Saturday March 14, 2009No. 19 Arkansas Doubles Up No. 18 Baseball, 8-4
A six-run second inning powered No. 19 Arkansas (11-3/2-0 SEC) to an 8-4 victory over No. 18 Florida (9-6/0-2 SEC) on Saturday afternoon at Baum Stadium. The win clinched the opening Southeastern Conference series for the Hogs. Junior T.J. Forrest (1-1) totaled a career-high seven strikeouts and picked up the win after four innings of relief, while freshman Tim Carver (2-for-3, two runs) and senior Ben Tschepikow (1-for-3) contributed two RBI apiece. The Gators stranded a season-high 12 runners in the setback.
The Razorbacks sent 11 batters to the plate in the second stanza and scored six runs on five hits, chasing freshman starter Alex Panteliodis (Tampa, Fla.) (2-2) in the process. Sophomore Brett Eibner led off with a single and sophomore Andy Wilkins (2-for-4) followed with a base-hit through the left side before the runners were sacrificed over on a bunt by senior Andrew Darr. Carver poked a two-run single and, after a walk to senior Ryan Cisterna, redshirt freshman Collin Kuhn (3-for-5) laced an RBI single for a 3-0 margin and prompted a pitching change. Junior Jeff Barfield (Perry, Ga.) replaced Panteliodis (1.1 IP, 5 H, 5 R, 2 BB) and surrendered a two-out, two-run single to Tschepikow for a 5-0 UA advantage. Freshman pinch hitter Zack Cox walked on four pitches and a wild pitch from Barfield left the hosts with runners on second and third. Eibner walked but a passed ball on the play enabled Tschepikow to score the sixth run.
A bases-loaded RBI grounder by senior Brandon McArthur (Seffner, Fla.) (1-for-5, 3 RBI) in the third put Florida on the board. Senior Avery Barnes (High Springs, Fla.) walked, junior Mike Mooney (Loxahatchee, Fla.) singled and junior Matt den Dekker (Ft. Lauderdale, Fla.) earned a free pass with one down. Forrest took over for junior Mike Bolsinger (2.1 IP, 2 H, 1 R) and McArthur tapped a ball back to the pitcher that drove in Barnes. The reliever struck out freshman Tyler Thompson (Tequesta, Fla.) to end the frame.
The Gators closed to within 6-4 in the seventh on a two-run double by McArthur and an RBI grounder by sophomore Riley Cooper (Clearwater, Fla.). UF filled the sacks with one down, as Mooney was plunked, sophomore Josh Adams (Jacksonville , Fla.) walked and den Dekker was hit by a pitch. McArthur sliced a two-bagger just inside of the right-field line and caused a pitching change. Senior Justin Wells replaced Forrest (4.0 IP, 3 H, 3 R, 7 K, 2 BB) and had Cooper ground out to third. Although den Dekker was coming across the plate anyway, Carver threw the ball away to give UF runners on second and third with one out. Wells fanned Thompson and junior Clayton Pisani (Naples, Fla.) to keep the Hogs ahead by two runs.
Arkansas answered soon after on a two-out solo homer into the right-field bullpen by Wilkins to take a 7-4 lead. It was the sophomore’s second dinger of the series and team-leading sixth of the campaign.
Barfield worked 5.2 innings, allowing four hits and two runs (one earned), with three walks and three strikeouts. Junior Clint Franklin (Orlando, Fla.) surrendered a two-out RBI single to senior Scott Lyons in the eighth to complete the scoring. Junior Stephen Richards pitched a scoreless ninth for the Hogs, who held an 11-6 edge in hits.
In a matchup of lefties, freshman Nick Maronde (Lexington, Ky.) (1-1, 2.25) will oppose redshirt freshman Drew Smyly (1-0, 1.32) in tomorrow’s finale at 2 p.m. that will air live on Cox Sports.