ARK-ALA BSB 5/19/22

Freshman first baseman Peyton Stovall runs the bases during Thursday’s game against Alabama. The Crimson Tide took the final two games of the series, taking away the Razorbacks’ hopes of the SEC West Division title.

Coming off a series-opening victory over the Crimson Tide, Arkansas had multiple chances to clinch the series and stay afloat in the Southeastern Conference West race, but fell flat with a pair of losses powered by 26 total Alabama runs.

Senior Connor Noland continued his cold streak on the mound Friday night, picking up his fourth loss of 2022 after giving up five runs on eight hits and two walks in 4 ⅓ innings.

He started out with three sharp, scoreless innings, but Alabama’s offense got to him in the fourth and fifth before breaking into the bullpen.

“Connor wasn’t throwing strikes, getting behind in the count, giving up some hits,” head coach Dave Van Horn said.

Arkansas’ four runs in the first five innings were not nearly enough, as junior Zack Morris and graduate senior Zebulon Vermillion gave up three runs in 1 ⅔ combined innings. Morris could not record an out before being pulled after facing four batters.

“Morris came in and didn’t throw the ball over the plate very well,” Van Horn said. “They did get a couple of cheap hits on him, which was kind of how the game works every now and then.”

Although the Tide was held scoreless the remainder of the game, a two-run double from graduate senior Chris Lanzilli was not enough to close the gap on the scoreboard.

The Razorbacks had the go-ahead run at the plate in the top of the ninth following singles from sophomore Cayden Wallace and junior Robert Moore, but Lanzilli went down on strikes to close out the 8-6 victory for Alabama.

“Just a tough loss,” Van Horn said. “We battled and I think we had a three-run lead and, just, kind of a different story compared to last night as far as how our bullpen went.”

The Hogs were off to a quick start in Saturday’s rubber match, scoring a pair of runs in the top of the first via RBI singles from Lanzilli and senior Jalen Battles. The two-run lead turned out to be the only one Hogs held the remainder of the game.

Sophomore Jaxon Wiggins had the ball to start Saturday’s rubber match, but he did not look like the same pitcher who was on the mound in his last two starts.

He had a spotless first inning on the bump, facing the minimum. His second inning was the opposite, as two wild pitches, two walks, two singles and error and three runs later, he was pulled after only recording four outs.

Graduate senior Kole Ramage came in, attempting to limit the damage, but allowed three more runs to cross home on his watch. Two of them were charged to Wiggins, bringing his total to five on the day. Ramage was charged with a run of his own on a double from Alabama’s Andrew Pinckney.

Alabama scored another in the bottom of the third, prefacing a six-run explosion in the bottom of the next frame.

A leadoff dinger from Alabama’s William Hamiter kicked off the inning, but the Tide notched five more runs on a combination of freshman Hagen Smith — working out of the bullpen for the first time in 2022 — and senior Evan Taylor.

The fourth turned out to be far from the end of the Tide’s offensive clinic, as a sacrifice fly and a grand slam from Bryce Eblin extended the Alabama lead to a whopping 15 runs.

The Razorback bats made a whimper in the top of the sixth with a two-run shot from graduate senior Braydon Webb. His 13th roundtripper of the year concluded the scoring for both sides.

A combination of redshirt junior Miller Pleimann, Morris and sophomore Gabriel Starks put together three scoreless innings of work to silence the Alabama bats for three innings. Their work was unnecessary, though, as the game ended with a final score of 18-5 in favor of the Tide.

“It was really just a total bad game on our part.” Van Horn said.

The 13-run loss was the Hogs’ largest of 2022 and widest margin of defeat since March 19th of last season when the Crimson Tide defeated them 16-1 at home.

The deflating loss not only cost the Hogs a series victory but also a share of the SEC West title, as Texas A&M won its series at Mississippi.

Arkansas will be the third seed in the SEC Tournament next week. Its first game is scheduled for 9:30 a.m. Wednesday and will be broadcast on the SEC Network.

(0) comments

Welcome to the discussion.

Keep it Clean. Please avoid obscene, vulgar, lewd, racist or sexually-oriented language.
Don't Threaten. Threats of harming another person will not be tolerated.
Be Truthful. Don't knowingly lie about anyone or anything.
Be Nice. No racism, sexism or any sort of -ism that is degrading to another person.
Be Proactive. Use the 'Report' link on each comment to let us know of abusive posts.
Share with Us. We'd love to hear eyewitness accounts, the history behind an article.