Hogs looking to clinch series with Georgia tonight behind Pallette

Listen online HERE or on ESPN Arkansas at 95.3 in the River Valley, 96.3 in Hot Springs and 104.3 in Harrison-Mountain Home.

Photo by Arkansas Communications

After averaging nearly 10 runs a game in last weekend’s series, Arkansas’ narrow 3-0 pitcher’s duel win Friday night over Georgia was a little different.

“We just kept striking each other out,” Dave Van Horn said later about Patrick Wicklander and the Bulldogs’ Liam Sullivan over the first six innings. “Just a tough night to hit.”

The Razorbacks had just three hits off Sullivan, but back-to-back doubles by Robert Moore and Casey Opitz pushed across a run in the second inning. It looked like it was going to have to be enough for awhile.

“It was just good enough,” Van Horn said. “A good rally there in the eighth after a little bit of attrition. We were real fortunate that we won the ballgame honestly. Sullivan pitched an outstanding game for them.”

Now he just needs that kind of start from right-hander Peyton Pallette in today’s game that will probably start on time at 6 p.m. The rain that delayed Friday’s game nearly an hour and a half has cleared out.

You can hear the game online HERE or on ESPN Arkansas at 95.3 in the River Valley, 96.3 in Hot Springs and 104.3 in Harrison-Mountain Home. The game will be televised on the SEC Network.

The pregame show online and the radio with Phil Elson and Bubba Carpenter will start at 5:30 this afternoon.

Van Horn will be looking for a long outing from Pallette. After the closer, Kevin Kopps, came in for Caden Monke (who got one big out in the sixth), he did his usual thing Friday night and shut the Bulldogs down the rest of the night.

With an announced crowd of 6,745 and covid restrictions being relaxed, the Hogs coaches weren’t wearing masks and most fans didn’t bother with any mask theater, either.

And Moore had another big-time hit, delivering a two-out blooper in the eighth inning that sort of landed in really short center by accident, bringing in two runs for the final margin.

“I didn’t hit it hard,” Moore said later. “But I was able to stay through one and stay up the middle with a breaking ball and good things happened.”

Plus that pitching coming through again.

Van Horn said Kopps will be available again after throwing 54 pitches Friday night over three innings.

“Oh yeah, he’ll be available,” he said about maybe the best reliever in college baseball this year.

Now he just needs a strong outing from Pallette to lock down a series win tonight.

He’ll worry about Sunday’s pitching rotation later.

With a one-game lead over Mississippi State in the SEC West, Van Horn is taking it one game at a time right now. The Bulldogs beat South Carolina on Friday night, 9-0, so there won’t be much breathing room heading down the stretch.

Which is going to set up an interesting couple of weeks.

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