Tuscaloosa, Ala. — Alabama scored in five of the first six innings while starting pitcher Brent Carter struck out a career-best 14 hitters as the Crimson Tide beat 15th-ranked Arkansas 10-2 Friday night at Sewell-Thomas Stadium.The loss dropped Arkansas to 30-10 overall and 11-8 in the Southeastern Conference. The loss was the third straight for Arkansas, matching its season high. Alabama improved to 29-13 overall and 10-9 in the SEC. The win was the 13th against the Razorbacks in the last 14 meetings and the 10th straight over the Hogs in Tuscaloosa.
Charley Boyce took the loss for Arkansas to fall to 4-3 on the season. Boyce lasted just one and two-thirds innings and allowed four runs, three earned, on five hits.
Carter earned the victory to improve to 7-4. Carter allowed two runs, earned, on six hits and retired 14 consecutive hitters during one stretch.
The Crimson Tide plated a pair of runs after taking advantage of an Arkansas error in the bottom of the first inning. Allen Rice tripled with one out and came home when Clay Goodwin’s throw home hit him in the back and rolled to the backstop. Adam Pavkovich who hit the ground ball to Goodwin advanced to second on the play and scored on a chopper through the right side for the 2-0 Alabama lead.
Alabama added to its lead in the second inning. Grant Redding walked and moved to second when Charlie Lyons was hit by a pitch. Travis Garner advanced both runners with a sacrifice bunt. Rice then hit a bloop single to center to plate Redding and push the Alabama lead to 3-0.
Brandon Avalos, who replaced Beau Hearod, gave the Tide a 4-0 lead with a single through the right side that plated Rice and moved Pavkovich (fielder’s choice) to third. Avalos’ RBI single chased Boyce after only an inning and two-thirds of work. It was Boyce’s shortest outing of the season. Kyler Pomeroy relieved Boyce and forced Zac Welch to fly out to left to end the inning.
Alabama increased its lead in the fourth inning. Pavkovich reached on a fielder’s choice and moved to second a throwing error by Pomeroy on a failed pickoff attempt. Following a walk to Avalos, Welch singled up the middle to plate Pavkovich and push the lead to 5-0. With two outs and two on Al Hecklinski gave the Tide a 8-0 lead with a three-run home run to right field. It was Hecklinski’s 10th home run of the season.
With two outs in the fifth the Crimson Tide added to its lead. Rice came around to score after hitting a double to left that fell in between Scott Hode and Nick Pitts. Pavkovich brought Rice in with a single up the middle to make it a 9-0 game.
After giving up a pair of hits in the first inning, Carter settled into a groove and retired 14 straight Razorbacks. Carter struck out five of six batters in the third and fourth innings including fanning the side in the fourth.
Hode broke up the string of batters retired with a single to left to begin the sixth inning.
Alabama made it a 10-0 game when Hecklinski singled home Welch (double) in the bottom of the sixth inning.
Ryan Fox broke up the shut out bid with a solo home run to begin the seventh. It was Fox’s 16th home run of the year and 30th for his career, tying him for eighth on the Arkansas career chart with Eric Hinske (1996-98).
Arkansas plated a run in the eighth to cut the deficit to 10-2. Brett Hagedorn walked and moved to second on a single to left by Judd Kindle. Haas Pratt, who had three of Arkansas’ seven hits, doubled to left to score Hagedorn.
Arkansas and Alabama continue the series with a 4 p.m. Saturday at Sewell-Thomas Stadium.