ATHENS, Ga. – Jess Todd hurled his first complete game as a Razorback as No. 9 Arkansas clinched the series with a 9-3 win over Georgia on Sunday afternoon in front of 1,780 fans at Foley Field.
Todd struck out seven and allowed just six hits to improve to 5-2 on the season. His longest outing as a starter entering the game was five innings with a six-inning effort out of the bullpen.
Todd, who fanned 10 last Sunday against Florida, let the Bulldog hitters put the ball in play and it paid off. The junior right-hander induced a season-high four double plays and 11 ground balls.
Matt Willard paced the offense with a career-high four hits, going 4 for 5 with two runs scored. The Hogs pounded out a weekend-best 12 hits with Jeff Nutt and Brian Walker driving in three runs each.
Arkansas improved to 32-11 on the season and an SEC-best 13-5 in conference play. Dave Van Horn’s club is now 6-0 this season in rubber games of a series and 12-1 on Sundays this season.
Nathan Moreau (2-2) took the loss after lasting just 3.2 innings and allowing five runs – all earned – on seven hits with two walks and two strikeouts.
Arkansas took the early lead for the first time this weekend with a run-double down the right-field line off the bat of designated hitter Jeff Nutt in the first inning. It was Nutt’s second hit and second double of the weekend.
Ben Tschepikow got things started with one out in the inning with a single that fell in beyond the glove of the second baseman and Logan Forsythe followed with his first hit of the weekend with a single through the right side.
UA added a run in the second inning on two hits to make it 3-0. Sean Jones ripped the first pitch he saw through the left side of the infield to score Jake Dugger, who drew a walk to lead off the inning.
The Hogs scored two more runs in the fourth inning, but left the bases loaded when Danny Hamblin popped up to first base with the bases loaded. UGA went to the bullpen with two runners on and a 2-0 count to Forsythe for freshman right-hander Ryan Woolley.
Woolley proceeded to walk Forsythe, which was charged to Moreau, and then hit Nutt for his third RBI of the game. He then walked Casey Coon to plate Arkansas’ fifth run as they opened up a 5-0 lead.
A leadoff double Georgia center fielder Jonathan Wyatt in the bottom of the fourth inning came around to score on a RBI groundout by cleanup hitter Rich Poythress.
The Bulldogs got another run in the seventh inning when Willard booted a ground ball at shortstop with two outs in the inning. It allowed Gordon Beckham, who was hit by a pitch to leadoff the inning, to score and cut the UA lead to 5-2.
Logan Forsythe plated the Razorbacks sixth run with a single up the middle in the top of the eighth inning. He finished the day 2 for 4 at the plate with a run scored and a RBI.
Brian Walker connected for his sixth home run of the season in the top of the ninth inning. The three-run shot gave the Hogs a 9-2 cushion.
Georgia got to Todd in the bottom of the ninth for one run on three hits but got a double play to end the game.
The Razorbacks return home on Wednesday, April 25, to host No. 10 Wichita State at 7:05 p.m. It will be the Shockers’ first trip to Baum Stadium since the Hogs’ dramatic Sunday sweep in the 2004 NCAA Fayetteville Regional.