FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. – Georgia exploded for 14 runs over the final four innings for a dramatic 15-11 come-from-behind victory on Saturday afternoon in front of 3,709 fans at Baum Stadium.
The Bulldogs’ win evened the series at one game apiece and improved to their record to 7-7 on the season. The Razorbacks fall to 12-4 and 1-1 in league action.
Georgia charged back after falling behind 10-1 as the Hogs’ pitching staff fell apart. UGA rallied in the fifth and sixth innings to cut the lead to 10-5. Georgia then scored seven runs in the seventh to take a 12-10 lead. The Bulldogs got another run in the eighth of Bryce Massanari’s second home run of the game.
Arkansas got one run back in the bottom of the eighth before the Bulldogs added two more runs in the top of the ninth inning.
Ryan Peisel hit a solo home run down the right-field line in the fifth and then the Bulldogs took advantage of a Logan Forsythe error in the four-run sixth inning that allowed three runs to score. It was Forsythe’s first fielding error at third base since his freshman season in 2006. He had eight throwing errors at third base last season, but no fielding errors.
Massanari paced the Bulldogs’ 19-hit attack, going 4 for 5 with two home runs and two doubles while driving in four runs and scoring three. Peisel went 3 for 6 at the plate with four runs scored and two RBI. Shortstop Gordon Beckham also had four hits and three RBI.
The Bulldogs took control of the game in the seventh with seven runs on six hits. Massanari hit his first home run in the inning for two RBI while Peisel added a RBI double and Beckham and Poythress added RBI singles.
UGA starter Stephen Dodson struggled on Saturday after tossing a complete-game win vs. the Hogs last season in Athens. He allowed eight runs on 10 hits in 3.2 innings but the bullpen came to his rescue. Nick Montgomery (1-0) got the win, allowing two runs on two hits with five strikeouts in 2.1 innings. Justin Earls allowed one run in 1.2 innings and Joshua Fields earned his third save of the season by pitching the 1.1 innings.
Shaun Seibert started and pitched well before running into trouble in the sixth. Seibert allowed four runs – two earned – on seven hits over five innings. Dallas Kecuhel came on in relief and pitched 1.1 innings, giving up four runs – three earned – on four hits. Travis Hill was then tagged for four runs on four hits in two-thirds of an inning. Justin Wells pitched the final two innings and allowed three runs on four hits.
Arkansas got off to a quick start in the first inning, scoring four runs before the Bulldogs recorded an out. Chase Leavitt lined a two-strike single into center field to open the game for the Hogs and Brett Eibner followed with a screaming line drive off the right-field wall that scored Leavitt from first base. Logan Forsythe reached on a perfect bunt down the third-base line and freshman Andy Wilkins followed with his sixth home run of the season. The three-run blast was a towering shot beyond evergreen trees in right field and gave him 23 RBI on the season.
Aaron Murphree plated the Hogs’ fifth run in the third inning with a sacrifice fly to right field, scoring Forsythe who singled through the left side and moved to third on Wilkins double down the left-field line.
Forsythe connected for his first home run of the season in the fourth inning. The two-run, opposite-field shot gave the Razorbacks an 8-0 lead. The first run of the inning scored when UGA catcher Massanari threw wildly to second base on a steal attempt by Leavitt. Ryan Cisterna, who opened the inning with a double of the left-field wall, scored on the errant throw.
Murphree, who homered eight times last week, connected for his first this week with a two-run home run off the batters’ eye in center field in the fifth inning. It was his 13th home run of the season and his second and third RBI of the game to give him a team-high 31 on the season.
Forsythe tied a career high with four hits to pace the Razorbacks while Leavitt, Jacob House and Tim Smalling added two hits each.
The series finale is slated for 12:05 p.m. Sunday at Baum Stadium.