GAINESVILLE, Fla. – Trey Holloway pitched brilliantly on short notice and the Arkansas bullpen combined for 3.2 innings of scoreless relief as the No. 10 Razorbacks took advantage of three Florida errors in a 3-2 win on Saturday in front of 1,382 fans at McKethan Stadium.
Arkansas evened the series at one game apiece and improved to 17-2 on the season. The loss dropped the 13th-ranked Gators to 1-1 in SEC action and 16-7 overall.
Holloway’s first start of the season was moved up one day after an illness sidelined Charley Boyce. Holloway gave the Hogs just what they needed with 5.1 strong innings of work. The lone blemish on Holloway’s line was a two-out, two-run home run by Gavin Dickey in the fifth inning. He allowed four hits on the day and did not walk a batter to earn his second win of the season (2-0).
Bryan Augenstein threw a complete game for Florida but it wasn’t enough as the Razorbacks handed the Gators’ ace his first loss of the season to fall to 5-1. He allowed three runs – two earned – on seven hits while striking out four and walking one.
The Hogs’ bullpen was lights out on Saturday as Shaun Seibert worked 2.1 scoreless innings in relief of Holloway, holding the Gators without a hit. He gave way to Daryl Maday who got UF All-American Matt LaPorta swinging to end the eighth inning. Maday also worked the ninth inning to record his team-leading fifth save of the season.
The Arkansas defense sparkled on Saturday after leading to the Razorbacks undoing on Friday night The Hogs pitchers held Florida to just five hits on the day while the two relievers – Seibert and Maday – combined to allow just one hit, a two-out single in the ninth inning.
The Hogs’ offensive attack was speared by Danny Hamblin and Craig Gentry. They both went 2 for 4 at the plate while Hamblin drove in two of the Razorbacks’ three runs.
Arkansas plated a first inning run with the help of two errors by UF third baseman David Cash to take an early 1-0 lead.
Gentry then showed why he is considered one of the best outfielders in the SEC in the bottom half of the first inning by robbing LaPorta of a home run. Gentry exploded high above the left-center field wall to pull in what would have been LaPorta’s third home run of the season.
The Hogs extended the lead to 2-0 in the third inning with a two-out RBI single to right field by Hamblin. Arkansas just missed two more runs in the inning when LaPorta snared Brian Walker’s bid for a double down the right-field line with a diving grab to end the inning.
Hamblin drove in his second run of the day with a ground ball to second base in the fifth inning to extend the Arkansas’ lead to 3-0.
One swing of the bat changed the complexion of the game in the fifth inning for Holloway. Cruising along with two outs he gave up a double to David Cash and then surrendered Dickey’s two-run home run over the left-center field wall to cut the Razorbacks’ lead to 3-2.
The Razorbacks and Gators play the rubber game of the series at 11 a.m. (CT) on Sunday. Boyce is expected to start for Arkansas while Florida is still undecided on a starting pitcher.