Baseball embarrasses No. 7 Arkansas in regular season finale


Courtesy of UA Athletics

Alabama designated hitter Owen Diodati (16) slides into home plate in the Crimson Tide’s 18-5 victory over the No. 7 Arkansas Razorbacks on May 21 at Sewell-Thomas Stadium in Tuscaloosa, Alabama.

Austin Hannon | @austin_hannon1, Sports Editor

The No. 7 Arkansas Razorbacks (38-16, 18-12) are currently fighting for both the SEC West and a national seed in the NCAA Tournament. They didn’t look the part on Saturday, as the Alabama Crimson Tide (29-25, 12-17) humiliated the Razorbacks 18-5 to take Game 3 and the series in the final game of the regular season.

“Great day at the park for us,” Alabama head coach Brad Bohannon said. “Really proud of our kids. After yesterday, it would have been really easy to come out flat and go through the motions. We brought it and played really well.”

The Crimson Tide played a great game, but it was more of the Razorbacks doing the opposite. Arkansas couldn’t find the strike zone all day, and when it did, it went poorly.

Of 202 total pitches thrown by the Razorbacks, 44.1% were balls. Arkansas walked 14 batters and threw four wild pitches. In the field, the Razorbacks committed two errors.

In any given baseball game, you are given 27 at-bats. The Crimson Tide had 52, and took advantage.

“Arkansas is one of the better teams we’ve played this year,” Bohannon said. “I still feel that way. It just obviously wasn’t their day. They’re really good and they can really pitch.”

Alabama put up 5+ runs in three different innings. Left fielder William Hamiter had a monster day at the plate, going 2-for-4 with a home run and four RBIs. Bryce Eblin smashed a grand slam in the fifth, and totaled five RBIs on the day.

“Seeing those guys keep getting hits gives you a lot of confidence,” Hamiter said.

LHP Grayson Hitt was nowhere near perfect on the mound for the Crimson Tide, but he didn’t have to be. Hitt threw 85 pitches in just four innings, allowing three runs on seven hits. He walked three and struck out four.

Even after the regular season-ending embarrassing loss, Arkansas will enter the SEC Tournament as the No. 3 seed.

After Alabama clinched a spot in the tournament Friday night, the Crimson Tide could have earned anywhere from the No. 10 seed to the No. 12 seed. After Saturday’s results, the Crimson Tide will be the 11-seed.

The Crimson Tide will take on the 6-seeded Georgia Bulldogs (35-20, 15-15) on Tuesday morning at 9:30 a.m. CT on the SEC Network to kick-off the tournament.

“It’s kind of bittersweet,” Bohannon said. “I’ve been pretty confident in this group all year. I feel like we’ve underachieved. I feel like we’re a much better team than our record. We’re the same team that won nine in a row. We’re the same team that went to Ole Miss and swept them. We’re the same team that beat Tennessee Friday night at their place.”

“We know what we’re up against,” Hamiter said. “We know what’s in front of us, and we know what we have to do. Anything can happen in Hoover.”