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Diamond Hog Update: Hogs stumble in road series against Florida

Florida v Arkansas Photo by Wesley Hitt/Getty Images

FAYETTEVILLW, Ark.— Last week was a tough stretch for the Arkansas baseball team as they wrapped up action on Saturday with an even 2-2 record for the week. After an offensive explosion that took care of UCA on Tuesday, the Hogs traveled to Gainesville, Florida, to battle the desperate Gators.

On Thursday, Connor Noland pitched a one-hit gem to assist the Razorback offense to an 8-1 win and strong start to the weekend. However, the Arkansas pitching staff labored on Friday and Saturday, resulting in the first series loss in conference play for the Razorbacks since 2019.

Freshman Hagan Smith struggled on Friday night while the Razorback offense couldn’t find their rhythm. The offense scored seven runs on Saturday but failed to match Florida’s output as the Gators dialed in on Jaxon Wiggins. The teams traded big innings and home runs before Florida outlasted the Hogs in the eighth inning.

The Hogs still hold the lead in the SEC West, with LSU, Auburn, and Alabama trailing close. Losing a single series to a talented Florida club is not a backbreaker for Dave Van Horn’s club. But the pivotal part of the schedule is upcoming, with matchups against LSU, Ole Miss, and Vanderbilt looming in the coming weeks. The Hogs will need to find consistency from the mound to match their offensive production that seems to improve each weekend.

This week is the busiest portion of the schedule for the Diamond Hogs. UAPB comes to town on Tuesday for a two-game midweek series, followed by a weekend matchup with LSU. The Tigers and Hogs will battle on Thursday, Friday, and Saturday to determine the frontrunner of the SEC West.

Crunch time is set in on the SEC contenders, setting up a great week at Baum-Walker Stadium for Razorback fans as the Hogs look to position themselves nicely for a postseason run.