Alabama Baseball Suffers 9-7 Loss at Seventh-Ranked Arkansas
Alabama baseball suffered a 9-7 loss to No. 7 Arkansas on Sunday afternoon at Baum Stadium, as a three-run home run in the fifth secured the win for the Razorbacks. Following Sunday’s series finale in Fayetteville, the Crimson Tide is 23-23 overall and 5-16 in Southeastern Conference play.
The Crimson Tide took an early 1-0 lead with Arkansas gaining their first advantage in the bottom of the second with three runs. Alabama bounced right back with a five-run third to move ahead, but the Razorbacks kept things close thanks to one run in the home half of the third. The Tide added one more in the top of the fifth, but a four-run home half for Arkansas, highlighted by a three-run homer, put the Hogs in front for good. Arkansas would add an insurance run in the bottom of the eighth to gain a 9-7 advantage, the eventual final.
Alabama’s hitters combined for 15 walks on Sunday, falling one short of the Crimson Tide’s all-time record for a single game. Eight of the nine starters recorded at least one walk with five players drawing more than one free pass. Vance led Alabama with three walks as part of his 1-for-3 afternoon that included the solo home run to start the game. Also homering was John Trousdale, with the sophomore finishing 1-for-4 with an RBI, one walk and a team-high two runs scored.
On the hill, Arkansas reliever Barrett Loseke (1-1) earned the win, while Alabama junior Dylan Duarte (3-3) suffered the loss in his 0.2 an inning of relief.
Alabama got on the board first, using a solo home run from junior Cobie Vance to lead off the game for a second consecutive day, making 1-0. The Razorbacks answered with three runs in the bottom of the second to take their first lead at 3-1. Arkansas singled twice to start the inning before a third straight single crossed the tying run. One more single loaded the bases and a sacrifice fly brought in the go-ahead run before one final single added another tally, making it a two-run advantage for the Hogs.
The Crimson Tide bounced back in the top of the third, scoring five runs in the frame for a 6-3 advantage. A fielding error on junior Joe Breaux’s at-bat put the leadoff man aboard before back-to-back walks loaded the bases for the Tide. A pitching change followed for Arkansas, with a wild pitch in the first at-bat against the new reliever moving everyone up 90 feet and scoring one for Alabama.
Another wild pitch, this one on ball four to junior Chandler Taylor, got past the catcher to bring in the tying run and put runners on the corners, still with no outs. Another wild pitch got to the backstop, moving Taylor to second and scoring the go-ahead run for the Tide before the batter drew a walk in that same plate appearance to put runners at first and second with one down.
Following the walk, sophomore John Trousdale grounded to second in what looked to be a double play with the Hogs getting the man at the base, but a wide throw to first allowed Taylor to score at home. The Crimson Tide drew two walks to load the bases once again and force another pitching change. Breaux, the first batter to face the Arkansas reliever, walked to bring in one more and make it a 6-3 game.
Arkansas added one in the third on a solo home run to cut the deficit to two runs, but Alabama came right back to widen the gap to three again with one in the top of the fifth. The Tide received its second solo shot of the day to start an inning, this time from Trousdale to make it a 7-4 contest.
The lead would not last long, as Arkansas put up four runs in the bottom of the fifth to move in front once again. A walk followed by consecutive singles scored one for the Hogs and forced an Alabama pitching change. The next Razorback hitter then sent an 0-2 pitch deep to left to score three and move Arkansas in front by one at 8-7 after five full.
The Razorbacks added an insurance run in the bottom of the eighth to make it a 9-7 game, the eventual final. Alabama had opportunities on the back-end, getting runners into scoring position in the sixth, seventh and ninth innings, but was unable to score late.
Alabama will take the work week off as the Crimson Tide’s student-athletes focus on final exams. Following the five-day break, the Mississippi State Bulldogs will come to town from May 4-6 for a weekend series at Sewell-Thomas Stadium. The first two games are slated for 6 p.m. CT starts with the series finale scheduled for a 3 p.m. first pitch. The two games to start the series will air live on SEC Network+ with the finale on Sunday set to air nationally on ESPNU.