GAINESVILLE, Fla. -- Arkansas switched coasts, but nothing changed in another one-run loss, the sixth of the season. Florida scored on a pair of infield ground outs to post a 2-1 college baseball victory in the SEC opener Friday night.
The Razorbacks (8-6) had opened with seven straight victories, but have now lost six games by a total of seven runs. Conversely, Florida (12-6) has won five one-run games. The Gators outhit the Hogs, 9-7.
Arkansas got its lone run on Clark Eagan's single in the first. Eric Fisher walked, stole second and then came around on Eagan's single to the gap. Eagan was out trying to stretch it into a double.
The Hogs left the bases loaded in the third and two on in the fifth. The last eight Razorbacks were retired in order by reliever Aaron Rhodes. He struck out seven of those batters to record the save. Rhodes struck out the side in the eight, all on called third strikes.
Jalen Beeks (3-2) was the tough-luck loser for the Hogs. A balk figured in the first Florida run.
"(Jalen) Beeks didn't have his best stuff tonight," Arkansas coach Dave Van Horn said. "He threw a lot better his first four outings for sure. We noticed early that he wasn't locating like normal but he battled and gave us a chance to win the game. He did a great job of battling through innings without his best stuff.
"(Zach) Jackson came in and did a tremendous job striking out a really good hitter to get out of a jam. He worked his way into another jam and then got out of it. He's young and has a great arm. This was a great learning experience. I'm proud of him. I thought the pitching staff did a great job."
The Hogs were led at the plate by Jake Wise and Bobby Wernes with two hits each. Wise had an infield hit and a line drive single to left center. The Hogs had seven hits. Eagan lined out twice and also had the lone RBI for the Hogs and hit the ball hard three times. His ground out in the ninth broke up the string of strikeouts by Rhodes.
Trey Killian pitches for the Hogs Saturday night in game two of the SEC series. Game time is 6:05 p.m.
Van Horn said the Saturday game looms large after Florida won the opener.
"It's huge. When you lose Friday, you don't have a chance to win the series unless you win Saturday. We need to go out and find a way to win tomorrow."
Florida 2, Arkansas 1
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