Razorback Bats Come To Life

Arkansas shows off its lumber with 12 hits while downing Georgia 9-3 to take two of three from the Bulldogs in Athens this weekend.

ATHENS, Ga. — Sitting around their hotel Saturday night, the Arkansas Razorbacks were an angry bunch. They combined for 10 hits in the first two games of their series at Georgia, and they knew they needed to snap out of their brief slump.

Sophomore third baseman Logan Forsythe may have the been the most animated, the most perturbed.

"I was so mad," Forsythe said. "We just hadn't been hitting at all, and I didn't even have on hit in the series yet. We knew we had to come out and get some runs for Jess (Todd) right away (Sunday)."

The Razorbacks wasted no time, ensuring their Sunday flight back to Fayetteville wouldn't include the same kind of doom and gloom as their Holiday Inn rooms did Saturday night.

No. 9 Arkansas struck for two runs in the second inning, one in the third and two in the fifth and went on to record a 9-3 victory.

"I don't know if we did much different," Arkansas coach Dave Van Horn said.

He was impressed with Arkansas' unwavering concentration at the plate as the game progressed.

"We were hammering them all game long, ‘Don't give them a chance to catch up,'" Van Horn said. "The guys stayed focused like they had to."

The Hogs slapped more hits Sunday (12) than they had recorded in the previous two games combined. In each of those first two contests, only one Razorback registered a multi-hit game.

In Sunday's series-clinching victory, four Hogs had such performances.

Sophomore shortstop Matt Willard paced the Razorbacks with a career-high four hits, all singles.

"Matty just went off," Forsythe said. "That was awesome to see. He swung it great. His bat was real short to the ball." Junior designated hitter Jeff Nutt had two hits, including a two-run double in the first inning. Forsythe had two singles, and junior catcher Brian Walker gave Arkansas a dozen hits with his three-run home run in the ninth.

Seventh-Inning Defense

Arkansas escaped the seventh inning by allowing just one run after Georgia's first two batters, Gordon Beckham and Rich Poythress, reached base. Todd plunked Beckham in the back with a first-pitch fastball before Poythress drove a line drive into left field.

The next batter, Matt Olson, slapped a hard ground ball toward the hole between first and second base, but Razorbacks first baseman Danny Hamblin moved quickly to his right and back-handed the ball.

He threw to Willard, who swiftly threw a relay throw to Todd at first base. The throw beat Olson by a half-step.

Then, after Beckham scored on a Willard error, the Razorbacks got out of the frame on a crazy catch by Forsythe. Nobody seemed to want to catch a pop-up by Jake Crane. Finally, Forsythe took charge and dove in front of the mound to barely catch the ball.

Short Hops

Even though the Razorbacks scored nine runs and connected for 12 hits, they stranded 11 baserunners ... Sean Jones batted in the leadoff spot for just the second time in Arkansas' last 18 games ... Todd has 67 strikeouts after recording seven Sunday, his third-highest game total of the season ... Walker's towering blast was his sixth home run this season.

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