Gainesville, Fla. – Justin Tordi’s two-out, bases loaded single in the bottom of the 10th inning gave the 12-ranked Florida Gators a 7-6 victory over the Arkansas Razorbacks Sunday afternoon.The win put the Razorbacks at 15-8 overall and 1-2 in the Southeastern Conference. Florida improved to 20-5 overall and 2-1 in the SEC.
Jay Sawatski (2-2) took the loss after allowing two runs, both earned, on three hits with three walks and two strikeouts in three and two-thirds innings of work.
Darren O’day (2-1) earned the win after pitching two innings and allowing three runs, none earned, on one hit with two strikeouts.
The Razorbacks took advantage of three Florida errors to rally for four runs in the ninth to tie the game at 6-6. The Razorbacks loaded the bases with one out after Brady Toops singled, while Brett Hagedorn and Devin Day each reached on errors.
Scott Hode drove home Toops with a fly ball that went to the wall before it was caught.
Jake Dugger then reached on an error by the second baseman who threw wild to first allowing Hagedorn to score to make it a 6-4 game. The error also allowed Dugger to move to second and Day to advance to third.
With a 2-2 count and after fouling off five pitches Scott Bridges tied the game with a single through the right side that plated Dugger and Day. Danny Hamblin struck out after Bridges stole second to end the top of the inning with the score knotted at 6-6.
Sawatski set the Gators down in order in the ninth to send the game into extra innings.
In the 10th, C.J. Smith walked and Brian Leclerc singled with one out. A walk to Brian Jeroloman loaded the bases after Daniel Brooks ground out to first.
On the first pitch from Sawtaski, Tori slapped a single in between Hagedorn at third and Hode at short to score the winning run.
The Gators jumped on the scoreboard in the bottom of the first inning. After singles by Adam Davis and Jeff Corsaletti opened the bottom of the inning, Smith hit the first pitch from starter Clint Brannon into the left field seats for a 3-0 Florida lead.
Florida plated a run in the third when Corsaletti singled and advanced to second when Dugger misplayed the ball in left field. A wild pitch moved Corsaletti to third and a ground out by Smith brought him home for a 4-0 lead.
The Razorbacks got singles from Hagedorn and Day to open the fifth inning. Hode moved the runners over with a sacrifice bunt for the first out of the inning.
Dugger brought Hagedorn home with a sacrifice fly to left to make it a 4-1 game. The Razorbacks left Day at third when Casey Rowlett popped out to second base to end the inning.
Defense helped the Razorbacks in the bottom of the fifth when Blake Parker fielded a single by Brian Leclerc in right and threw a one-hop strike to third to get Smith attempting to advance for the second out of the inning.
The Gators extended their lead to 5-1 in the bottom of the sixth when Matt LaPorta singled home Stephen Barton.
Day narrowed the gap in the top of the seventh with a solo home run to left that cleared the outfield bleachers and made it a 5-2 game.
Florida answered Arkansas’ solo home run with a solo blast from Smith that landed in the parking lot behind the left field wall. It was Smith’s second home run of the day and pushed the Florida lead to 6-2 and set up the extra-inning finish.
Arkansas returns to action Friday, March 26, when it host South Carolina. First pitch is slated for 6:35 p.m. at Baum Stadium.