GAINESVILLE, Fla. – The Arkansas baseball team (9-7, 1-2 SEC) defeated Florida (13-7, 2-1) on Sunday afternoon by a 9-3 final at McKethan Stadium in Gainesville, Fla.
Arkansas jumped on the Gators early, scoring four runs in the first two innings, and added two in the fourth and three in the ninth after Florida pulled within 6-3 after the fourth inning. The Gators scored one run in the second and two in the fourth with no outs before being held scoreless over the final 6.0 innings. The win snapped Florida’s season-high seven-game winning streak and was the Gators’ first loss at home since Feb. 28.
Junior Jacob Stone (3-0) earned his third win of the season after he pitched 3.0 shutout innings, striking out three and allowing just one hit. Junior Chris Oliver made the start and allowed one unearned run over 2.0 innings. Junior Michael Gunn picked up his second save of 2014 by pitching the final 3.0 innings and allowing just one hit with no runs and one strikeout.
Senior team captain Jake Wise hit his first home run of the season, blasting a shot over the wall in left field leading off the second inning, and also added a double. Junior Brian Anderson led the Razorbacks with three RBI collected with a sacrifice fly in the first inning and a two-RBI double in the second. Freshman Andrew Benintendi and sophomore Tyler Spoon, batting first and second, respectively, each scored three runs to pace Arkansas from the top of the lineup.
The Razorbacks return home for a six-game stretch at Baum Stadium beginning Tuesday against Grambling State at 6:35 p.m. Arkansas and Grambling State play again Wednesday at 3:05 p.m. before Alabama comes to Fayetteville for Baum Stadium’s first SEC series. The Razorbacks and Crimson Tide play Friday at 6:35 p.m., Saturday at 2:05 p.m. and Sunday at 1:05 p.m.
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Coach Van Horn Quotes
Head Coach Dave Van Horn (on Sunday’s win) – “I’m happy with our performance today. We scored early and built on it but then they made a run at us. The guys that came out of the bullpen did a nice job, and we just kept chipping away. It was big getting those three runs in the ninth to give us some cushion.”
Head Coach Dave Van Horn (on the importance of winning Sunday) – “This was a huge win for us. Nobody in the SEC West won three games this weekend, so we are only one game down. We are within striking distance. This is a nine-week grind in SEC play and some tough games in between. I told them to enjoy this until we get off the plane in Fayetteville, and then we need to start thinking about Grambling on Tuesday. The team showed a lot of toughness to bounce back after a tough loss last night. I knew we were going to play well today. I didn’t know if we were going to win but I could tell we were going to play well.”
• Arkansas improved to 9-0 when scoring first, 8-0 when leading after six innings and 9-0 when leading after seven.
• Arkansas has won at least one game in 18 straight SEC series, a streak that stretches back to 2012.
• The Razorbacks have been hit by 29 pitches this season with at least one hit by pitch in 13 of 16 games and multiple hit by pitches in eight games. Bobby Wernes was hit by a pitch in the third inning and Brian Anderson was plunked in the ninth Sunday afternoon.
• Jake Wise hit his first home run since May 3, 2013, at Kentucky leading off the second inning. It was the first home run allowed by Florida since Feb. 23 at Miami, a span of 11 games.
• Brian Anderson recorded three RBI in a game for the third time this season and first time since Feb. 22 vs. Eastern Illinois.
• The Razorbacks’ relief pitchers had a streak of 35.0 innings without allowing an earned run snapped in the fourth inning. Prior to Sunday, Arkansas’ bullpen had not allowed an earned run since Feb. 22 vs. Eastern Illinois.
How They Scored
• Arkansas 1, Florida 0; Top 1st: Brian Anderson hit a sacrifice fly to center field to score Andrew Benintendi from third base.
• Arkansas 2, Florida 0; Top 2nd: Jake Wise hit a solo home run to left field.
• Arkansas 4, Florida 0; Top 2nd: Brian Anderson doubled to left-center field to score Michael Bernal from second base and Tyler Spoon from first base.
• Arkansas 4, Florida 1; Bottom 2nd: Justin Shafer hit a sacrifice fly to right field to score Taylor Gushue from third base.
• Arkansas 5, Florida 1; Top 4th: Andrew Benintendi scored from third base on a wild pitch.
• Arkansas 6, Florida 1; Top 4th: Tyler Spoon scored from third base on a sacrifice bunt by Blake Baxendale.
• Arkansas 6, Florida 3; Bottom 4th: Braden Mattson singled to left field to score Harrison Bader from third base and Taylor Gushue from second base.
• Arkansas 7, Florida 3; Top 9th: Eric Fisher singled up the middle to score Andrew Benintendi from third base.
• Arkansas 8, Florida 3; Top 9th: Tyler Spoon scored from third base on a wild pitch.
• Arkansas 9, Florida 3; Top 9th: Brian Anderson scored from third base on a wild pitch.