Arkansas played a much better brand of baseball than it had showed in recent games. But it was those one or two key plays that cost the Razorbacks on Friday in a 4-3 loss against Georgia in front of a crowd of 3,460 at Foley Field.
"We were down 3-1 before we knew what happened and I thought we did a good job coming back against a great pitcher," Arkansas coach Dave Van Horn said. "I think if they would have lost they would have thought they lost one they let slip away.
"We were trying to catch them and we finally did there in the seventh. We just needed another big hit, and those are the little things. You've got to come through in the clutch and that's what it takes to win a one-run game on the road, is a big hit. And they got the big hit."
After Arkansas (25-10, 10-5 in SEC) fought back with one run in the fifth and seventh innings to tie the game at 3-3 — getting a pair of RBIs from Tim Carver — Georgia made the big play at the end. Following a leadoff walk by Mike Bolsinger in the bottom of the ninth, Bulldogs center fielder Matt Cerione delivered a one-out game-winning single to left-center field off of Stephen Richards to give Georgia (30-7, 12-4) to always important series opening win.
"We knew coming in before the game started it wasn't going to be that high scoring of a game," Cerione said. "Both (starting pitchers) settled in, they're both great pitchers and you've got to give their guy a lot of credit. He fought and competed and our guy Trevor (Holder) did the same thing.
"When it comes down to that, it's going to come down to those situations and you can't let those situations get away. We let a couple get away early in the game, but you've just got to try to win in those situations."
While the Hogs couldn't come up with the big hit in the end, they also couldn't avoid giving up the big hit early. After Ben Tschepikow gave his team a 1-0 lead on a solo home run in the first, Dallas Keuchel quickly surrendered the lead back by allowing a three-run home run to Bryce Massanari in the bottom of the inning.
Keuchel would settle down, though, and not allow another run the rest of way to set up another Arkansas comeback attempt. But after fighting back to even the score, the rally finally fell short.
"We played good. We just didn't play good enough to win," Van Horn said. "But we've responded pretty well all year."
Razorbacks Fall Just Short
Hawgs Daily Top Stories
Scout 2017 Rankings DirectoryThe Scout positional, state, regional, national and team rankings for the Class of 2017...
2017 Signing Day announcement scheduleComplete list of announcement times for the most high-profile uncommitted recruits in 2017.
Scout's Top 25 Recruiting ClassesA look at Scout's top 25 classes with just over a week to go to Signing Day.
Weekend Official Visit PrimerScout takes a look at the biggest visitors for the upcoming weekend in the Power 5 conferences...