GAINESVILLE, Fla. — Once again, Arkansas' inability to get hits when needed costs them.
The Razorbacks left nine runners on base and freshman Hagen Smith gave up seven hits as Florida evened the series with a 7-2 win Friday evening.
Smith allowed a career-high seven runs (six earned runs) on seven hits in 4.1 innings of work for the Hogs while striking out just one Florida hitter.
The Gators jumped out to a quick 5-0 lead in the first three innings with a couple of home runs and cruised from there.
"They just attacked him and he got behind in the count a lot," Hogs coach Dave Van Horn said later. "When he didn’t get behind in the count, they just went after the first-pitch fastball and if he missed his spot, they hit it pretty good."
The defense behind him wasn't as sharp as normal, either.
"We didn’t play very good defense behind him that cost him a run or two," Van Horn said.
Brady Slavens went 3-for-4 at the plate with an RBI triple and Cayden Wallace and Peyton Stovall recorded two hits apiece. The Hogs were just 3-for-18 with runners on base in the game.
"We just didn’t do a very good job with runners in scoring position or runners on base in general," Van Horn said. "We got 10 hits, but we didn’t hit the ball like we normally do. Three or four of those hits just kind of dropped in or found holes."
The Gators started fast, getting a quick 5-0 lead, but after rally-killing double plays in the second and third innings, the Razorbacks finally got a run across in the fifth.
Senior shortstop Jalen Battles led off with a single, advanced to third on another by Stovall and scored when the throw to second went bad for Florida.
The Hogs had enough flashes the rest of the way for hope, but couldn't get hits when they were needed.
"We didn’t play very well, obviously," Van Horn said.
They will play to win the series at noon Saturday to decide the series. Arkansas sophomore right-hander Jaxon Wiggins will get the start, and the game will stream live on the SEC Network+.
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