Shaddy out against Tide; Martin, Cole slated to start

By: Tom Murphy
Published: Friday, April 27, 2018
Arkansas third baseman Casey Martin watches during a game against Texas on Wednesday, March 14, 2018, in Fayetteville.
Photo by Andy Shupe
Arkansas third baseman Casey Martin watches during a game against Texas on Wednesday, March 14, 2018, in Fayetteville.

FAYETTEVILLE -- The Arkansas Razorbacks went a long time this season with only first baseman Jared Gates missing games due to injury.

Gates is seemingly back from the hamstring he tweaked, but now, the No. 7 Razorbacks (29-13, 10-8 SEC) have been beset by a small wave of injuries that will keep veteran second baseman Carson Shaddy out of tonight's series opener against Alabama and will impact two more players.

Freshman Casey Martin is expected back in the lineup after missing Tuesday's 5-1 victory over Texas Tech to rest a hip injury. Outfielder Eric Cole played through a sore ankle after being hit by a pitch by Texas Tech's Ryan Sublette and is expected to make his 43rd start tonight in right field.

Shaddy has been hit by pitches on both hands the last two weekends and he missed the victory over the No. 4 Red Raiders because his right hand is still very sore and still needs a brace.

"Shaddy is not ready yet," University of Arkansas, Fayetteville Coach Dave Van Horn said Thursday. "He won't play Friday for sure. Martin is good to go."

Van Horn said Shaddy, whose .356 average is second on the team and whose nine home runs are tied with Cole and Heston Kjerstad for the team lead, does not have a broken bone.

"It's just about grip and pain," he said. "He's got a problem gripping the bat right now."

Van Horn did not rule out Shaddy playing in the series.

"He wants to play. He's having a great year, it's a conference game and one of his last few games at Baum Stadium. He's trying to do everything he can to play."

Van Horn said he planned to start Martin at second base and insert Jack Kenley into the lineup at third base.

"Kenley deserves a chance," he said. "When he's been in the lineup, he's played well, so it's his time."

Kenley is hitting .263 in limited duty, with a double, 4 RBI and 1 error in 22 chances in the field. Cole and Kjerstad are the only Razorbacks to start all 42 games. He's hitting .326 with 8 doubles and 18 extra-base hits.

Martin, who is hitting .333 with 8 home runs and 33 RBI, probably could have played on Wednesday vs. Texas Tech if the game hadn't been rained out.

Cole, who has been hit on the right foot a couple of times this season, was clearly slowed in Tuesday night's victory over the Red Raiders.

Sports on 04/27/2018

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