The Georgia baseball team rallied in the ninth to send game two with Arkansas extra innings but the Diamond Dogs hopes were dashed in the 10th as they fell 5-4 on Friday night to the Hogs.
Trailing 4-2 in the ninth, Georgia scored two runs on three hits and two Razorback errors. Georgia freshman Zac Kristofak extended his scoreless innings streak to 14 by taking care of the ninth including a pair of strikeouts to send it to extra innings. In the 10th, Evan Lee reached on a leadoff walk by junior Blake Cairnes. Designated hitter Eric Cole followed with a bunt single and Cairnes throw to first baseman Adam Sasser was off the mark and in to shallow right field. Tucker Bradley raced in to get the baseball and fired home, but his throw sailed to the backstop as Lee scored to end the four hour and eight minute contest.
With the win, Arkansas improved to 28-8 overall and 10-4 in the SEC while Georgia dropped to 15-21, 4-10 in the SEC.
The Bulldogs grabbed a 1-0 lead courtesy of sophomore Michael Curry’s team-leading eighth home run to start the fourth. Arkansas answered with a two-out, RBI-single by Dominic Fletcher. In the fifth, Bradley led off with his first career double. He advanced to third on a sacrifice bunt by Aaron Schunk and scored on a two-out, RBI-single by Curry who had his second 3-for-4 game in the series. Georgia senior Andrew Gist provided five solid innings before the Bulldogs looked to the bullpen. In the sixth, sophomore Kevin Smith came in and struck out a pair, but the Razorbacks rallied in the seventh. Jax Biggers reached with a leadoff double and then with two outs, Luke Bonfield smacked a 1-0 offering into the left field stands for a 4-2 advantage. Eleven of Arkansas’ 13 hits on the night came with two outs.
Georgia missed opportunities for big innings in the eighth and ninth innings when it loaded the bases. With one out in the eighth, Curry singled, Keegan McGovern drew a walk and Will Proctor reached on an error. Then, Arkansas reliver Dominic Taccolini got Sasser to bounce into a double play. In the ninth with the bases loaded and nobody out, Schunk struck out and Cam Shepherd hit in to a fielder’s choice, however Georgia managed to plate two runs after an Arkansas error. Two batters later, McGovern reached on another Razorback error and Shepherd was thrown out at home.
Jakie Reindl (1-0) got the win with two scoreless innings while Cairnes fell to 1-1, allowing an unearned run in the 10th.
CLICK HERE for the final stats and box score from game two of Georgia versus Arkansas.
The series concludes Saturday with first pitch at 3:02 p.m. EDT and be available on SEC Network+ and the Bulldog Sports Network from IMG.
Sophomore DH Michael Curry continued his torrid hitting in the series, going 3-4 with a home run and two RBI. He is 6-for-8 with three home runs and six RBI against Arkansas. In game one of the series on Thursday, he smashed a pair of home runs with 4 RBI.
Senior Andrew Gist limited the hot-hitting Hogs to a run on six hits with three strikeouts over the first five innings but got a no decision.
Freshman Zac Kristofak pitched a scoreless inning with two strikeouts to extend his streak to 14 scoreless frames with 16 strikeouts over his last seven appearances.
Coach’s Corner: Ike Cousins Head Baseball Coach Scott Stricklin
“We fought and battled hard, and it was a heartbreaking loss. We made an error on the first play and the last play of the game. We need to bounce back and that’s what I told our team. This is a tough one to take, and we’re going to find out what kind of team we are on how we respond. Bottom line, we had too many missed opportunities, and at the worst possible time we had a defensive breakdown. Good teams make you pay, and we saw that with all their two-out hits. On the positive side, Andrew Gist gave us another good start and Michael Curry is really swinging the bat well right now.”