In Saturday’s rain-delayed outing in the Natural State, the Diamond Dogs posted an offensive stat line reminiscent of the one put up by Georgia in Friday night’s series-opening victory, but, defensively, the Red and Black came up short in an 8-3 setback in which the Hogs notched 13 hits.
The visitors were the first on the board, beginning with a leadoff single by left fielder Hunter Cole in the second stanza that extended the freshman’s hitting streak to 14 games. First baseman Jonathan Hester’s one-out single, an Arkansas error, and a sacrifice fly by right fielder Kevin Ruiz gave the Athenians a 1-0 lead. That edge lasted until the third inning, which opened with a single, a double, and a run-scoring base hit. A one-out walk loaded the bases for right fielder Jimmy Bosco, whose grand slam made it 5-1 for the home team.
A two-out Razorback error in the top of the fifth frame enabled second baseman Levi Hyams to bring home an unearned run with a base hit, but the Hogs extended their advantage in the sixth stanza with a leadoff single and a pair of doubles that plated a couple of runs. A stolen base sandwiched between a pair of two-out singles added another Arkansas run in the seventh canto.
Shortstop Kyle Farmer got the eighth inning underway with a base hit, and Cole followed that up with another single. After designated hitter Brett DeLoach was plunked to load the bases, Hester grounded into a double play that limited the Bulldogs’ final scoring opportunity to a lone run.
Starter Michael Palazzone fell to 0-4 for the season by giving up six hits and five earned runs in four frames on the hill. The bullpen delivered an equal number of cantos, during which Chase Hawkins, Jay Swinford, and Luke Crumley collectively surrendered seven hits and three earned runs. The Red and Black will need a win on Sunday to claim the series victory and even their SEC ledger at 6-6.