ATHENS, Ga. – Arkansas overcame a one-run deficit with RBI singles from Jake Wise
and Joe Serrano
in the top of the eighth to lift the No. 15 Razorbacks to a 2-1 win over Georgia on Saturday afternoon at Foley Field.
The victory clinches the series for the Razorbacks, who improve to 29-15 and 13-7 in Southeastern Conference play. Georgia drops to 16-28 and 4-16 in league play.
The Arkansas offense struggled to get anything going until the top of the eighth. Trailing 1-0 entering the eighth, the Razorbacks put together a two-run rally to take the lead. Jacob Mahan
led off the rally with a double to right-center field and Wise quickly followed with a single to left field, scoring Mahan from second to tie the game. After a sacrifice bunt by Brett McAfee
moved Wise to second, Serrano came through with the go-ahead single to right-center, scoring Wise from second to put Arkansas in front 2-1.
After Georgia was retired in order in the eighth, the Bulldogs got the leadoff runner on in the ninth with a walk. However, Colby Suggs
was able to induce a 4-6-3 double play for the first two outs of the inning. Curt Powell then reached on an infield single to put a runner on first with two out. However, Suggs got a fly out to center to end the game and give the Razorbacks a 2-1 win.Jalen Beeks
(5-1) earned the win in relief after working a scoreless inning and striking out two. Suggs earned his seventh save as he worked a scoreless ninth inning for the second straight day. Suggs extended his scoreless innings streak to 9.1 innings. The junior right hander has not allowed a run in his last 10 outings.
Georgia starter Sean McLaughlin (4-5) worked a complete game, but took the loss. McLaughlin gave up two runs on five hits and struck out five in nine innings.Ryne Stanek
started for Arkansas and received a no decision. Stanek gave up one run on seven hits and struck out three in 6.2 innings.Brian Anderson
, Mahan, McAfee, Serrano and Wise each had one hit for the Razorbacks in the win. Serrano and Wise each contributed a RBI.
Curt Powell and Nelson Ward each had two hits to lead Georgia at the plate. Hunter Cole, Kyle Farmer, Daniel Nichols and Jared Walsh each added a hit. Farmer had the only RBI of the day for the Bulldogs.
Arkansas also flashed some excellent defense as Anderson and Jordan Farris
made fantastic catches in the sixth. Walsh lifted a foul ball down the left field line toward the bullpen. Anderson ranged over, leaned over the bullpen fence and made a great catch, nearly falling into the bullpen as he made the grab. The next batter, Brett DeLoach, ripped a liner at second that appeared destined for right-center field, but Farris made a fantastic leaping catch to rob DeLoach of a hit.
The game was scoreless until the bottom of the seventh inning when Georgia was able to plate a run. Ward drew a walk to start the inning and then advanced to second after a bunt single by Powell. After Ward stole third, Farmer hit a sacrifice fly to center, scoring Ward from third base with the game’s first run.
The Razorbacks and Bulldogs conclude the three-game series on Sunday with first pitch set for 1 p.m. Senior left hander Randall Fant
(3-1, 2.23) will start for Arkansas, while senior righty Bryan Benzor (3-2, 4.38) will get the start for Georgia. The series finale will be televised on CSS and also available in Northwest Arkansas on CST.