FAYETTEVILLE – Jimmy Bosco
hit a grand slam and drove in four runs, while Tim Carver
went 2-for-5 with two RBI to lead No. 13 Arkansas to an 8-3 series-evening win over Georgia on Saturday afternoon at Baum Stadium.
With the win, Arkansas improves to 23-7 on the season and 6-5 in Southeastern Conference play. Georgia drops to 19-12 and 5-6 in SEC competition with the loss.
The Razorback victory sets up a rubber game on Sunday afternoon at 12:05 p.m. Arkansas will throw junior right hander DJ Baxendale
(5-1, 5.23), while Georgia will throw freshman righty Pete Nagel (0-0, 3.41). Sunday’s game will be televised by CST. Reserved tickets for Sunday’s game are available for $10 and can be purchased at the Baum Stadium box office.
The Arkansas offense produced 13 hits in the win with five different starters recording two hits. Each of the first three players in the batting order had two hits, led by Carver in the leadoff spot who went 2-for-5 with two RBI. Jacob Mahan
and Dominic Ficociello
also added two hits with Mahan driving in a run. Bosco had the biggest hit of the day with a third inning grand slam, the first grand slam for Arkansas since Kyle Robinson
hit one against McNeese State on March 2, 2011. Bosco finished the game going 1-for-5 with four RBI. Derrick Bleeker
and Jake Wise
also had two hits with Wise driving in a run.
Hunter Cole and Jonathan Hester each had a pair of hits to lead Georgia at the plate. Levi Hyams and Kevin Ruiz had one RBI each.
Arkansas reliever Brandon Moore
(3-0) earned his third win of the season. Moore gave up a run on four hits and struck out one in 3.1 innings.
Georgia starter Michael Palazzone (0-4) took the loss after allowing five runs on six hits in four innings.
Arkansas starter Barrett Astin
gave up just two unearned runs on three hits and struck out five in 4.2 innings of work. Colby Suggs finished the game for the Razorbacks, striking out two in a scoreless ninth inning.
Georgia jumped out to an early lead with a run in the top of the second. Cole began the inning with a single to left. A base hit to right-center field by Hester, coupled with a fielding error by Bosco, put runners on second and third with one out. Ruiz then hit a sacrifice fly to center field to put the Bulldogs in front.
Arkansas had an emphatic answer in the bottom of the third inning, putting together a five-run rally. Brian Anderson
led off the inning with a single and Carver followed with a double down the left field line to put runners at second and third. A base hit to left field by Mahan brought home Anderson. After a strike out by Ficociello, Matt Reynolds
was intentionally walked to load the bases. Bosco cleared the bases with a grand slam just to the right of the scoreboard in right-center field.
The Bulldogs got a run back in the top of the fifth. Brandon Stephens drew a one-out walk, but was retired at second after Curt Powell grounded into a fielder’s choice to second. Conor Welton then reached on a fielding error by Reynolds at third to put runners at first and second. Hyams had a two-out single to left field to score Powell to cut the lead to 5-2.
Arkansas tacked on a pair of runs in the bottom of the sixth. Bleeker led off the inning with a single, but was retired at second on a fielder’s choice bunt attempt by Joe Serrano
. Wise followed with a double to the right-center field gap to advance Serrano to third. Anderson then hit a grounder to first with the first baseman throwing home to retire Serrano at the plate. Carver made sure that Arkansas would not leave the inning scoreless as he doubled to drive in both runs.
The Razorbacks stretched the lead to 8-2 in the home half of the seventh. With two outs, Serrano singled into left field and then stole second base. Wise grounded an opposite field single into right to score Serrano.
Georgia closed the scoring with a run in the top of the eighth. The Bulldogs loaded the bases with nobody out, but Moore was able to limit the damage by getting Hester to ground into a 4-6-3 double play, which brought in a run. Moore then got pinch hitter Nelson Ward to ground out to short to end the inning.
The Bulldogs would manage a two-out walk in the ninth, but that was all as Arkansas recorded an 8-3 win.