ATHENS, Ga. – Georgia starter Michael Palazzone pitched eight scoreless innings as the Bulldogs shut out Arkansas 3-0 on Saturday afternoon at Foley Field.
Arkansas falls to 29-12 overall and 10-10 in the Southeastern Conference, while Georgia is now 23-11 and 12-8 in league play.
Palazzone earned the win for Georgia, improving his record to 8-1 on the season. The right hander tossed eight shutout innings, giving up just four hits and striking out five. Tyler Maloof earned his 15th save of the season, giving up a hit and walking a batter in a scoreless ninth inning.
Arkansas starter Randall Fant turned in a quality start, but was the tough-luck loser to drop to 1-3 on the season. Fant pitched a career-high 7.2 innings, giving up three runs on eight hits and striking out two.
The Razorback offense generated just five hits in the contest. Bo Bigham, Dominic Ficociello, James McCann, Jarrod McKinney and Kyle Robinson each had a hit.
Peter Verdin went 2-for-3 and drove in two runs to lead the Georgia offense. Levi Hyams had the other RBI for the Bulldogs and went 1-for-3.
Georgia struck first with a run in the bottom of the third. Joey Delmonico doubled inside the third-base bag to start the inning. A sacrifice bunt by Conor Welton advanced Delmonico to third. Verdin hit an opposite field single to right-center field. Delmonico got a bad read on the ball and was nearly thrown out at the plate by McKinney, but Delmonico was able to slide in just ahead of the tag for the first run of the game.
The Bulldogs tacked on two more runs in the home half of the fifth. Jonathan Hester singled to lead off the inning and then moved to second on a sacrifice bunt. An infield single by Welton put runners at the corners. Verdin drove in a run on a groundout to first to put Georgia in front 2-0. Hyams made the score 3-0 with a triple to the right-center field alley.
Arkansas had a pair of scoring chances late in the game, but couldn’t push any runs across. With two outs, Tim Carver reached on a fielding error by the shortstop and then moved to third on a single to right field by Bigham. Georgia escaped damage as Collin Kuhn was retired on a fielder’s choice to end the inning.
The Razorbacks again got the tying run to the plate in the ninth. With one out, Robinson singled into right field, but was retired at second on a fielder’s choice groundout off the bat of Ficociello. A walk to Matt Reynolds put runners at first and second with two out. McKinney grounded into a fielder’s choice with Reynolds being retired at second to end the ball game.
Arkansas and Georgia conclude the three-game series on Sunday afternoon with first pitch set for 1:07 p.m. (CT). The game will be televised by CST and available online at ESPN3.com. Sophomore southpaw Cade Lynch (4-2, 2.89) will start for Arkansas, while Georgia is slated to start redshirt junior left hander Craig Gullickson (3-2, 7.11).