Noland's Gem, Webb's Homer Power #2 Arkansas in Win at Florida
GAINESVILLE, Fla. – Connor Noland tossed a seven-inning, seven-strikeout gem, and Braydon Webb homered for the third consecutive game as No. 2 Arkansas (23-5, 8-2 SEC) ran past Florida (19-11, 3-7 SEC), 8-1, on Thursday night at Florida Ballpark.
With the victory, the Razorbacks have now won the opening game of their last 9 SEC road series. Arkansas will go for its conference-leading 14th consecutive SEC series win as well as its seventh consecutive away series win tomorrow night.
Thursday’s ballgame between the Hogs and Gators began as a classic pitchers’ duel. Noland and Florida ace Hunter Barco exchanged zeroes for the first three innings before Arkansas broke through first.
Michael Turner’s single to the shortstop brought home Cayden Wallace from third to put the Razorbacks up, 1-0, in the top of the fourth. Wallace extended the advantage to two in the very next inning with his run-scoring single to right.
Ahead by two in the sixth, Chris Lanzilli blasted a leadoff home run off Barco, which led to the left-hander’s early departure from the ballgame. The Gator ace struck out seven, but allowed three runs on four hits, three walks and two hit batsmen in five innings of work.
Noland, meanwhile, was dealing on the mound. The Razorback ace only needed 97 pitches to complete seven shutout innings, striking out seven and walking one while limiting Florida to just one hit.
With a comfortable 3-0 lead in the ninth, Arkansas tacked on five runs, spurred by back-to-back solo home runs from Wallace and Webb, who has now homered in three consecutive games for the second time this season.
Turner, who finished the night with three hits and two runs batted in, chipped in with an RBI double in the ninth. Peyton Stovall also got in on the action, bringing home Turner on an RBI single back up the middle.
Zebulon Vermillion locked down the final two innings of the ballgame, allowing a run but earning his second save of the season in the process.
Arkansas and Florida continue their three-game series at 5:30 p.m. CT tomorrow on SEC Network+. True freshman left-hander Hagen Smith will get the start on the mound as the Razorbacks look to clinch their first series win in Gainesville since 2012.