FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. — Arkansas coach Dave Van Horn stuck to the textbook.
If freshman pitcher Hagen Smith had crashed and burned against Ole Miss on Wednesday night, fans would have said he should have started Connor Noland.
Whether anybody thought otherwise, Van Horn knew the Rebels hit right-handers better and went with the southpaw Smith.
He wobbled a couple of times, but didn't crash and burn. Zack Morris did total the car in the first inning Monday night but rescued the Hogs in a 3-2 win Wednesday night.
Freshman reliever Brady Tygart simply couldn't handle the moment. Morris handled it pretty well when it was needed the most after Evan Taylor set it up perfectly.
The offense could have helped in the eighth inning. Getting a couple of extra runs across after loading the bases with only one out gave the Hogs a chance to blow it open.
Instead, it was the Rebels loading the bases in the bottom of the ninth with the bases loaded after Tygart blew up and loaded the bases giving up a single, then hitting two straight batters.
Enter Morris, who couldn't make it out of the first inning against Ole Miss.
This time he struck out the first batter he faced, then got a fly-out that was anything but routine when Jalen Battles nearly ran over Jace Bohrofen in shallow left field, but he grabbed it and held on.
After a ground ball that gave up a meaningless run, Morris got another fly to left that was handled without incident and there's another game to play.
The assumption is Noland will be starting on the hill. There may not be a better option.
Only Van Horn and pitching coach Matt Hobbs know the answers.
The ultimate answer may be a committee-type approach.
We'll find out tomorrow afternoon.
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