FAYETTEVILLE — Arkansas didn’t just get swept by South Carolina, which polished off an impressive weekend with a 5-3 win on Sunday.
The Razorbacks also lost their best hitter.
Third baseman Zack Cox was pulled out of the lineup before the eighth inning after hurting his back earlier in the game. The sophomore, who entered the day hitting .428, was hurt when he swung at a pitch during a third inning at-bat.
“It’s a little pull in his back,” Arkansas coach Dave Van Horn said. “It started stiffening up on him. That was a tough deal, but I appreciate him telling me that he couldn’t go.”
The team’s best hitter grimaced after a swing with the Razorbacks leading 3-2 in the third. He took a few seconds, stepped back into the box and singled two pitches later.
But Cox looked very uncomfortable running to first base.
Arkansas’ trainer examined Cox and the sophomore remained in the game for the next few innings. It was clear he was hurting, though.
“I remember throwing a ball down after a strikeout and him just stand there and not moving for it,” catcher James McCann said. “I knew something was wrong. But he’s a tough guy.”
Freshman Matt Reynolds came off the bench to play shortstop in the seventh inning, while Tim Carver moved over to third base. Reynolds also led off the eighth inning in Cox’s place at the plate, slapping a single up the middle.
Van Horn said it was good to see Reynolds come through in Cox’s absence. He wasn’t sure if Cox would be ready to play at Oklahoma on Tuesday.
“It just depends on what it is,” Van Horn said. “If it’s more of a cramp or it’s really a strain or stress, whatever it may be, we’ll try to get him worked on and see how it is (today).”
Cox wasn’t available for comment after the game because he was receiving treatment. But Arkansas center fielder Brett Eibner said the Razorbacks remain optimistic he won’t be sidelined long. [Read More]