"I am very pleased with Bryan's performance, he kept the game close for us," said head coach Pat McMahon. "Arkansas does a lot of the little things well and was opportunistic. We ran out of outs today and that was credit to their pitching."
Aided by two Gator errors in the first inning, Arkansas took a 1-0 lead. Senior Craig Gentry reached second on a leadoff error and was sacrificed to third by sophomore Clint Arnold. Another throwing error by junior David Cash (Odessa, Fla.) on junior Danny Hamblin's grounder allowed Gentry to score the game's first run. Junior Matt LaPorta (Port Charlotte, Fla.) was robbed of a home run in the bottom of the frame on a leaping grab by Gentry, who snagged the ball as it was heading over the fence.
A two-out rally by the Razorbacks in the second against Augenstein resulted in a 2-0 score. Gentry legged out a double to center and Arnold had an infield hit for runners on the corners before Hamblin poked a RBI single to right field. After a throwing error on the relay gave UA two men in scoring position, LaPorta made a diving stop on sophomore Brian Walker's liner to first to end the frame.
Freshman Matt Willard walked to begin the fifth and Gentry beat out a bunt for a hit before Arnold sacrificed his teammates into scoring position. An RBI grounder from Hamblin pushed Gentry to third and scored Willard for a 3-0 advantage.
In the bottom of the frame, junior Gavin Dickey (Tallahassee, Fla.) pulled the Gators to within 3-2 by belting his team-leading fifth homer with two down. The previous batter, senior Stephen Barton (Miami, Fla.), poked his fourth double down the right-field line and Dickey followed with a shot to left center just above the 365-foot sign.
Hamblin reached on an infield single with one down in the eighth, stole second and Walker's grounder was misplayed, resulting in runners on the corners. Augenstein escaped the jam by inducing an inning-ending 5-4-3 double play by freshman James Ewing.
Dickey was hit by sophomore Shaun Seibert to start UF's turn in the eighth and sophomore Matt Gaski (Greensboro, N.C.) popped up a bunt into a double play (1-4). Junior Adam Davis (Fort Myers, Fla.) earned a free pass, prompting a pitching change. Junior Daryl Maday came out of the bullpen for Seibert (2.1 IP, 0H, 2 BB, 1K) and struck out LaPorta. The righty went 1.1 innings to collect his team-leading fifth save. Gentry and Hamblin were each 2-for-4 for Arkansas, which held a 7-5 advantage in hits. The series finale will be at noon tomorrow.