Serving the campus of the University of Alabama since 1894

The Crimson White

Serving the campus of the University of Alabama since 1894

The Crimson White

Serving the campus of the University of Alabama since 1894

The Crimson White

Alabama baseball upsets top-seeded Arkansas Razorbacks, taking 2 of 3

CW / Jennifer Stroud
Alabama pitcher Zane Adams (#20) pitches the ball against Arkansas on Sunday.

Entering this series with the No. 1-seeded Arkansas Razorbacks after being swept last weekend at the hands of the Kentucky Wildcats, Alabama bounced back during the weekend to take two of three from the Razorbacks and upset the nation’s top team at Sewell-Thomas Stadium.  

Game 1 — Arkansas 5, Alabama 3 

Ace of the staff Ben Hess once again got a Game 1 start for the Crimson Tide to open the series. The right-hander struggled right off the bat in the first inning, surrendering a two-run home run and a solo home run as the Razorbacks went back-to-back off Hess to get a quick 3-0 lead.  

Arkansas added two runs in the top of the third, now getting after Hess to make it his fifth straight start allowing four or more runs. A single into right field, bringing in a run, letting the Razorbacks jump out to 5-0 lead with Alabama yet to get a hit.  

It took until the bottom of the eighth inning for Alabama to get its first run. 

Left fielder Ian Petrutz on a single through the left hole was able to bring in second baseman Bryce Eblin from second. Shortstop Justin Lebron followed Petrutz with a single of his own into left. With no outs in the inning, Alabama had runners on first and second and knocked the Arkansas reliever out of the game. Center fielder TJ McCants brought Alabama closer with a sacrifice F7 to score Petrutz. Striking for three, the Crimson Tide got itself back into the game, cutting the Razorback lead to just 5-3 going into the ninth.  

Alabama was not able to mount the comeback in the ninth, though, falling to the Razorbacks on a 5-3 final line.  

“I do not believe in moral victories — at the end of the day we lost 5-3 at home, and that’s not something that we’ll ever be okay with,” head coach Rob Vaughn said. “But I saw something different from our kids tonight. Our competitiveness was elite at the plate. Those guys competed their tails off while they were in the box.”  

Game 2 — Alabama 4, Arkansas 3 

In Game 2, the reliable southpaw Greg Farone made the start for Alabama, pitching a gem in his outing. 

It did not take long for the Crimson Tide to get on the board; first baseman Will Hodo gave a gift to the right-field ragers with his solo shot into right field. The Mississippi native broke the tie and opened the scoring in the bottom of the second. 

In the next bottom half, third baseman Gage Miller pulled a ball over the left field wall for a solo home run, extending the Alabama lead to 2-0. 

Farone kept the Razorbacks off the board until the top of the fifth, when he surrendered a two-out solo home run to pull Arkansas within 1. Despite the long ball, Farone finished the inning, going five innings total on the night with just the one earned run.  

The top of the sixth saw the Razorbacks bite back and draw equal with another solo home run, this time splitting the outfield and over the left-center field wall to make it 2-all.  

Stepping up big in the home half of the eighth, McCants put Alabama back in front on his RBI double to the right side, bringing home Lebron. The Crimson Tide went into the top of the ninth with a 3-2 lead.  

Not letting the Hogs die without a fight, Arkansas left fielder Peyton Holt took Alabama closer Alton Davis II over the left-center field wall with a solo shot to tie the game in the ninth at 3 apiece.  

It took extras for Alabama to get the job done as McCants sent the fans home happy to wrap up the A-Day festivities for the Crimson Tide. On a dribbler back to the mound, McCants reached on a throwing error by the Arkansas pitcher, which allowed pinch runner Mason Swinney to score, ending the game with a 4-3 Alabama win in 10 innings.  

“We have a really tough mindset, and the coaches do a really good job of making sure we don’t drag on from the past games,” McCants said on ending the five-game losing streak.  

Game 3 — Alabama 5, Arkansas 0 

With everything to play for in Game 3, freshman lefty Zane Adams got the ball for Alabama and made his best start of his young collegiate career. Adams went for eight scoreless innings, allowing only four hits and one walk, propelling the Crimson Tide to the rubber match win.  

Petrutz got the scoring going in Game 3 when in the bottom of the third, he placed the ball through the right side, allowing catcher Mac Guscette to cross the plate and score.  

Extending on the lead and in his first series back from an injury that sidelined him, second baseman Bryce Eblin went deep down the right field line for a two-run home run. The two insurance runs in the bottom of the seventh set the Crimson Tide up to keep the pressure on the Razorbacks for the closing innings.  

In the bottom of the eighth, right fielder Evan Sleight brought in a run with a sacrifice fly. The captain’s fly out allowed designated hitter Kade Snell to tag and score making it 4-0. Finally closing the scoring for the game, McCants used his feet on the basepath to make something happen, stealing third and coming home from a scoring error to extend the lead to 5-0.  

Davis came in in the top of the ninth and closed the door on the Razorbacks 5-0. He solidified the shutout of the No. 1 team in the nation for the first time in program history. The victory marked the third straight SEC series win of the season at Sewell-Thomas Stadium.  

The Crimson Tide will ride high into Tuesday, hosting the UAB Blazers for midweek action before hosting the Texas A&M Aggies for yet another SEC series that is slated to begin Thursday. 

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