HOOVER, Ala. — The Razorback bats were nowhere to be found Friday morning, as the Florida Gators cruised to a 7-5 victory, eliminating Arkansas from the Southeastern Conference Tournament. The Arkansas leadoff batter reached base in six of the nine innings, but only twice did he score.
The Gators smacked Razorback senior right-handed pitcher Connor Noland around to begin the second inning, which culminated in a two-run single by designated hitter Jac Caglianone. He drove in another run with his leadoff home run in the fifth.
Caglianone’s blast was the first of two in the fifth. Third baseman Colby Halter took Noland deep as well, and when the Greenwood native walked the next batter, it marked the end of his day. In 4 2/3 innings, he surrendered six hits, walked one hitter and struck out five.
Noland was charged with his fifth run on catcher BT Riopelle’s RBI double off senior left-hander Evan Taylor.
Arkansas began to claw back in the top of the sixth with back-to-back homers from sophomore third baseman Cayden Wallace and graduate catcher Michael Turner, but the Gators got those runs right back in the bottom of the frame. Center fielder Jud Fabian took freshman righty Brady Tygart deep to left field to lead things off, and a hit batsman cost him another run. Senior right-hander Zebulon Vermillion allowed an RBI knock to Halter, making it 7-2.
Senior shortstop Jalen Battles walked, took second on a defensive indifference, advanced to third on a groundout and scored on a passed ball in the ninth. The defensive indifference marked the first time in the contest that Arkansas had a runner in scoring position. Senior center fielder Braydon Webb cut the deficit to 7-5 with a two-run homer in the ninth, but the Razorbacks could not complete the comeback.
The Hogs will await their regional destination, which will be announced during the NCAA Tournament selection show at 11 a.m. Monday on ESPN2.