Fayetteville, Ark. – Charley Boyce threw a complete game three hitter to lead No. 12 Arkansas to a 4-1 victory over No. 15 Tennessee Saturday night after the teams endured a two hour rain delay.Arkansas improved to 31-14 overall and 14-6 in the Southeastern Conference. Tennessee dropped to 33-12 overall and 11-9 in the SEC. The win snapped a four game losing streak to the Vols and evened the weekend series at one win apiece.
Boyce (6-1) delivered a clutch performance on the mound as he allowed only one run, earned, on three hits in nine innings of work. Boyce equaled a career high with eight strikeouts and walked only one batter on 113 pitches.
Sean Watson (4-3) took the loss after allowing three runs, all earned, on five hits in six innings of work. Watson struck out five and walked seven on 111 pitches.
The Razorbacks put runners in scoring position in the bottom of the first inning after a single by Jake Dugger and a walk to Danny Hamblin. Clay Goodwin moved the runners over with a sacrifice bunt.
Scott Hode gave the Hogs the early lead with a ground out to second that scored Dugger from third. Haas Pratt made it a 2-0 game with a two-out single to left field that plated Hamblin.
Tennessee got on the scoreboard when Eric King laced a two-out double off the glove of a diving Stephen Robison in right field that allowed Brian Cleveland to score from second base.
Hamblin gave the Razorbacks a 3-1 lead with a two-out single through the left side of the infield that scored Stephen Robison who drew a one-out walk.
After giving up a run in the top of the second inning, Boyce settled down and retired 12 straight batters before giving up a walk with two outs in the top of the sixth inning.
Watson was equally effective for the Vols as he held the Razorbacks off the scoreboard over his next four innings of work.
Dusty Johnson relieved Watson to open the bottom of the seventh inning. Johnson gave up a single to Goodwin and a bunt single to Hode. Johnson threw wildly to first attempting to get Hode who had already crossed the bag, allowing he and Goodwin to advance.
After Pratt was intentionally walked, Scott Bridges hit a fly ball deep to center that Josh Alley dropped. Goodwin scored on the play, but Bridges ran past Pratt on the base path when Pratt thought the ball was caught. Bridges was automatically out on the play, while Pratt moved to second and Hode moved to third. Tennessee would work out of the inning, however, as relief pitcher Joey Andrews got a strikeout and a fly out to end the inning.
That would cap the scoring for both teams as Boyce kept the Vols in check over the final two innings.
The three hits allowed by Boyce marked the first three-hitter by the Razorbacks since Gary Hogan Jr., and Scott Woods combined to hold Ole Miss to three hits on April 6, 2001.
The teams will conclude their series Sunday at 12:35 p.m. Jay Sawatski (6-2) will take the mound for Arkansas, while Tennessee counters with Luke Hochever (2-1).