Arkansas Tops UGA 16-12 in 10 Innings
BY ANDRES FOCIL
Athens, Ga. – Kirk McConnell’s grand slam capped a six-run 10th inning and a 16-10 come-from-behind victory over the Georgia Bulldogs Sunday to prevent a series sweep and snap the Razorbacks’ five game losing streak.
The Razorbacks trailed four times during the game including a 9-8 deficit in the top of the ninth with one out in notching their first Southeastern Conference win of the season.
Arkansas improved to 9-8 overall and 1-2 in the SEC with win, while Georgia dropped to 8-4 and 2-1 in the conference.
Kyler Pomeroy (1-0) earned the victory after going three innings and allowing two runs on four hits. Bo Lanier (0-1) took the loss after giving up five runs on five hits in one and one-third innings of work.
The Bulldogs plated the first run of the game with two outs in the bottom of the first inning. Chaz Lytle singled and moved to second on a sacrifice bunt. Lytle then stole third and an errant throw by Arkansas catcher Aaron Graves allowed Lytel to score on the play for a 1-0 Georgia lead.
Arkansas answered Georgia’s score with a run in the top of the second. Brett Hagedorn connected on a 2-2 pitch and took it over the left-center fence for his first home run of the year.
Georgia regained the lead in the bottom of the second on a two-run home run to straight away center. Jon Armitage took Scott Roehl’s 2-1 offering out of the park with Matt Cavender aboard for a 3-1 lead. Marshall Szabo added to the lead with solo home run to left with two out in the inning to give the Bulldogs a 4-1 advantage. Szabo’s home run was the sixth surrendered by Razorback pitching in the series.
The Razorbacks mounted a rally in the top of the third inning. Cody Clark led off with a double to right. Georgia pitcher Jason Fellows then walked Kirk McConnell and Cliff Crouse to load the bases with no outs. Relief pitcher Matt Woods came in and walked Michael Conner to plate Clark to make it a 4-2 game.
Ryan Fox was then hit by a pitch to bring home McConnell to cut the lead to 4-3, still with no outs in the inning. Arkansas tied the game at 4-4 when Crouse scored on a ground ball double play by Nick Pitts. Brett Hagedorn then grounded out to third to end the Razorback rally.
Georgia once again wasted little time in recapturing the lead. Arkansas reliever Jonathan Richmond hit Adam Swann with the bases load and then balked to plate another run to give the Bulldogs a 6-4 advantage.
The Bulldogs made it an 8-4 game in the fourth when Chaz Lytle scored on David Coffey’s ground out to first base.
Arkansas cut the deficit to 7-5 when Fox singled home Conner, who doubled, with two outs in the fifth.
Georgia added a run in the fifth on Szabo’s fly out to right that scored Swann for an 8-5 lead.
Michael Conner brought the Razorbacks within two at 8-6 when he took the first pitch of the seventh inning over the left field fence for his fifth home run of the season. Ryan Fox continued the rally with a double to center. Nick Pitts singled up the middle to score Fox to make it an 8-7 game. A fielding error by the Georgia shortstop allowed Hagedorn to reach and Pitts to move to third with no outs in the inning. Brady Toops then ground into a double play which scored Pitts to tie the game at 8-8.
With two outs, Jeff Fletcher doubled to center, then moved to third after a pair of walks loaded the bases. Andrew Wishy drew the third walk of the inning to bring home Fletcher and give the Hogs a 9-8 lead. Wishy was then picked off first with the bases loaded to end the rally.
Clint Sammons blasted a two-run, two-out home run in the bottom of the seventh to give the Bulldogs a 10-9 lead.
Arkansas answered in the top of the ninth to tie the game at 10-10. Fletcher doubled with one out and was lifted for pinch runner Scott Bridges. Bridges moved to third on Clark’s single and scored the tying run on McConnell’s single to shallow left. Wishy then grounded into a double play to end the inning and set up the dramatic 10th-inning finish.
The Razorbacks travel to Columbia, Mo., to take on the Missouri Tigers Tuesday at 6:30 p.m. CT. The Arkansas Baseball Radio Network goes on the air at 6:10 p.m.
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