GAINESVILLE, Fla. – No. 10 Arkansas blew a 7-0 seventh inning lead in Sunday’s rubber game with No. 13 Florida to drop the opening series of SEC play 8-7 at McKethan Stadium.
A crowd of 1,853 fans watched the Hogs make two crucial seventh-inning errors that ended up costing the Razorbacks an important win in conference play.
Adam Davis then delivered a one-out, three-run home run in the eighth inning to give the Gators the lead off Hogs’ reliever Brian McLelland (2-1). Darren O’Day earned the win for the Gators by pitching the final two innings to improving to 2-0.
The loss drops the Razorbacks to 17-3 on the season and 1-2 in SEC play. Florida improves to 17-7 and 2-1 in conference action.
Arkansas also surrendered a six-run lead to the Gators in last year’s SEC Tournament.
Charley Boyce picked up a no decision after working six innings. He was pulled after allowing three runs – one earned – on eight hits.
Arkansas jumped on Florida’s freshman starting pitcher Chas Spotswood with a five-run first inning. The Razorbacks collected four singles while Spotswood committed two errors and was lifted after allowing five runs – three earned – in one-third of an inning.
David Hum and Jake Dugger had run-scoring singles in the inning while Brian Walker forced home a run when he was hit by a pitch. James Ewing plated the Hogs’ first run with a sacrifice fly to right field.
The Razorbacks extended the lead to 6-0 in the second inning on a sacrifice fly to right off the bat of Danny Hamblin. Gentry scored on the play after chopping a single over the head of the UF third baseman and stretching it into a double.
The Hogs manufactured their seventh run of the day in the top of the seventh inning with as Hamblin leadoff single came around to score on pinch-hitter Wayne Hrozek’s ground ball to shortstop.
The bottom of the seventh inning proved costly for the Razorbacks again after costing Arkansas the game on Friday night. A throwing error by Boyce on the first batter of the inning and a throwing error on Blake Parker with two outs led to a five-run Gators’ seventh. Parker’s error came with Arkansas holding a 7-2 lead. Only one of the five runs scored by Florida in the inning was earned.
The Hogs return home for five straight games at Baum Stadium beginning on Tuesday, March 21, with a 6:05 p.m. start against Centenary.