Tuscaloosa, Ala. — The Alabama Crimson Tide erased a three-run deficit with six two-out runs in the bottom of the seventh inning to come away with a 6-3 victory over No. 15 Arkansas Saturday afternoon.The loss dropped Arkansas to 30-11 overall and 11-9 in the Southeastern Conference. The loss extended Arkansas’ losing streak to a season-high four games and was the 11th straight against Alabama in Tuscaloosa. Alabama improved to 30-13 overall and 11-9 in the SEC.
The loss also secured the series victory for Alabama, marking the first time this season Arkansas has lost an SEC road series.
Scott Roehl (6-2) took the loss for Arkansas after giving up four runs, all earned, on three hits in one and two-thirds inning of work. Roehl entered the game in the sixth inning after starter Jay Sawatski allowed just one hit in five innings of work.
Taylor Tankersley (6-2) earned the win for Alabama. Tankersley pitched seven and one-third innings allowing three runs, all earned, on five hits with seven strikeouts. Brian Reed earned his 11th save after pitching the final one and two-third innings without allowing a hit.
Ryan Fox gave the Hogs a 1-0 lead in the top of the second inning. Fox hit his SEC-leading 17th home run of the season and second of the series to give the Razorbacks the early lead. It marked the fifth time this season Fox has hit home runs in back-to-back games.
Fox again went yard, this time with Haas Pratt (single) aboard in the top of the fourth to push the Arkansas lead to 3-0. It was Fox’s second dinger of the game and 18th of the season. The 18 home runs moved Fox into a tie for third on the single-season list with Andy Skeels who hit 18 home runs in 1987. The two-run blast gave Fox 32 for his career which tied him with Troy Eklund (1986-89) for seventh place on the Arkansas all-time chart.
The multiple home run game was the third for Fox this season and marked the second time this year he hit home runs in consecutive at bats. Fox also hit home runs in consecutive at bats against Vanderbilt on April 12.
In his first start of the season, Sawatski gave the Razorbacks a solid performance. The Little Rock, Ark., native retired nine of the first 10 batters of the game and did not allow a hit until the fourth inning. Sawatski was pulled after five innings of shutout ball for Roehl.
After being held scoreless through six innings, Alabama mounted a game-winning rally in the bottom of the seventh inning. With two outs, Zac Welch singled up the middle and came around to score on a double to left-center by Michael Meiners. The Crimson Tide narrowed the gap to 3-2 when pinch-hitter Ryan Beagle double down the leftfield line to plate Meiners.
After walking Charlie Lyons to put runners on first and second with two outs, Roehl was pulled for Gardner. Travis Garner laced a double down the third base line to plate Beagle and even the game at 3-3.
On the ensuing pitch Allen Rice blooped a double between Scott Bridges and Andrew Wishy in right field to score John Marshall (pinch runner) and Garner for a 5-3 lead. Adam Pavkovich then hit the fifth double of the inning, and third straight, off the wall in center to score Rice and give the Tide a 6-3 advantage.
Arkansas and Alabama conclude the weekend series with a 2 p.m. game Sunday. Arkansas then returns to Fayetteville for a Tuesday game against Missouri Southern at 6:30 p.m.