Senior Jeff Nutt smacked a leadoff home run in the
eighth inning to lift Arkansas
(18-14/4-8 SEC) to a 2-1 victory over No. 21 Florida (23-11/8-5 SEC) on Friday
night at McKethan Stadium in front of 3,523 fans.
Sophomore left-hander Dallas Keuchel (3-1) threw a
career-high 8.1 innings for the Hogs and sophomore Stephen Richards recorded
the final two outs with the tying run on second base to pick up his second
save. Keuchel scattered six hits, issued three walks
and had a pair of strikeouts.
“Unfortunately, the game
came down to one run and walking the leadoff guy to start the game came back to
hurt us,” head coach Kevin O’Sullivan
said. “That ended up being the difference in the ballgame. I thought Billy
(Bullock) threw the ball pretty well. Getting the leadoff runner on in the
ninth, we felt like we had a chance to score the tying run. I thought that
(Jonathan) Pigott hit the ball hard at the end of the
grabbed a 1-0 lead in the first on an RBI groundout by junior Ben Tschepikow. Junior Logan Forsythe led off the game by
drawing a walk from sophomore Billy
Bullock (Balm, Fla.),
was sacrificed to second on a bunt from senior Sean Jones and moved to third on
a balk. Tschepikow collected his 16th RBI with a
grounder to third base.
The Gators evened the score in the third on a
two-out single by senior Jon Townsend (London, Ky.).
After sophomore Clayton Pisani (Naples, Fla.) grounded into a double play, junior Teddy Foster (Jacksonville, Fla.)
legged out an infield hit and stole second. Junior Avery Barnes (High Springs,
Fla.) beat out a single for
runners on the corners and Townsend stroked a game-tying base-hit up the
retired seven consecutive Gators before Barnes opened the bottom of the sixth
with a single through the right side. The southpaw set down Townsend on a fly
ball to center and had sophomore Cole
Figueroa (Tallahassee, Fla.)
ground into an inning-ending 4-6-3 double play, the third turned by the Hogs to
the bases with two down in the seventh but could not reclaim the lead. After
junior Ryan Cisterna started the frame with a bloop
single into right field, Foster made an acrobatic catch behind home plate on
junior Chase Leavitt’s bunt attempt. Bullock issued a walk to Forsythe for two
runners aboard and was replaced by senior Josh
Edmondson (LaGrange, Ga.). Over 6.1 innings, Bullock gave up
six hits, with four K and three walks. Edmondson struck out Jones on a 3-2
pitch as the runners swiped second and third and walked Tschepikow
intentionally to fill the sacks. The reliever worked out of the jam by having freshman
Brett Eibner fly out to left.
Nutt cranked his second homer of the campaign to
begin the eighth for a 2-1 UA lead. He sent a 1-0 offering from Edmondson out
of the yard in right center. Sophomore Tim Smalling
reached on a one-out error by Pisani and Cisterna
went down swinging. Leavitt then singled to left center, advancing Smalling to third, but was gunned down at second by Barnes
trying to stretch his hit into a double.
In the home part of the stanza, Foster drew a
one-out walk and was replaced by freshman pinch runner Chris Freshcorn (Tampa, Fla.).
Keuchel retired Barnes on fly out and issued a free
pass to Townsend before having Figueroa’s grounder force Townsend at second to
end the inning.
Forsythe opened the ninth with a double to
straightaway center field and Edmondson fanned Jones before departing. Over two
innings, the righty (3-2) matched his career high of four strikeouts and
surrendered three hits. Sophomore Tony
Davis (Cooper City,
Fla.) struck out the lone batter he faced,
Tschepikow, and was replaced by sophomore Clint Franklin (Orlando, Fla.).
The right-hander had Eibner line out to sophomore Matt den Dekker (Ft. Lauderdale, Fla.)
to keep UF down by a run.
Adams (Jacksonville, Fla.) led off the final frame with his
team-leading 14th double. Keuchel struck out senior Dustin Bamberg (Winter Haven, Fla.)
and then yielded to Richards. The southpaw caught den Dekker looking on strikes
and had sophomore Jonathan Pigott (Ormond Beach, Fla.) ground out to preserve the
Hogs’ one-run triumph.
notched a 9-6 advantage in hits, with the trio of Cisterna, Leavitt and Nutt
chipping in with two apiece. The Hogs stranded 11 runners, compared to six for
the Gators. Barnes went 2-for-4 for his 13th multiple-hit game. Junior RHP Patrick Keating (Harrisburg, Ill.)
(5-0, 2.66) will oppose Hog right-hander Justin Wells (2-0, 4.68) in game two
of the series at 4 p.m. tomorrow.
Billy Bullock recorded his team-leading
fifth-straight start of six innings or more and his second-straight quality
start but received his second no-decision in a row.
Six of freshman Josh Adams’ last eight
hits have been for extra bases.
In his last four games, junior Avery
Barnes is 9-for-16 (.563) with five runs and three stolen bases.
Tonight was the third straight game a
UF reliever received the decision.
Florida’s one run
was the lowest output of the season.
Tonight was UF’s
first Friday night SEC loss at home since a 9-2 defeat to Kentucky on April 20, 2007.