GAINESVILLE, Fla. – The Arkansas baseball team (8-6, 0-1 SEC) fell 2-1 to Florida (12-6, 1-0) in the SEC opener for both teams Friday at McKethan Stadium in Gainesville, Fla.
Junior team captain Jalen Beeks (3-2) was saddled with the loss after allowing two runs on six hits and striking out three in 4.2 innings of work. Freshman Zach Jackson entered the game with two outs in the fifth inning and stranded runners on second and third with a strikeout. The Berryhill, Okla., native struck out three over 2.1 innings of work and has not allowed an earned run in his first 14.2 innings as a Razorback.
Sophomore Bobby Wernes and senior team captain Jake Wise led Arkansas at the plate with two hits each. Freshman Clark Eagan registered his first collegiate RBI with a two-out single to drive in junior Eric Fisher from second after Fisher reached on a one-out walk in the top of the second inning and advanced into scoring position with a stolen base.
The Razorbacks and Gators have two more games scheduled for the series. Saturday’s game is expected to feature RHP Trey Killian on the mound for the 6 p.m. start, and Sunday’s noon game has RHP Chris Oliver scheduled to start. Both games can be seen on Fox Sports Florida and RazorVision.
For more information on Arkansas baseball, follow @RazorbackBSB on Twitter.
Coach Van Horn Quotes
Head Coach Dave Van Horn (on Arkansas’ pitching) – “(Jalen) Beeks didn’t have his best stuff tonight. He threw a lot better his first four outings for sure. We noticed early that he wasn’t locating like normal but he battled and gave us a chance to win the game. He did a great job of battling through innings without his best stuff. (Zach) Jackson came in and did a tremendous job striking out a really good hitter to get out of a jam. He worked his way into another jam and then got out of it. He’s young and has a great arm. This was a great learning experience. I’m proud of him. I thought the pitching staff did a great job.”
Head Coach Dave Van Horn (on Saturday’s game) – “It’s huge. When you lose Friday, you don’t have a chance to win the series unless you win Saturday. We need to go out and find a way to win tomorrow.”
• Arkansas’ relief pitchers have not allowed an earned run in 34.0 consecutive innings, a streak that stretches back to the eighth inning vs. Eastern Illinois on Feb. 22. Freshman Zach Jackson and junior Michael Gunn pitched 3.1 scoreless innings Friday to extend the streak.
• The Razorbacks’ six losses this season have come by a combined seven runs.
• Arkansas has allowed an average of 2.8 runs per game in its six losses.
• Zach Jackson has not allowed an earned run in 14.2 innings pitched, a streak he extended with 2.1 shutout innings Friday.
• Zach Jackson has struck out three batters in four of his five appearances this season.
• Michael Gunn tied his season high with two strikeouts and has not allowed an earned run in his last four appearances.
• Bobby Wernes recorded multiple hits for the second straight game after collecting his first two collegiate hits in game two of Sunday’s doubleheader last weekend at Cal.
How They Scored
• Arkansas 0, Florida 1; Bottom 1st: Taylor Gunshue grounded out to third to score Richie Martin from third base.
• Arkansas 1, Florida 1; Top 2nd: Clark Eagan singled to left-center field to score Eric Fisher from second base.
• Arkansas 1, Florida 2; Bottom 3rd: Casey Turgeon grounded out to shortstop to score John Sternagel from third base.