With a runner on third base in the bottom of the ninth inning, Florida head coach Kevin O’Sullivan made the decision to bring left fielder Jacob Young to play up the middle at second base. The Gators had recorded one out before Jack Leftwich delivered a 3-2 pitch that Arkansas’ Charlie Welch belted to right field, just out of reach of Sterlin Thompson for the game winning RBI double.
Florida dropped to 35-18 overall and 17-12 in SEC play with the 4-3 defeat.
How It Happened:
After an hour and forty-five minute rain delay, the Gators got out to a 3-0 lead after scoring two in the first and adding another an inning later.
Florida first baseman hit a two-run single to left that plated Nathan Hickey and Kris Armstrong in the first and freshman Sterlin Thompson crushed a solo home run to right in the second to build the advantage.
Hunter Barco looked comfortable on the mound, allowing just two runs in the bottom of the second, but put his team in position to win until being relieved after six innings of work.
Jack Leftwich came on in the seventh and pitched superbly until allowing a two-out solo homer to tie the game.
What ensued in the bottom of the ninth encapsulated much of the season for Florida baseball. A ball hit to the gap in left-center by Casey Opitz, was run down by Jud Fabian, but the stellar outfielder slid past the ball and it squirted behind him to allow Opitz to coast into third to lead off the frame. After a foul out, Welch came through with the game winning hit for the Razorbacks.
- W: Kevin Kopps (10-0)
- L: Jack Leftwich (7-4)
- Hickey: 2-4, R
- Armstrong: 2-4, 2B, R
- Thompson: 1-2, HR, RBI, R, 2 BB
- Barco: 6 IP, 4 H, 2 ER, 8 K, 3 BB
Florida will complete the series and the regular season on Saturday. The game will be aired on SEC Network+ with first pitch slated for 3:00 PM.