Razorbacks win 10 in a row
FAYETTEVILLE – Brett Eibner pitched seven solid innings and collected four RBI at the plate to lead the No. 7 University of Arkansas baseball team to a 10-2 win over Georgia Saturday afternoon at Baum Stadium. With the victory, the Razorbacks clinched their 10th consecutive win, the longest streak since the 2005 club reeled off 12 in a row. Leadoff hitter Collin Kuhn also starred for Arkansas (30-6, 11-3 SEC) with a 4-for-5 performance, falling a home run short of hitting for the cycle. The Hogs also extended their streak of tallying at least 10 hits to 15 games.
"It was the same type of game (as Friday)," head coach Dave Van Horn said. "They scored, then we got the lead and kept the lead and added to it. (Georgia) hit some balls hard and we made some good plays in the field. We hit the ball hard, too. I’m just glad the rain didn’t come in and affect the game in terms of causing a delay."
Like they did in Friday’s opener, the Bulldogs took the early lead with an unearned run in the top of the first inning. Zach Cone put Georgia (11-24, 3-11 SEC) on top with a one-out RBI single to center field off Eibner. The base hit scored Levi Hyams from second; Hyams was called safe at second earlier in the inning on a loose transfer on an attempted double-play turn.
The visitor’s lead didn’t last long as Arkansas plated three runs in the bottom of the first. Kuhn led off the frame with a single and Zack Cox had a one-out base hit to push his hitting streak to 11 games. With runners on the corners, Andy Wilkins knocked a two-run double down the line in right field. Later in the inning, Monk Kreder drove in a run with a single to right and extended his hitting streak to 18 games
James McCann bumped the Razorbacks’ lead to 4-1 with a towering home run over the Arkansas bullpen in the bottom of the second. The solo shot is the sixth of the season for the Santa Barbara, Calif., native and his second during Southeastern Conference play.
Eibner struck with his bat for the first time in the fourth. Kuhn got things started with a double to left and Cox was intentionally walked for the second time in Saturday’s ball game. With two down, Eibner lined a shot into left field and motored into second as the two runners scored to give Arkansas a 6-1 advantage.
With two outs in the sixth, Wilkins drew a walk and advanced to second on a wild pitch by Georgia starter Jeff Walters. Eibner singled to left to drive in the Hogs’ seventh run. As he did in Friday’s contest, Eibner also hit a solo home run in the eighth inning to cap Arkansas’ scoring.
In the seventh, Tim Carver and Kuhn scored to drive Walters out of the ballgame. Kuhn scored three runs Saturday against the Bulldogs. He entered the game tied with Cox for the SEC lead in runs scored. Cox scored two runs during the game.
Eibner gave up a run in his final inning on the mound by way of a sacrifice fly by Hyams. The fly ball scored Johnathan Taylor from third after a double by UGA leadoff hitter Peter Verdin. Taylor reached on a walk. It was the only free pass issued by Eibner during his seven-inning outing. Jeremy Heatley came in out of the bullpen to pitch the final two innings and secure the win for the Razorbacks.
With the series win in hand, Arkansas will go for the sweep in Sunday’s series finale against Georgia. The matchup is set for Sunday at 1:05 p.m. at Baum Stadium. The Hogs will turn to RHP DJ Baxendale (0-0, 4.45 ERA) for the start and the Bulldogs will hand the ball to RHP Michael Palazzone (4-3, 7.34).