ATHENS, Ga. – The 20th-ranked University of Arkansas baseball team (32-20, 16-12) broke out the bats Friday evening and rolled to a 9-0 victory over Georgia (26-27, 16-13) to even the series at Foley Field.
With the win, Arkansas is locked into the No. 5 seed in the upcoming SEC Tournament and will play the No. 12 seed in the fourth game of the day on Tuesday. The Razorbacks will make their 7th straight appearance in the SEC Tournament and 21st overall.
The runs came early and often as Joe Serrano led off the game with a single and Bobby Wernes followed with a towering home run to give Arkansas a 2-0 lead before the first out of the game.
The long ball made another appearance in the second inning as Cullen Gassaway belted his third homer of the year and Georgia made a pair of errors to make it 4-0.
Arkansas was right back at it again in the fourth inning, scoring four runs on three hits to jump in front 8-0. Andrew Benintendi delivered an RBI single in the frame, while Brett McAfee lifted a sacrifice fly to left field as part of the big inning.
Benintendi was at it again in the eighth inning, lining an RBI double to the gap left center to plate Wernes from first and cap the scoring in Arkansas’ 9-0 victory to even the series.
Keaton McKinney (6-1) settled in from the opening pitch and dominated the Bulldogs, tossing 7.0 innings and giving up no runs on four hits, while striking out four. The freshman has only allowed two earned runs over his last four starts and 26.0 innings of work and is 5-0 over his last six starts. Dominic Taccolini came on and slammed the door over the final 2.0 innings.
Arkansas will go for its seventh SEC series win of the year Saturday afternoon, taking on Georgia in the rubber game of the series at 12:05 p.m. CT at Foley Field.
- Arkansas is locked into the No. 5 seed in the upcoming SEC Tournament and will play the No. 12 seed in the fourth game of the day on Tuesday.
- Arkansas has won seven of its last eight road games.
- The Razorback pitching staff has held opponents to two runs or less in eight of the last 11 games.
- The Razorbacks produced their 24th game with double-digit hits.
- Joe Serrano extended his reached base streak to 21.
- Bobby Wernes now has 18 multi-hit games on the season.
- Michael Bernal collected a game-high four hits.
- Keaton McKinney tossed his fifth quality start in six tries.
- McKinney has allowed two earned runs over his last four starts and 26.0 innings.
- Andrew Benintendi added to his reached base streak making it 25 and tying a season high nine-game hitting streak.
- Benintendi collected his 30th extra base hit.
- Benintendi has 26 multi-hit games on the season with 10 of them coming in the last 13 games.
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