Here's what I don't understand

Look . . . I’m a BIG Dave Van Horn fan, and that’s not gonna change. Just like in any sport, tough losses come along from time to time. Baseball is no different. tonight was such a night for the Razorback program.

So, this is NOT a rip-job on anyone. But i do have something I just don’t get.

OK - so, we play Keystone cops on what should have been a caught foul ball - game, National Championship. And then, Cronin duels their batter with 4 or 5 pitches that he fouls off before he gets the game-tying hit.

All of that, so far, painful but just part of baseball. I get that.

But after that happened, it was easy to see that our whole team was devastated. They were in shock - you could see it in every eye of every player the camera showed in the aftermath of that game-tying hit. Most of all, you could see it in Cronin’s eyes.

So, why, oh WHY did Wes Johnson NOT take a walk out to the mound to put his arm on Cronin’s shoulder, tell him something like “I know you just lost that battle, but that guy on first has won a lot of them. However - that’s over; it’s done. What I need you to do now . . . what this team needs YOU to do NOW . . . is to gather yourself and focus on the task at hand; and that’s getting this next guy out, so we can come up and win this game. Now, let’s go over what we’re going to pitch him.”

If ever a coach needed to go and re-focus a player, it was there, in that moment. Instead, when the camera caught Johnson in the dugout, he had the same look of shock on his face as the players had!

The guy is a great coach, and I’m thrilled he’s on our staff. He’s done a super job with our pitchers, and I’m sure he will continue to. But . . . I just don’t understand what happened there. Well - I do. But i’m surprised that DVH or someone didn’t grab Johnson and send him out, if he didn’t know that he needed to do it on his own.

Would it have made any difference; who knows? But I sure as heck would have made sure it was done.

Rant over.

I have had the same thought several times when the game seems to be careening
off the path. But right then for sure. Being caught up in the moment is akin to
watching a fourteen yard pass on a fourth-down play.

In my mind, they did no wrong, because it shouldn’t have come down to that.

We had three guys blow a pop fly.

They better show up tomorrow is all I can think. Our first 4 batters, our best four batters, have been absolutely awful. Somethings got to change, idk what, take them somewhere different for lunch, no sausage for breakfast idk, but we need to figure it out!

I agree with you in part. But I wouldn’t have waited until the game-tying hit. As soon as the ball dropped harmlessly (to OSU) on the ground and then Cronin threw the next pitch, which was way high and out of the strike zone, I felt that was the moment to gather the troops and refocus on the task at hand. But that’s 20/20 hindsight. I think everybody was shellshocked and the Razorback energy had left the stadium.

No excuse whatsoever for that ball to ever hit the ground.plain and simple.crap it almost hit Cole in the foot he totally stopped looking at the ball assuming shaddy was going to catch it and you know what happens when we assume!


Of course, it SHOULDN’T have happened. EVERYONE knows that and agrees.

But YOU DON’T STOP PLAYING (or coaching!) when something bad happens. That’s a critical coaching point to convey to these young men. The coaches are responsible for getting their heads right for what’s in front of them NOW.

Hindsight sure is 20-20…

Aloha Wiz,

Concur. Time to take a deep breath and regroup. Failed to do so.


I agree 100%. Who knows if it would have made a difference but IMO it was the thing to do. Right after the dropped ball happened I told my brothers that Cronin better be careful or it’s going to be 5-3. Sometimes I hate being right.

I can’t fault the effort by Gates but IMO if he pulls up quicker then I think the ball is caught. Shaddy bumped him only slightly just before the ball landed but it was just enough to throw off his concentration. Cole and Shaddy are realistically the only two that have a chance–at least the best chance-to get there (when the ball stays in the air that long) because they are running in normal stride while the 1B is kind of back (or side) pedalling. (the same is true with the SS and 3B on the other side). If asked I feel pretty confident they would acknowledge that is what they have been coached to do; allow either the 2B or RF to make that particular catch. Pre-pitch positioning can alter this but what I have stated above is a general statement for normal positioning.

