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April 5, 2014
Diamond Extra: Arkansas Game 3
FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. - There are slumps, there are extended slumps, and there are the kind of slumps that sophomore second baseman Max Schrock is in that are so bad they become painful even to mention aloud.
Since his game-winning home run against Mississippi on March 15, Schrock is 2-34 (.059) in his last nine games. For someone so talented, playing so poorly is something head coach Chad Holbrook has no idea how to fix.
"I thought about giving him some time off," Holbrook said. "He's putting a lot of pressure on himself. He knows he's struggling and we need him.
"I'm wrestling with how to handle it because he's important to the rest of our season. We need him in there and we have to get him back. Giving him a day (off) here or there might get it back or change his offensive approach a little bit and kind of get him to be a little bit less bad on himself. He's struggling. When you play baseball that happens.
"I have to get him out of it, but I can't get him out of it over there sitting beside me. That's what I'm wrestling with. For us to be a good team offensively we need Max Schrock. I have to get him out of this funk and he's got to get himself out of it as quickly as possible or he'll continue to struggle."
LINEUP SHIFTING: Schrock isn't the only regular who had a miserable road trip. Grayson Greiner didn't get a hit in Arkansas (0-for-10), while Joey Pankake was 1-10 (.100), Elliott Caldwell was 1-11 (.091), Kyle Martin was 2-9 (.222), Connor Bright was 2-12 (.167) and DC Arendas was 1-6 (.167).
Only Tanner English (3-9, .333) improved his average (he was batting .290 coming in), while Marcus Mooney 's .273 (3-11) was about at his season average of .280.
The disappointing weekends from so many stalwarts in the lineup is a big cause for concern for Holbrook, so much so that he replaced Greiner, Martin and Caldwell during Saturday's game and pinch hit for Schrock in the ninth. "Some guys that we're counting on to put up some numbers and hit aren't hitting," Holbrook said. "So I have to keep options open. I might have to play a little bit differently. I don't really sit here and know that I have the answers. The guys that we're counting on have to perform.
"We're in s little bit of a rut. That happens over the course of a long season. Obviously it gets magnified when you face arms like that. But six runs in a week, obviously that isn't good enough."
SCOTT SCUFFED: Freshman pitcher Reed Scott, who has been sensational thus far this season while not allowing a run in 16.1 innings pitched, gave up the first run of his career in the fifth and another in the sixth.
STOUT STUFF: USC used five pitchers in Saturday's 7-0 loss to Arkansas. The Razorbacks used five pitchers all weekend. The shortest starting stint for Arkansas was Trey Killian, who allowed two runs and six hits in 7.2 innings Friday in Game 1. In Game 2, Arkansas got a complete game from Jalen Beeks, who allowed one run, unearned, on four hits, and in Game 3 Chris Oliver threw 8.0 innings while allowing four hits and no runs.
Of the 27 innings, Arkansas starters pitched 24.2 of them, with the relievers accounting for just 2.1 innings.
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