ATHENS, Ga. – Arkansas battled back from a pair of deficits, but Georgia scored three runs in the bottom of the ninth to claim a 6-5 win in the series finale on Sunday at Foley Field.
Arkansas moves to 29-13 and 10-11 in Southeastern Conference play, while Georgia is 24-21 and 13-8 in league play.
Trailing 5-3 entering the bottom of the ninth, Georgia scored three times in the bottom of the ninth to claim the comeback win. Brett DeLoach doubled to lead off the inning and pinch hitter Chase Davidson was hit by a pitch to put runners on first and second. A sacrifice bunt moved both runners into scoring position with one out. Peter Verdin tied the game with a two-RBI single into left-center field and then moved to second on the throw into the infield by left fielder Jacob Rice. An intentional walk to Levi Hyams put runners at first and second. After a strikeout looking by Curt Powell, Kyle Farmer walked to loaded the bases. Zach Cone was hit by the first pitch of his at bat to score the game-winning run and give Georgia a 6-5 victory.
Georgia reliever Tyler Maloof picked up his first win of the season, giving up an unearned run in 1.2 innings. Nolan Sanburn took the loss to drop to 2-3. Sanburn allowed three runs on two hits in 0.2 of an inning.
Both starters pitched well, but didn’t factor into the decision. Arkansas starter Cade Lynch threw 4.1 shutout innings, striking out three. Georgia starter Craig Gullickson pitched five scoreless innings with one strikeout.
Tim Carver had two hits and scored a run to lead Arkansas at the plate. Collin Kuhn drove in a pair of runs and had a hit. Dominic Ficociello, Jarrod McKinney and Kyle Robinson each added a RBI.
For Georgia, Cone, Hyams and Verdin each had two RBI, while Verdin went 2-for-3 with a run scored.
Arkansas had a scoring chance in the top of the third, but that was thwarted by a great defensive play by Verdin, the Georgia right fielder. With two out, James McCann singled to left and then moved to second on a stolen base. Ficociello walked to put runners at first and second. Robinson appeared to have a double to the right-center field gap, but Verdin made a great diving catch in the alley to rob Robinson of a two-run extra base hit.
The Bulldogs broke out on top with a run in the bottom of the sixth. With one out, Kyle Farmer hit a hot shot past Matt Reynolds at third and into left field for a single. Cone then doubled down the left field line, scoring Farmer from first.
Arkansas quickly grabbed the lead with two runs in the top of the seventh. Bigham drew a walk to lead off the inning and then moved to second on a stolen base when McCann struck out looking with two outs. Ficociello drove in the tying run with a single into left-center field. Ficociello then moved to second on a stolen base and a throwing error by the catcher allowed him to advance to third. Robinson blooped a single into right, scoring Ficociello to put the Razorbacks in front 2-1.
Georgia grabbed the lead back with a pair of runs in the bottom of the seventh. Stephens singled to left to lead off the inning and moved to second on a sacrifice bunt by Welton. After a pop out to Bigham in shallow center by Verdin, Hyams put the Bulldogs in front with a two-run homer to right field.
Arkansas answered with two more runs in the top of the eighth. With one out, Carver and Bigham hit back-to-back singles and then moved to second and third on a double steal. A double into shallow left field by Kuhn scored both runners and put the Razorbacks in front 4-3.
The Razorbacks stretched the lead to two with a run in the top of the ninth. Robinson reached on a two-base fielding error by the right fielder to start the ninth and then Kyle Atkins, who pinch ran for Robinson, moved to third on a sacrifice bunt. A perfectly executed safety squeeze by Jarrod McKinney scored Atkins.
Arkansas begins a five-game homestand on Tuesday when it faces Southeast Missouri State in the first game of a two-game series. Game times are scheduled for 6:35 p.m. on both Tuesday and Wednesday with the series finale to be televised on CST.