"I think what we decided was that we needed to play every day to really figure out our offense and our swings," Ficociello said. "I think it helped us make some adjustments by playing every day."
It didn't show any dividends Saturday in a 5-3 loss to No. 4 Florida, but the Hogs were cracking the ball even then -- just right at the Gators.
"We hit it better tonight than we did the first two games that we won against Florida," catcher James McCann said. "It just seemed like everything tonight was right at a fielder and we didn't have a lot to show for the way we centered up the ball.
"I think you see the confidence growing in our swings and the way we are hitting the ball. I think our offense has gained some confidence."
The Hogs beat Florida by 4-3 and 5-3 counts to open the weekend and claimed a 3-2 lead after Ficociello's two-run single in the sixth. The Gators rallied for three runs in the seventh off of Nolan Sanburn and Trent Daniel to avoid the sweep.
Arkansas (32-15) hangs on to a slim lead in the SEC West at 12-12. Both Alabama and Auburn are at 11-12 with another game to play Sunday. Florida (36-12) is 18-6 in conference play, just back of Vanderbilt and South Carolina at 18-5.
Florida coach Kevin O'Sullivan was impressed with the Hogs all weekend, but thought his club showed great poise in the winning rally with the Baum Stadium crowd of 9,603 (ninth largest in UA history) roaring in the seventh.
"I thought Arkansas played outstanding this weekend," O'Sullivan said. "They didn't give us much. They play great at home. It took a special effort for us today to come out on the winning side."
O'Sullivan saw the Hogs fight back the first two nights and gave his players credit for doing the same thing when it looked like momentum had flipped to the Arkansas dugout in the sixth.
"That's what they did to us last night," he said. "We talked about that. It's so important, especially in an atmosphere like this, to stay away from the momentum. They get it and then we turn around the next inning and get the momentum back. that's big. If they put a zero on the board pressure starts mounting on us."
Arkansas coach Dave Van Horn was disappointed not to get the sweep and noticed his players were, too. He said O'Sullivan and the Gator coaches admitted they were glad to get out of town with the one victory.
"They are glad to be leaving," Van Horn said. "We got after them pretty good. They told me they think we have a really good team. I wanted this one, but we got the series victory.
"If you told me before the weekend that we'd get two of three, I would have taken it, no question. But we had a chance to win this one and that's disappointing. We wanted to stay away from the big inning and we didn't. We made some pitching mistakes -- hung some one-two breaking pitches in the seventh and that was a big part of that inning.
"I like the way we played this weekend, particularly our offense. We hit the ball a lot better this weekend. I think there were probably at least 10 hard line drives that went right at someone tonight and were caught. That's just baseball."
Ficociello said the series victory didn't accomplish all of the team goals.
"I want give away what we set out to do, but winning the series was at least part of it," he said. "Our confidence was good anyway, but it went up a little with the last three days. We trust each other and fight every time out.
"We didn't get a lot of hits tonight, but we squared up a lot of balls on the bats, more than we've done the last few weeks. Our coaches are happy with the way we are swinging it right now."
Ficociello said UA hitting coach Todd Butler praised players after the series.
"Coach Butler likes the way we swung the bats this weekend," Ficociello said. "I can tell you that there are some things that they've given us that are working. And we got great tendencies for the Florida pitchers and we took advantage of them. They can really pitch, but we battled them and got some good swings on them.
"We thought their pitchers tonight were pitching to contact against us tonight. We just hit them right at their fielders. A lot of them were hard, too. We crushed some balls that went for outs tonight. That's just baseball."
The Hogs set some offensive goals after the loss Sunday at Georgia of six runs and 10 hits. They got only three runs and six hits on Saturday and went back to their running afterwards, despite so many hard hit balls.
"I am not for running after games, but I respect them for doing that," Van Horn said. "They are holding themselves accountable. But I thought they did their part this weekend. They swung it pretty good all weekend against outstanding pitching."
The Hogs did get one swing the Gators couldn't run down. Matt Reynolds cracked a solo home run in the fifth off Florida starter Karsten Whitson, the first given up by the Gator freshman on the season.
"He left a fastball up and I was looking for it," Reynolds said. "I think that was one of several we hit hard tonight. I think we are happy to be hitting it good now.
"I think this weekend was awesome. We've got a little momentum now. The tough part for us is that we should have had six, seven, eight runs for the way we hit it tonight but sometimes it just doesn't happpen..
"I think the way we played this weekend against a good team gives us some respect and we'll have some momentum for a big road series this weekend at South Carolina."