Sun April 28, 2024

By Lance Hawley

Sports Razorbacks

Hogs Secure Series Win over Gators behind Holt's Go-Ahead Homer, Legendary Deke Double Play

Arkansas Baseball Razorbacks Baseball
Hogs Secure Series Win over Gators behind Holt's Go-Ahead Homer, Legendary Deke Double Play
Oliver Grigg

FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. – Peyton Holt etched his name into Razorback lore, swatting a go-ahead two-run homer and executing a legendary deke double play to help No. 2 Arkansas (37-7, 16-5 SEC) clinch its second consecutive home weekend series win against Florida (22-21, 9-12 SEC) in Saturday’s doubleheader at Baum-Walker Stadium.


The Hogs have now won nine consecutive SEC home weekend series since last season, and 20 of their last 21 SEC home weekend series since 2019. Arkansas moved to 16-5 in SEC play this year, its best 21-game SEC start in program history.


With their 6-5 series-clinching win in game one of Saturday’s doubleheader, the Razorbacks secured its 27th consecutive home win to tie the program record for consecutive home wins (27), which was set during the 1984-85 seasons at George Cole Field. Florida, however, won the second game of the doubleheader, 9-5, to snap Arkansas’ 27-game winning streak at Baum-Walker Stadium and hand the Hogs’ their first home loss since Feb. 18 against James Madison.


Up next, Arkansas closes out its midweek slate with a pair of contests against Missouri State at Baum-Walker Stadium. First pitch in the two-game set between the Razorbacks and Bears is 6:30 p.m. Tuesday, April 30, on SEC Network+.


Game 1: #2 Arkansas 6, Florida 5

Peyton Holt stole the show in game one of Saturday’s doubleheader, hitting the go-ahead home run in the bottom of the seventh inning before executing a legendary deke double play to perfection in the top half of the eighth to help Arkansas earn a 6-5 series-clinching win over Florida, giving the Razorbacks their ninth straight SEC home weekend series victory.


After Florida broke a 1-1 tie with three runs in the top of the seventh, Arkansas rallied from its multi-run deficit with a five-spot in the bottom of the inning. Jared Sprague-Lott’s two-out single scored pinch runner Hudson White before Wehiwa Aloy and Holt each clobbered two-run home runs to left field, catapulting the Razorbacks to a 6-4 lead.


Florida threatened to tie the game in the eighth, scoring a run on a fielding error to cut its deficit to one before loading the bases. With one out, Arkansas went to left-hander Stone Hewlett, who induced a fly out toward Holt in center field.


Holt faked a catch before making the catch to throw off Brody Donay, Florida’s runner on third, and his timing on the tag at third base. Holt threw toward third and Sprague-Lott fired home, where White tagged Donay to end the inning.


Christian Foutch preserved the Razorbacks’ 6-5 win in the ninth, recording the final out on a six-pitch strikeout. The right-hander threw six consecutive pitches of at least 100 mph to strike out Donay and secure the series-clinching win.


Right-hander Brady Tygart started on the mound and twirled his second consecutive quality start with six innings of two-run ball. The junior tallied six strikeouts for the second week in a row and limited the Gators to three hits and four walks.


Game 2: Florida 9, #2 Arkansas 5

Florida two-way star Jac Caglianone pitched four innings and hit a two-out grand slam in the fourth to help knock off Arkansas, 9-5, in the series finale. Caglianone’s 26th home run of the season capped the Gators’ six-run fourth inning against Razorback right-handers Ben Bybee and Koty Frank, changing the game’s momentum completely.


Arkansas struck first in the finale, opening an early one-run lead on Peyton Stovall’s RBI single in the bottom of the second and setting its sights on completing its fourth consecutive SEC home weekend series sweep. It was not meant to be, however, as Florida responded with a run in the top of the third before its game-changing six-spot in the fourth.


The Razorbacks punched back with a pair of runs in the bottom of the fourth before scoring again in the sixth and eighth, but the Gators would not fold and maintained their lead until securing a 9-5 victory to salvage the series.


Stovall, one of four Razorbacks with multiple hits in the finale, went 3-for-3 with a pair of doubles and three RBI. Jared Sprague-Lott (2-for-5), Ben McLaughlin (2-for-3, RBI, 2 BB) and Nolan Souza (2-for-5) also turned in multi-hit games.


In relief, Jake Faherty tossed two scoreless frames with a pair of strikeouts to lower his season ERA to 1.23. Parker Coil, meanwhile, also emerged from the bullpen and fired a scoreless inning, recording a strikeout in the process.

Photos Courtesy of Craven Whitlow CW3 Sports Action