Fayetteville, Ark. – Alabama scored three runs in the top of the seventh to break open a tie game come away with a 6-3 win over the Arkansas Razorbacks in the Friday night series opener.Arkansas fell to 18-10 overall and 3-4 in the Southeastern Conference. Alabama improved to 19-9 overall and 3-4 in the SEC.
Matt Stallings (2-1) took the loss after giving up three runs, all earned, on four hits in one inning of relief work. Clint Brannon started for the Razorbacks and lasted four and two-thirds innings, allowing three runs, one earned, on four hits with three strikeouts.
Seth Johnson (2-0) earned the win in relief of starter Wade LeBlanc. Johnson went four innings allowing on four hits with three walks and four strikeouts.
Taylor Tankersley earned his third save of the season after getting the final two outs of the game.
Danny Hamblin put the Razorbacks on the scoreboard with a solo home run in the bottom of the first inning. It was Hamblin’s third home run of the season and it came on a 1-1 pitch from LeBlanc.
The Razorbacks loaded the bases with two outs following Hamblin’s first-inning bomb. LeBlanc was able to work out of the jam when he got Blake Parker to fly out to left to end the inning with the Hogs leading 1-0.
Alabama took the lead in the fourth after an error by leftfielder Jake Dugger. Carlos Sosa singled and Evan Bush walked to open the inning. Zac Welch then singled to left to plate Sosa and tie the game. On the play, Dugger overran the ball allowing it to roll nearly to the wall and let Bush score to give the Tide a 2-1 lead.
The Tide plated another run in the fourth when Allen Rice’s sacrifice bunt was booted by Haas Pratt. Welch broke for home on the bunt and scored easily to make it a 3-1 game.
The Razorbacks mounted a rally in the bottom of the fourth when Parker singled and Brady Toops was hit by a pitch. Devin Day moved the runners to second and third with a sac bunt. LeBlanc then got Dugger to fly out to right for the second out of the inning. LeBlanc ended the scoring threat when he got Hamblin to strike out swinging.
The Razorbacks pulled within one thanks to an Alabama error in the fifth inning. With the bases loaded and one out, Parker flied out to right. On the relay home, Hode was caught in a rundown and Pratt broke for home. Welch threw wild to home allowing Pratt to score and make it a 3-2 game.
Still in fifth with the bases loaded, a passed ball by catcher Nick Richardson allowed Hode to score the tying run. Johnson then got Day to ground out to end the inning.
Alabama regained the lead in the seventh on Sosa’s double to left that plated Rocky Scelfo from second base. Belcher moved to third on the play and scored on Bush’s ground out to second base that gave the Tide a 5-3 lead.
Still in the seventh, Welch gave Alabama a 6-3 lead with a sharp single up the middle that scored Sosa from third.
Johnson and Tankersley would hold the Razorbacks in check through the final three innings to preserve the win. It was Alabama’s fifth straight win over the Razorbacks.
The teams continue their series Saturday. First pitch is slated for 2:05 p.m. Charley Boyce (3-1) will take the mound for Arkansas, while Brandon Belcher (2-3) will get the start for Alabama.