ATHENS, Ga. – Adam Swann had four hits, including one of Georgia’s three home runs, as the Bulldogs defeated Arkansas 10-2 in the opener of a three-game Southeastern Conference series Friday night at Foley Field.
The game was the first meeting between Georgia (26-16, 10-8 SEC) and Arkansas (16-25, 2-15 SEC) since 1997 and first in Athens since 1996. The victory gave the Bulldogs 10 league victories in a season for the first time since 1993 while the Razorbacks saw their school-record league losing streak reach 15 games.
UGA starter Chris Clark (6-2) gave up two runs (one earned) and scattered six hits in his fourth complete game of the season. UA starter Cliff Lee (4-3) suffered his third-straight defeat after giving up eight runs (earned) on nine hits in three innings.
The Bulldogs took a 3-0 lead when Josh Dorminy hit his fifth home run of the season with two outs in the bottom of the first. In the bottom of the third, Mark Thornhill added a two-out, two-run single to left field that gave UGA a 5-0 lead.
The Razorbacks got on the board in the top of the fourth when Greg Blum doubled and scored on Kyle Washburn’s single to center field.
Georgia’s Andy Neufeld led off the bottom of the fourth with his eighth home run of the year, giving Georgia a 6-1 lead. Josh Hudson followed with a single before Swann homered to right-center field for an 8-1 UGA advantage. Minutes later, UA head coach Norm DeBriyn was ejected by home plate umpire Jack Cox as Josh Merryman took the mound in relief of Lee. Merryman uncorked a bases-loaded wild pitch later in the inning, allowing Jeff Keppinger to score from third for a 9-1 Bulldog lead.
UA shortstop Jeff Fletcher reached on an error to lead off the top of the seventh inning. Bryan King followed with a pinch-hit double to center field that scored Fletcher, trimming the UGA advantage to 9-2.
Kris Edge gave the Bulldogs the final 10-2 margin with a sacrifice fly in the bottom of the eighth.
The series continues Saturday at 3:15 p.m. in a game regionally televised by Fox Sports Net South. Gary Hogan Jr. is slated to start for the Hogs while Matt Steele will take the mound for the Bulldogs.