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Hogs drop Saturday slugfest to Gators

Razorbacks erased deficits of three and four runs Saturday afternoon, but it was not enough to beat Florida.

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GAINESVILLE, Fla. — Arkansas junior left fielder Zack Gregory tied the score with an extra-base hit twice Saturday afternoon, but the Florida bats could not be stopped.

The Gators scored twice in the eighth to go up 9-7, the eventual final score, beating the Hogs in the game and the series at Florida Ballpark.

Arkansas had not lost a Southeastern Conference series since the last weekend of the 2019 regular season.

The Gators jumped on sophomore right-handed pitcher Jaxon Wiggins in the third inning, stringing four hits together for four runs. Left fielder Wyatt Langford opened the scoring with an infield single, and catcher BT Riopelle took Wiggins deep to center for a three-run homer.

The Razorbacks stormed right back to tie it in the top of the fourth. Senior shortstop Jalen Battles got them on the board with an RBI single, and Gregory cleared the bases with a two-out double two batters latter, prompting Florida to turn to the bullpen.

Wiggins surrendered back-to-back singles in the fifth, and Langford chased him from the game with another three-run blast. In four innings, Wiggins allowed nine hits, two walks and seven earned runs.

Arkansas clawed back with two unearned runs in the sixth, bringing the score to 7-6. Battles led off with a double and scored on an error, and junior second baseman Robert Moore drew a bases-loaded walk.

Senior left-hander Evan Taylor worked a scoreless fifth, and freshman righty Brady Tygart posted a pair of zeros in the sixth and seventh. After they settled things down, Gregory unleashed a mammoth shot to right field with one out in the eighth, knotting the score at seven and triggering another Florida pitching change.

Tygart allowed a leadoff bunt single in the bottom of the frame, and it turned into a run after his throwing error, a sacrifice bunt and a sacrifice fly. Head coach Dave Van Horn pulled him after a two-out double, which became another run on a single allowed by senior righty Zebulon Vermillion. Tygart was charged with two runs and his first loss of the season.

The Hogs will return to Baum-Walker Stadium for five home games next week, beginning at 6:30 p.m. Tuesday. Arkansas-Pine Bluff will be in town for two, and the Razorbacks will host the LSU Tigers from Thursday to Saturday.

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