Forrest City's Barrett Astin throws gem as #15 Arkansas wins opener in Athens

ATHENS, Ga. ( – Barrett Astin and Colby Suggs combined on a six-hit shutout as No. 15 Arkansas opened its series against Georgia with a 2-0 win on Friday night at Foley Field.

Arkansas improves to 28-15 overall and 12-7 in Southeastern Conference play, while Georgia is now 16-27 and 4-15 in league play.

Astin (3-2) was outstanding on the mound for the Razorbacks en route to earning his third win of the season. The junior right hander tossed a career-high eight shutout innings, giving up four hits and striking out eight.

Suggs earned his sixth save of the season, striking out one and giving up two hits in a scoreless ninth inning.

Georgia starter Patrick Boling (2-6) took the loss. Boling gave up one run on three hits and struck out four in six innings.

Arkansas managed just three hits in the game with Brian Anderson accounting for two of the hits, along with a RBI. Jake Wise had the other hit for the Razorbacks and also drove in a run.

Georgia finished the night with six hits with Kyle Farmer and Curt Powell each collecting two hits. Brett DeLoach and Jared Walsh added one hit apiece.

The Razorbacks struck first with a run in the top of the third. After a leadoff walk to Jacob Morris, Joe Serrano laid down a sacrifice bunt to move Morris to second with one out. A ground out to the pitcher by Matt Vinson advanced Morris to third. Anderson came through with a two-out RBI single to left field, scoring Morris for the game's first run.

Arkansas added an insurance run in the top of the eighth. With the bases loaded and two out, Wise was hit by a pitch with the bases loaded, scoring Vinson, who walked to start the inning.

Georgia had its best scoring chances in the first and ninth inning. In the bottom of the first, the Bulldogs put runners on first and second with no out, but Astin worked out of the jam, getting a fly out to center field with the bases loaded to end the inning.

In the ninth, Georgia put runners on first and second with no out against Suggs. A sacrifice bunt by Daniel Nichols moved each runner into scoring position with one out. Suggs got a fly out to left by Sean McLaughlin and a strike out swinging of pinch hitter Jess Posey to end the game and give the Razorbacks the win.

Arkansas and Georgia continue the three-game series on Saturday with first pitch scheduled for 11 a.m. (CT). The Razorbacks will start junior right hander Ryne Stanek (5-2, 1.63), while the Bulldogs will counter with freshman right hander Sean McLaughlin (4-4, 3.33). The second game of the series will be televised by SportSouth and will be available in Northwest Arkansas on Fox Sports Southwest.