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Ninth inning homers secure Razorback win

2692 days ago
SEC staff
Photo: Jimmy Mitchell

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HOOVER, Ala. -- Two home runs in the top of the ninth inning by Arkansas' Andrew Benintendi and Bobby Wernes secured a 7-6 Razorback comeback win over No. 4 Florida in Game 8.

No. 5 Arkansas will advance in the winners' bracket to play No. 1 LSU Thursday in Game 12 of the SEC Baseball Tournament. No. 4 Florida will advance to play No. 9 Auburn Thursday in Game 11.

SEC Player of the Year Andrew Benintendi opened the ninth inning with a solo homer to right field and brought the Razorbacks within one of the Gators. Three pitches later, Wernes hit a deep home run to left field, allowing Rick Nomura and Wernes to take the lead for the first time since the top of the second inning.

"It felt really good. I've been struggling the last two days and I finally got a pitch I could hit on and I hit the ball hard and I'm glad I could do that," Benintendi said.

Florida scored three runs in the fifth inning to take the lead for the first time and held on through six more innings, despite a single Razorback run in the top of the seventh. The Gators' fifth inning was highlighted by Harrison Bader's groundout RBI, a JJ Schwarz double to deep center, good for a run and Mike Rivera's double to right field, which let Schwarz run in the Gators' sixth run.

Arkansas got on the scoreboard first with three runs in the second inning. The Razorbacks scored on a bases-loaded walk, followed by a hit-by-pitch walk, then scored on Joe Serrano's sac fly, allowing a third run.

Florida answered in the bottom of the second with three runs of its own. Schwarz singled to right with bases loaded, allowing two runs to score. The next pitch, an Arkansas error allowed another run in to tie the game at three runs a piece.

Arkansas improves to 35-20 on the season and 28-35 all-time in the SEC Baseball Tournament, as Florida falls to 40-16 on the season.

The fourth-seeded Gators will play No. 9 Auburn Thursday after the conclusion of Game 9, which begins at 9:30 a.m., and No. 5 Arkansas will play No. 1 LSU, Thursday at 4:30 p.m. on SEC Network.