Matt Jones is the online sports director for the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette. A double graduate of the University of Arkansas, he is a member of the Football Writers Association of America and National Collegiate Baseball Writers Association, and voter for the Heisman Trophy.
Labrum tear ends Stovall's season
Arkansas second baseman Peyton Stovall (left) throws as Texas A&M's Brett Minnich slides into second base during a game Saturday, April 29, 2023, in Fayetteville.
FAYETTEVILLE — Arkansas second baseman Peyton Stovall will miss the remainder of the baseball season with a torn labrum, Razorbacks coach Dave Van Horn said Wednesday.
Stovall will require surgery to repair the injury in the next 10 days, Van Horn said. His recovery timeline might allow him to practice by late fall.
“It’s not huge, but it needs to fixed,” said Van Horn, who added. “I’m glad we know what it is and he can get it fixed and he can move on. I think he’ll have a great, great season next year.”
Stovall, a sophomore, has not played since an April 29 game against Texas A&M. Van Horn said after that game that he had played through a shoulder injury for 6 to 8 weeks.
“It just kept bothering me,” Stovall said last week. “I’d go out there Friday and feel decent, and by Sunday my shoulder would hurt so bad that I could hardly throw and it bothered me to really swing.”
Stovall batted .253 overall and .193 in SEC play this season, down from .295 and .218 his freshman year. He finished the year with 5 home runs, 4 doubles, 1 triple and 31 RBI while hitting primarily second in the batting order.
Van Horn said he thinks the injury affected Stovall while hitting. He said Stovall might have hurt his shoulder swinging the bat during a game.
“There were a couple of pitches when he swung and missed that stood out when he grimaced big time,” Van Horn said. “He remembers one of them and that was a month and a half ago. It might have started out as some inflammation in there and got better, got back out there again.
"I think he’s been playing in pain. He’s been, honestly, probably miserable.”
Peyton Holt has filled in for Stovall and played well the last two weeks against Mississippi State and South Carolina. During last weekend’s series against the Gamecocks, Holt went 6 for 10, scored 4 runs, doubled twice and walked twice at the plate, and helped turn a pair of double plays defensively.
“He’s got some experience the last few weeks to play and he’s done a really good job for us defensively,” Van Horn said, “and offensively as well.”
Stovall is the fourth Arkansas player to suffer a season-ending injury this year, but the first position player. Pitchers Jaxon Wiggins and Dylan Carter underwent Tommy John surgery to repair torn ulnar collateral ligaments in their elbows, and pitcher Koty Frank required surgery for a torn lat muscle.
The second-ranked Razorbacks (38-13, 19-8 SEC) have overcome the rash of injuries and lead the SEC by one game heading into their final regular-season series at No. 6 Vanderbilt. Those teams are scheduled to play the first of three games Thursday at 6 p.m.
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