Fifth-ranked Arkansas (29-10/11-4 SEC)
finished its first-ever home series sweep of No. 17 Florida (20-19/8-7 SEC) on
Sunday afternoon with a 10-7 victory in front of 8,326 fans at Baum Stadium.
Trailing 7-6 in the eighth, the Hogs used a bases-clearing double by sophomore
Logan Forsythe (4-for-5, six RBI) and a sacrifice fly by junior Jeff Nutt to
secure the triumph. After senior Austin
Pride (Longwood, Fla.) had snapped a 6-6 tie with his
seventh home run in the top of the frame, the Hogs countered with four runs on
two hits and an error to remain atop the SEC standings.
In the decisive stanza, freshman Tim Smalling walked on four pitches against senior reliever Steven Porter (Ocoee, Fla.). A throwing error by sophomore
catcher Cody Neer
on senior Jake Dugger’s sacrifice attempt pushed
senior pinch runner Stephen Robison to third and allowed Dugger
to occupy second. Junior Sean Jones was walked intentionally to load the bases
before junior Josh Edmondson (LaGrange, Ga.)
was called in from the bullpen. Forsythe cranked a double to straightaway
center field to score three runs and went to third on a passed ball. Nutt
delivered a sac fly to left field to finalize the four-run margin. Junior
Travis Hill (2-1) threw 1.2 scoreless innings and totaled three K to collect
the win, while Porter slipped to 0-3 with the defeat.
threatened in its first at bat against junior starter Jess Todd but could not
break the ice. Freshman Cole Figueroa (Tallahassee, Fla.)
drew a one-out walk and senior Matt LaPorta (Port Charlotte, Fla.)
extended his hitting streak to 15 games with a sharp single. The slugger has
reached base in 36 of the 37 games he has played this season. A fielder’s
choice by senior Brian Leclerc (Clearwater, Fla.)
forced LaPorta at second but left the Gators with runners
on the corners and two down. Todd answered with a strikeout of Neer.
In the bottom of the frame, the Hogs loaded the
bases with one down and failed to score. Junior Sean Jones was hit by a pitch
from junior Bryan Augenstein
(Sebastian, Fla.) and moved to third on a one-out
base-hit to right field by Forsythe. Nutt walked on four pitches and junior
Casey Coon grounded into a 4-6-3 double play to keep the game scoreless.
three runs on three two-out hits in the second stanza to seize the advantage.
Junior Brian Walker sent his fifth round-tripper of the season over the wall in
right center to open the scoring. Soon after, Smalling
was hit by a pitch and took third on Dugger’s single
into left center. A free pass to Jones filled the sacks and Forsythe roped a
two-run single up the middle for a 3-0 lead.
Forsythe came through with another two-out hit in
the fourth to provide the hosts with a four-run margin. Augenstein
retired the first two hitters before Jones sliced a single through the right
side and Forsythe bashed a double to straightaway center field for his third
RBI of the afternoon.
The Gators erupted for six runs on five hits and
two UA errors in the sixth to grab a 6-4 lead. LaPorta
opened with a single to left and Leclerc followed
with a base-hit to end Todd’s tenure on the mound. Over a career-high five
innings, the right-hander set a personal best with 10 strikeouts. He gave up
four hits, issued four walks and was charged with two runs. Freshman Dallas Keuchel walked Neer to load the
bags and freshman Matt den Dekker (Ft. Lauderdale,
Fla.) reached on catcher’s
interference to bring across LaPorta. Pride smacked a
hit directly off Keuchel to score Leclerc
and prompt another pitching change. After senior Chris Rhoads struck out
sophomore pinch hitter Jared Kubin (Oakton, Va.),
freshman Clayton Pisani
(Naples, Fla.) and
junior Jon Townsend (London, Ky.)
had back-to-back RBI singles to even the game at 4-4. Figueroa’s RBI fielder’s
choice brought in Pride and a fielding error on the relay by Rhoads enabled Pisani to increase the Gators’ lead to 6-4.
knotted the game at 6-6 on a two-out homer in the seventh by Hamblin. Coon drew
a two-out walk and Hamblin belted his team-leading 11th round-tripper to left
center to ignite the Baum Stadium crowd. A single through the left side by
sophomore Matt Willard ended Augenstein’s afternoon
after the right-hander allowed nine hits and six runs, with four K and four
Pride opened the eighth with his seventh homer to
help the Gators re-claim the lead. Pisani was hit by
a pitch with one down and advanced to second on a balk by Rhoads. Townsend’s
grounder was thrown away, giving Florida
runners on the corners and Hill was summoned from the bullpen. Figueroa lofted
a fly ball into left field that Coon snared and fired to the plate to nail Pisani for the inning-ending double play.
an 11-8 edge in hits, powered by Forsythe’s career-high four knocks. LaPorta, Pisani and Pride had two
apiece for the visitors. The Gators will next face No. 1 Florida State
(35-4/13-2 ACC) in the rubber match of their season series on Wednesday night
at 6 p.m. The Seminoles claimed a 14-6 win in Gainesville
on Feb. 20 before Florida answered with a 16-7
triumph in Jacksonville
on April 3.