stuck him in the four hole and said you are pitching and hitting. It's the first time in quite a few weeks we've done that with him."
Van Horn said Eibner's velocity was the best he's seen as a Razorback.
"He went 53 pitches and probably could have gone one more inning," Van Horn said. "But we saw how he pitched and wanted to get him out of there and try to save some for the weekend. He can pitch Saturday and be in the pen, maybe close.
"He was hitting 90 to 92 to 93 last night. He might have been above that for a few pitches. And, it was just flowing out of his arm. It didn't look like he was putting anything extra. He's just really talented. He's an SEC pitcher right now.
"They couldn't catch up to it. It was exploding on them. There was one swing that the bat was so late that it was almost in the catcher's glove and it was fouled off to the dugout. We are lucky there is a screen there now because someone might have gotten hurt."
Van Horn likes the way the pitching has developed of late. He saw another great sign Tuesday night when Justin Wells relieved in the middle innings with his best stuff.
"He had all his pitches down and he came in and saved us," Van Horn said. "Runners at second and third, no outs. He came in and he was great with his split finger. He was throwing strikes and it was the best he's looked. Then, he came out the next inning and did it again. It looked like he was back, and he said the same thing when he came into the dugout. He was really excited."
Van Horn said there is hope that transfer Bryan Bingham will pitch next week against Arizona State in a mid-week series. Bingham will stay at home when the Hogs travel to South Carolina, but is primed to go next week.
"I just filled out the (travel) roster and he's not going, but he probably will pitch Tuesday or Wednesday," Van Horn said. "He's looked good and I think he's ready to go."
Stephen Richards and Mike Bolsinger also had good outings at Springfield on Tuesday night.
"Bolsinger could probably start for us, but this is probably how he helps our team best right now," Van Horn said. "I wouldn't have any trouble starting him on Sunday if he doesn't pitch Friday or Saturday ... or maybe start him in the tournaments. Richards looked good last night. He had that slider working down and in to the righthanders. It looked like a strike, then it dove. He wanted to come back and pitch well because he wasn't happy with what he did on the weekend. He probably felt a little pressure from his peers because they all looked great."
Van Horn was pleased with the performance against the Bears, especially after the Hogs plastered them 10-0 the previous week with 17 hits.
"They were coming off a weekend sweep of ORU and had a conference pitcher saved for us," Van Horn said. "We played well. To hold them scoreless again was impressive. They can hit and to keep them off the scoreboard was good."
Van Horn still has the same pitching rotation for this weekend. Dallas Keuchel will go on Friday, T. J. Forrest on Saturday with Drew Smyly on Sunday.
"Smyly needs to have a good outing to keep that job," Van Horn said. "He knows it. He needs to pick up the tempo and his demeanor. He needs to get it going.
"But I will say that we didn't help him Sunday. We made two errors and there was another play that could have been an error. We gave them five or six outs and that's not his fault."
Van Horn probably would not have predicted a 20-5 record for the first 25 games of the season, but that's where the Hogs are right now.
"It's where you hoped you'd be, but I wouldn't say I knew we were going to be here," he said. "Any coach that says that would be saying he knew his team was going to be real good with this schedule.
"To start 8-1 (in the SEC) wouldn't be something you'd predict. You might think you'd get a streak like that maybe at the end if you are going good and some teams are fading.
"I think an old saying is that you want to get 20 victories before you lose 10. We got 20 and we've lost 5, so we need to set some new goals."