In a nationally televised game on Friday night, the Diamond Dogs leapt out to an early lead on Arkansas in the top of the first inning before the Athenians’ bats went silent and the Razorbacks roared back to claim a commanding 10-2 victory. Saturday’s showdown should be filed under the heading "second verse, same as the first."
Peter Verdin led off the opening canto with a base hit. Each of the next two batters reached on a fielder’s choice, but a Zack Cox error allowed Levi Hyams to make it to second base safely. A Zach Cone single scored an unearned run.
As they had the night before, the Hogs answered with three runs in the bottom of the frame. Collin Kuhn opened the proceedings with a single and moved over to third on a Bo Bigham groundout and a Cox base hit. Andy Wilkins doubled with runners at the corners to plate two. Brett Eibner added an unearned run when he reached on an error, took second on a wild pitch, and came home on a Monk Kreder single.
The Red and Black were retired on a groundout, a strikeout, and a lineout in the visitors’ half of the second stanza, but Arkansas added to its lead in the bottom of the canto on a solo shot to left field by James McCann. Kyle Farmer was hit by a pitch with two outs away in the top of the third inning, but, after Cone sent him to third base with a double, Robert Shipman lined out to strand two runners in scoring position.
The Hogs squandered a pair of two-out walks in the home half of the stanza, while Georgia left Christian Glisson on second base in the top of the fourth frame. The scoring resumed in the bottom of the inning, when a leadoff double, a one-out intentional walk, and a two-out double produced a pair of runs.
Verdin began the visitors’ half of the fifth inning with a base hit and swiped second, but his teammates generated only a trio of outs thereafter. A one-out base hit by McCann in the home half of the canto was erased on a double play. The first five batters of the sixth stanza produced a quintet of outs ere Wilkins walked, advanced to second on a wild pitch, and came home on an Eibner single.
The Bulldogs got back on the board in the top of the seventh frame when Johnathan Taylor drew a one-out walk, Verdin drove a double to center field, and Hyams pushed a run across with a sacrifice fly. Arkansas answered in the home team’s turn at the plate, beginning with Tim Carver’s one-out single. McCann moved the runner over on a groundout and Kuhn brought him the rest of the way around on a triple. The Razorback center fielder then came home on a wild pitch.
Bigham’s ensuing base hit marked the end of the line for Jeff Walters, who conceded thirteen hits and eight earned runs while walking six and fanning only one. Justin Earls allowed a single to Cox before striking out Wilkins to get out of the inning. The eighth canto saw a two-out Zach Taylor single in the top of the frame and a leadoff homer by Eibner in the bottom of the stanza. This made it 10-2 for the second straight game, and that score remained unchanged in the top of the ninth inning when Georgia went three up and three down.
Last night, the Diamond Dogs were outscored 10-2 and out-hit 16-8. This afternoon, Arkansas outdid Georgia by margins of 10-2 in runs and 15-7 in hits. Friday’s outing was televised; if you watched it, you saw two for the price of one, as this one followed a similar pattern. The Hogs scored in six of eight stanzas, and the Red and Black were shut out in seven of nine frames.
While vineyarddawg does a Google image search for Jeri Ryan in response to the appearance of the phrase "seven of nine" in the preceding paragraph, I put to you the following poll question: