FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. -- No. 2 Florida used a five-run sixth inning and stellar pitching by sophomore Alex Faedo to defeat Arkansas, 8-2, on Saturday afternoon to finish a weekend sweep. The Gators (33-5/11-4 SEC) collected their first sweep of the Hogs (21-15/4-11 SEC) since 2001 and earned their first sweep at Baum Stadium since 2000. Arkansas had not been swept at home in SEC play since the 2010 season by South Carolina.
Faedo (7-1) registered 10 strikeouts over 6.1 innings, allowing five hits and one run, to pick up the win. It was his third time this year reaching double-digits in strikeouts. Junior Buddy Reed was hit by a pitch with the bases full in the sixth to bring home sophomore Jeremy Vasquez (2-for-3) with the game's opening run and junior Peter Alonso (2-for-3) launched a three-run homer in the frame to help Florida wrap up a 4-0 week with its fourth straight triumph over the Hogs.
Arkansas loaded the bases with none out in the second inning, only to have Faedo escape the jam. Sophomore Luke Bonfield drew a leadoff walk, junior Austin Catron singled into left center and senior Michael Bernal (3-for-3) walked to fill the sacks. Faedo jammed senior Rick Nomura on an infield fly, struck out sophomore Chad Spanberger and had a fielder's choice by senior Tucker Pennell force Catron at second base to keep the games scoreless.
In the third, the Hogs put two runners aboard with one down but came away empty-handed. Freshman Eric Cole started the frame with a single into right center and junior Clark Eagan had a one-out base-hit in center field. Faedo responded by having Bonfield ground out and then fanned Catron.
Florida broke through for five runs in the sixth inning to break the ice. Vasquez led off with a single into right field for the Gators' first hit against junior Zach Jackson (2-4). Freshman Nelson Maldonado followed with a walk and Jackson had sophomore Dalton Guthrie fly out to left field. After a walk to freshman Deacon Liput loaded the bases, Reed was hit by a 3-2 pitch to bring across Vasquez with the game's initial run. Senior Doug Willey replaced Jackson (5.1 IP, 1 H, 4 R) and sophomore JJ Schwarz lofted a sacrifice fly into right field to bring home Maldonado. Alonso belted his team-leading eighth homer into the visiting bullpen for a 5-0 count.
Liput boosted UF's lead to six runs with a two-out RBI single in the seventh that scored junior pinch runner Ryan Larson. Junior Mike Rivera led off with a single but was caught stealing before Vasquez singled into right center. Guthrie was hit by a pitch with two down and Liput sliced a base-knock into right field to bring home Larson.
Bernal started the Hogs' seventh with a double and Faedo had Nomura fly out to left field before being replaced by junior Kirby Snead. Pennell delivered a two-out double into left field to put the hosts on the board.
Larson drove in Schwarz with an infield single in the eighth for a 7-1 margin. Schwarz reached on an error to begin the inning and Alonso singled through the right side before a fielder's choice by freshman Jonathan India erased Alonso and left runners on the corners. Rivera walked to load the bases and Larson's hit to shortstop brought in the Gators' seventh run. After Reed came home on a wild pitch by freshman Barrett Loseke in the ninth, junior Jake Arledge had a two-out RBI double to right field off of freshman Brady Singer (1.1 IP, 3 K) to complete the scoring.
- Florida swept Arkansas for the third time in school history and the first time under Kevin O'Sullivan.
- The Gators' last sweep of the Hogs came in 2001 in Gainesville (7-4, 8-4, 4-1) and they last swept Arkansas in Fayetteville during the 2000 season (8-7, 8-7, 7-4).
- The series drew 26,884 to Baum Stadium over the three days.
- Alex Faedo had 10 or more strikeouts for the third time this year (13 vs. Harvard on March 12 and 12 vs. Miami (FL) on Feb. 28).
- Peter Alonso's eighth homer of the season was the 17th of his career. Four of them have been three-run jobs.
- Florida did not trail during the entire series.
The Gators will host Jacksonville on Tuesday at 7 p.m. to complete the teams' two-game season series. Jeff Cardozo and Steve Russell have the call on the Gator IMG Sports Network and the game will be streamed on SEC Network+ through the ESPN app with Nick Belmonte and Mick Hubert.