April 26, 2013
Athens, Ga.--- The 14th-ranked Arkansas Razorbacks entered the Georgia series leading the nation with a 1.81 ERA and then posted a 2-0 shutout of the Bulldogs Friday at Foley Field.
Arkansas (28-15, 12-7 SEC) leaned heavily on starting pitcher Barrett Astin, who pitched eight shutout innings with eight strikeouts while only allowing four hits. Astin improved his record to 3-2 on the year. Colby Suggs picked up his sixth save of the year, despite giving up two hits in the ninth.
Georgia (16-27, 4-15 SEC) was unable to take advantage of a great start by redshirt junior Patrick Boling, who went six innings with four strikeouts, while allowing just three hits and one run. Boling fell to 2-6 on the campaign.
In the first, Georgia appeared to have carried over momentum from Tuesday night's 17-0 win over Georgia Tech. They started by putting two base runners in scoring position with only one out, but then a strike out by Jared Walsh and a flyout by Daniel Nichols ended the inning. Seniors Curt Powell and Kyle Farmer were on base after singles to lead off the bottom of the first. After the first inning, Astin was lights out allowing only three base runners over his last seven innings.
The Razorbacks first struck in the third inning. After walks to center fielder Jacob Morris and right fielder Tyler Spoon, clean-up hitter Brian Anderson hit a run scoring single to left giving Arkansas an early lead.
Arkansas added one more run in the eighth, without accumulating a hit. After a solid first inning of relief, left-hander Blake Dieterich began to lose control. He walked two batters and hit two batters--one coming with the bases loaded.
Georgia threatened to comeback in ninth when Walsh led off with a single to right and catcher Brett DeLoach followed with a single of his own. Next a sacrifice bunt by freshman Daniel Nichols moved both base runners into scoring position. Both runners were stranded though after a Sean McLaughlin fly out, and a pinch-hit strike out by Jess Posey to end the game.
"We need more balance in our lineup, Curt and Kyle did well tonight and a few others had some good at bats, and while we're close, we're not close enough to get over the hump tonight," said Georgia coach David Perno. "Our pitchers battled, and they will have to keep battling the rest of the series. Arkansas has a great pitching staff, and we certainly missed our opportunities that we had in the first and again in the ninth. I don't think we're pressing, it's just Arkansas' pitching staff is really good."
Game two of the series will be Saturday at 12:07 p.m., and it will be televised live by SportSouth.