Gainesville, Fla. – The 12th-ranked Florida Gators put up five runs in the second inning and got a complete game from starting pitcher Justin Hoyman to come away with an 11-1 victory over the Arkansas Razorbacks in the Southeastern Conference opener for both teams Friday night.
Arkansas dropped to 14-7 overall and 0-1 in the SEC, while Florida improved to 19-4 overall and 1-0 in the SEC.
Ryan Lennerton (0-2) took the loss for Arkansas after giving up four runs, all earned, on four hits in one and one-third innings of work.
Hoyman (5-0) remained unbeaten after allowing just one run on five hits in throwing his second complete game of the season.
The Gators put runners on second and third with one out in the bottom of the second inning after a sac bunt by Justin Tordi. Brian Jeroloman gave Florida the lead with a single up the middle to plate both runners.
Brian Leclerc followed Jeroloman with a two-run home run to left field to push the Florida lead to 4-0. The homer chased Lennerton from the game.
Brian McClelland relieved Lennerton and gave up a solo home run to Adam Davis that extended the Gators’ lead to 5-0.
In the third inning, Florida put runners on the corners with no outs after an infield single by Tordi. Jeroloman plated a run with a sac fly to left that Kern Watts caught as he was falling to the ground.
Leclerc followed with an RBI triple to right-center that gave the Gators a 7-0 lead. Arkansas prevented another run from scoring in the inning when Casey Rowlett field a squeeze bunt, threw home in time to get Leclerc for the second out. Catcher Brady Toops alertly threw to second to get Jonathan Tucker who was attempting to advance after putting down the bunt.
Blake Parker ended the shutout with a two-out RBI double to right-center that plated Danny Hamblin from first.
The Gators extended their lead in the fifth inning when Leclerc grounded into a fielder’s choice that scored Tordi from third and pushed the lead to 8-1.
Florida made it a 9-1 game in the seventh on Stephen Barton’s RBI triple to left that brought home C.J. Smith from first base.
Jeroloman drove in his fourth run of the night when he hit a chopper to first that got past Haas Pratt and allowed Barton to score for a 10-1 Gator lead.
The Gators tacked on the final run of the night in the eighth inning when Matt Maley grounded to Pratt who booted the ball which allowed Gavin Dickey to score from third and give Florida an 11-1 lead.
Arkansas and Florida continue their series Saturday at 4:05 p.m. The Razorbacks will send Charley Boyce to the mound.