For as long as he can remember, Carson Shaddy has wanted to be a Razorback.
Shaddy grew up in Fayetteville playing baseball less than one mile away from Baum Stadium in high school. He also dabbled in football for one year at FHS. But it didn’t go as planned.
“I was quarterback and I was behind Brandon and Austin Allen. So there was really no chance of me playing,” Shaddy told the Pig Trail Nation. “So at that point I kind of figured out that I was not going to be a football player and I was going to play baseball.”
Which made sense for him, especially being that his father, Chris Shaddy, also played baseball. Chris even played along side current head coach, Dave Van Horn, for the University of Arkansas back in 1982.
“His dad played shortstop here, I played second base,” says Van Horn. “So obviously we were middle infielders together that whole year. Turned a lot of double plays. Hung out a little bit. Then to have his kid here is, it’s a unique situation.”
At the end of last season, Shaddy was already in his fourth year on The Hill and didn’t think he would be back for another.
“I thought that there was no doubt that I was going to get picked up somewhere,” Shaddy said. “I kept telling myself this is the last time I get to walk up these stairs. Last time I get to clean out my locker. But you know, God had a different plan for me. It’s really not that big of a deal. This had been my dream since I was four years old, to play for the Arkansas Razorbacks. So one more year just makes it even better.”
Even though this fifth year wasn’t in his original plan, Shaddy believes the extra time at Arkansas is benefiting him.
“I’ve learned a lot over the four years. But I think that I’ve learned even more over just this last fall. These couple of games that we’ve played in the beginning of the season. I can see my growth.”
He also adds that some of the growth comes from the teammates he’s played with and the experiences he’s been a part of during his time as a Diamond Hog.
“Literally my best friends on the planet have come from this team. There’s so many different teams that I’ve been a part of. Getting to go to the highs and lows of 2015-2016. I’ve kind of seen it all I feel like.”
Shaddy is now one of just three players remaining from the 2015 team when Arkansas competed for a National Title. He says his only goal now is to get the Hogs back to the College World Series.
“In the last couple of games I have here, I just really want to make sure that I play my best and try to get us back to Omaha.”