Big double elicits emotion from Razorbacks’ Shaddy

By: Bob Holt
Published: Sunday, June 10, 2018
Arkansas baserunner Carson Shaddy celebrates after hitting a three-run double against South Carolina in the seventh inning of an NCAA college baseball tournament super regional baseball game in Fayetteville, Ark., Saturday, June 9, 2018. (AP Photo/Michael Woods)
Arkansas baserunner Carson Shaddy celebrates after hitting a three-run double against South Carolina in the seventh inning of an NCAA college baseball tournament super regional baseball game in Fayetteville, Ark., Saturday, June 9, 2018. (AP Photo/Michael Woods)

FAYETTEVILLE -- Getting a big hit with the bases loaded against South Carolina had been a struggle for the Arkansas Razorbacks this season.

Carson Shaddy changed all that.

The senior second baseman from Fayetteville hit a one-out, bases-loaded double off Eddy Demurias in the seventh inning that scored three runs to propel the Razorbacks to a 9-3 victory in a NCAA super regional opener Saturday night at Baum Stadium.

Shaddy hit a 2-2 fastball to the left-center field gap that scored Casey Martin, Luke Bonfield and Dominic Fletcher to give the University of Arkansas, Fayetteville a 7-3 lead.

"I wasn't really trying to do too much," Shaddy said. "I was just trying to put the bat on the ball. We had less than two outs, so I was just trying to get the ball in play, and hopefully to the outfield."

The Razorbacks were 1 for 7 against the Gamecocks in bases-loaded situations before Shaddy's double, including 0 for 4 in a 3-2 loss on April 12.

Arkansas loaded the bases in the fourth inning Saturday night and scored two runs when Fletcher was hit by a pitch and Grant Koch hit a sacrifice fly, but South Carolina limited the damage and kept the Razorbacks' lead at 3-2.

The Razorbacks' only bases-loaded hit against South Carolina prior to Saturday night was a two-run single by Fletcher in Arkansas' 13-8 victory at the SEC Tournament.

Arkansas Coach Dave Van Horn has said previously he doesn't want Shaddy showing too much emotion during games, but Shaddy couldn't help himself after the double.

"I don't really hold my emotions when things go well for me," Shaddy said. "I lost control of my emotions ... I was just pumped up."

So what did Van Horn think about Shaddy's emotional display?

"I was kind of excited, too," Van Horn said. "But it's like I always tell these guys. It's OK to show emotion. It's just when you show it. We still needed to get six more outs.

"I just told him to calm down a little bit and let's try to get another run in there. I'm emotional, so I expect them to show emotion. I don't want them to drain themselves. If it'd been the second inning, I wouldn't have liked it a whole lot because you have way too much game to play and it's hot. Save your energy."

Shaddy said he tried not to think too much about Fletcher being walked intentionally in front of him.

"I didn't really try to put too much pressure on myself," he said. "There was a guy behind me saying, 'They have no respect for you.' So I kind of had that ringing in my head. I didn't really want that ringing in my head, but I guess it worked out."

Van Horn said he would have done the same thing as South Carolina Coach Mark Kingston and loaded the bases to set up a double play -- especially with the right-hander Demurias pitching to the right-handed hitting Shaddy instead of the left-handed hitting Fletcher.

"So why not go with the right-on-right matchup?" Van Horn said. "Try to throw a slider, get him to swing and get a ground ball, have a chance to turn a double play.

"Shaddy fouled a pitch or two off, laid off a borderline pitch, had a pitch called away on him and got to a count where the pitcher had to come in there a little bit better.

"And he did a great job of getting his hands inside the baseball and putting the barrel on it. Obviously it was huge for us at the time. It changed the whole game."

Sports on 06/10/2018

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