I credit Shaddy for not saying this in an interview and is further evidence of him being a good teammate. I never ceased to be amazed at how often winning comes down to communication and fundamentals.

And one last thing. I just went back and looked at that play a few times on video. Eric Cole is not 100% right now; he has been hobbling around on one (or two) bad ankles for a while. I suspect the Royals will give him at least a few weeks off (or more) to heal before expecting him to begin playing in their minor league system.

I’m glad you mentioned that about Cole. He doesn’t look right to me. Is he hurt or is he just sort of out of gas this late in the year?? He gained quite a bit of weight in the off season and I’m wondering if that’s slowing him down a little bit late in the year. He has looked terrible at the plate.

Eric injured his foot (right, I believe) by fouling a ball off the top of it several weeks ago - maybe mid-season. He hobbled around for 2-3 weeks after that, and seemed to be just getting back into decent (non-limping) condition when he did it again. And if I’m not mistaken, he did it yet again in the SEC Tournament, or first round of NCAA play. So, this has been an on-going saga for him for the entire second half of the season.

To his credit, he has soldiered through it and - IMO - has played remarkably well. But the cumulative effect of it has to be bothering him quite a bit right now. Don’t know that it’s affecting his hitting - I think it’s the OSU pitching, TBH, because no one is hitting worth a darn. But it surely isn’t helping.

It’s just one at bat…but I think it would have a huge impact on our psyche if Eric could lead off the game tonight with a hit. I think if we put up a 3-spot or something like that in the first it would tell OSU that we came to play.

I agree with you Wiz…he has been a soldier and has played without excuses. But no doubt he is less than 100% and the cumulative effect of these injuries seem to be weighing on him. I really am pulling for him tonight.

Cole has a bad ankle on top of all the bruises. Wears an ankle brace. Not making an excuse just stating fact. He made a great play against the stands against Florida but he was a long way from this play.

It’s among baseball’s toughest plays. OSU let two drop in Hogs scoring inning. It looks easy chasing a twisting foul but it never is that.

I agree with Clay that this was a much more difficult play than many people are acknowledging. But I also feel Carson was the right one to try and catch it; closest and best angle (Cole was playing really deep–the “no doubles” defense with two outs) and as I said earlier that is just a difficult route for a 1B.

You can question the execution to actually make the catch but I don’t understand how anyone can question the effort of all three players in this instance. Usually that comes from people that have never been in that arena.

I’m glad you said that. DVH & the players said the same thing in the presser last night. So did Dari & (the other SEC commentator whose name escapes me) after the game. While it’s one that should have been caught it wasn’t the gimme so many are acting like it was. What makes it so disheartening is that it would have ended the game. But even as it dropped, it became the second strike. So OSU was down to one strike. The kid gets the hit & the game is tied. Still not a terrible thing. The next batter blasts the HR then instead of being tied going into our half where all we had to do was manufacture a run, we’re two down. That’s tough to overcome. When Jax led off with the single, we couldn’t bunt him over. Then Eric strikes out. Casey struck the ball well but right back to the pitcher. Six inches to the other side & it’s an up the middle base hit with the tying run on first.

"Of all the words of tongue or pen, the saddest are these, ‘it might have been.’ " So true.

One strike.
One out.
Can they put it behind them?
Stay tuned.

The Huge crowd will have a big impact and show them incredible love and that helps a lot. we need to get off to good start and get the momentum and put the pressure on them…

I like our chances…got my lucky shirt to wear that is undefeated!!Go Hogs WPS!!

I’m Rollin with the lucky shirt :tshirt: effect


Let’s say he did that and the game still turned out the way it did. Do you think Cronin would ever recover moving forward? Wes puts it all on his shoulders and he doesn’t deliver. Would be a career killer for a closer. You don’t do that. Shaddy maybe should have walked over and said, sorry I blew that, help me out. Regardless, it’s one game. By the way, we did win the first one.

Yes, we did win the first one. Seems like a lifetime ago.