Two UA starting infielders on mend

By: Bob Holt
Published: Tuesday, April 24, 2018
Arkansas second baseman Carson Shaddy follows through with a solo home run Saturday, April 14, 2018, during the second inning against South Carolina at Baum Stadium.
Photo by Andy Shupe
Arkansas second baseman Carson Shaddy follows through with a solo home run Saturday, April 14, 2018, during the second inning against South Carolina at Baum Stadium.

FAYETTEVILLE -- The No. 7 Arkansas Razorbacks won't have two of their top hitters in the lineup when they play No. 4 Texas Tech tonight in Baum Stadium.

Second baseman Carson Shaddy (hand) and third baseman Casey Martin (hip) aren't starting because of injuries.

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Shaddy, a fifth-year senior from Fayetteville, is batting .356 -- second on the team to Heston Kjerstad's .368 -- with 9 home runs and 29 RBI.

Martin, a freshman from Lonoke, is third on the team with a .338 average. He has eight home runs and 33 RBI.

University of Arkansas, Fayetteville Coach Dave Van Horn said it's questionable whether either Shaddy or Martin will play against Texas Tech tonight or Wednesday.

"You lose two of your top starters for one or maybe both games, it makes it more difficult," Van Horn said. "But it also lets us show we have a little bit of depth and can move some guys around.

"We've got to have guys step it up and get it done. Come out and take advantage of their time in the lineup."

Van Horn said senior Jared Gates probably will start at third tonight. Gates, who also can play first base, is batting .237 (14 of 59) with 3 home runs and 14 RBI.

Junior Hunter Wilson started at second base in the Razorbacks' third game at Mississippi State in place of Shaddy. Wilson could start again tonight, but Van Horn said sophomore Jack Kenley also is a possibility. Wilson is batting .300 (9 of 30) and Kenley .263 (5 of 19).

Shaddy didn't play in the finale at Mississippi State after being hit in the right hand by a pitch from Blake Smith in the ninth inning of the first game of Saturday's doubleheader.

"It's a contusion," Shaddy said. "After the game, I tried to hold the bat and I couldn't."

Shaddy, who wore a brace on his right hand Monday, had been hit by pitches on both hands in the past two SEC series. He was able to keep playing -- and hit a home run -- after he was hit in the left hand against South Carolina in the first game of a doubleheader April 14.

"So now I've got two swelled up hands," he said.

Shaddy could only watch practice Monday on orders from trainer Corey Wood.

"Corey won't let me do anything," he said.

Shaddy said he's not sure about his chances of playing in the Razorbacks' second game against Texas Tech on Wednesday night or in this weekend's series against Alabama.

"I'm hoping I can get back by then, but we'll just have to see," Shaddy said of Friday night's opener against Alabama. "The only timetable will be how I feel."

Van Horn said he's hopeful Shaddy will be back for the Alabama series, but he doesn't expect him to play against Texas Tech.

"But who's to say?" Van Horn said. "It's not broken. It's kind of a pain thing now. It's pretty painful for him."

Martin suffered what Van Horn called a "hip flexor" Saturday at Mississippi State in the first game of the doubleheader diving for ground ball, but he played in the second game.

"He's sore," Van Horn said. "I definitely won't start him [tonight]. He's trying to tell me he can play, but he won't start, I know that."

Sports on 04/24/2018

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