GAINESVILLE, Fla. – Two seventh-inning throwing errors doomed No. 10 Arkansas on Friday night, 6-3, in front of 1,623 fans at McKethan Stadium.
“We gave them the game,” Arkansas head coach Dave Van Horn said. “We have to play defense if we are going to win ball games. It really is too bad because it was a pretty clean game until that point.”
The loss snapped a five-game winning streak and dropped Razorbacks’ record to 16-2 on the season. Florida improved its record to 16-6 and extended its winning streak to seven games.
Nick Schmidt falls to 4-1 on the season after matching his career high with 11 strikeouts. He allowed four runs – two earned – over 6.2 innings. Schmidt walked four on 127 pitches. It was Schmidt’s first loss since falling to Ole Miss on May 20 of last season. The 11 strikeouts tied his career high set at South Carlina last season.
Bryan Ball (4-2) got the win with seven strong innings. He allowed three runs – two earned – on six hits. He matched his career high with seven strikeouts while not issuing a walk. Darren O’Day recorded his fourth save of the season, pitching the final two innings.
Danny Hamblin and James Ewing both collected two hits each for the Hogs, while Gavin Dickey led the Gators with three hits.
Florida took the lead in the bottom half of the seventh inning with a leadoff double by David Cash that came around to score on a ground ball to the pitcher by Gavin Dickey. Schmidt threw wide of first base allowing Dickey to reach and move to second base.
Matt Willard followed with a throwing error at shortstop that allowed Dickey to score and Adam Davis followed with a RBI double down the right-field line to give the Gators’ their first lead of the night at 4-3.
Freshman James Ewing put the Hogs ahead in the top of the seventh inning when he slapped a single past the first baseman to score Danny Hamblin who had doubled with one out in the inning. Ewing moved up to second base on the throw and then moved to second base on a throwing error by the right fielder.
With two outs Blake Parker singled up the middle to score Ewing and extend the Razorbacks’ lead to 3-1. The single extended Parker’s hitting streak to a career-best 14 games. The 14-game hitting streak matched UA’s longest hitting streak of the season by Hamblin earlier in the season.
Arkansas took the early 1-0 lead in the top of the second inning as Hamblin’s leadoff single to center field came around to score on David Hum’s sacrifice fly to center.
The Gators tied things up at 1-1 in the bottom of the second inning on a RBI single by Gavin Dickey that he blooped in over the head of Hamblin at first base.
Florida added two runs in the eighth inning to stretch the lead to 6-3.
The Razorbacks and Gators will square off Saturday at 3 p.m. from McKethan Stadium in Gainesville. Charley Boyce will square off with Florida’s Bryan Augenstein. RazorZone subscribers can watch a live webcast of the game at www.hogwired.com.