TUSCALOOSA, Ala. – Arkansas jumped out to a 4-2 lead and the Razorback bullpen threw 5.2 innings of scoreless baseball to lift Arkansas to a 4-3 win in the series finale over No. 25 Alabama on a beautiful Sunday afternoon at Sewell-Thomas Stadium.
The Razorbacks are now 19-8 overall and 3-6 in Southeastern Conference play. Alabama, which took two of three games in the series, drops to 21-9 and 7-2 in the SEC.
The Arkansas bullpen was the story of the game, holding the Alabama offense scoreless over the final 5.2 innings to preserve a 4-3 win. Trent Daniel and Nolan Sanburn combined to give up just one hit in a scoreless 5.2 innings. Daniel earned his first collegiate win, pitching 3.2 innings and giving up just a hit with one strikeout. Sanburn earned his third save of the season, pitching two hitless innings.
Randall Fant started for Arkansas and received a no decision, allowing three runs, two earned, on two hits in 3.1 innings.
Alabama starter Tucker Hawley took the loss to drop to 5-2 on the season. Hawley gave up four runs on eight hits with six strikeouts in six innings.
Collin Kuhn closed out a strong weekend at the plate, going 3-for-4 with a run scored. For the series, Kuhn hit .692 (9-for-13) with a homer, three RBI and three stolen bases.
Sam Bates, Tim Carver, Eric Fisher and Jacob Morris each added a hit and a RBI in the victory.
Alabama managed just three hits in the loss. Brandt Hendricks, Josh Rosecrans and Austen Smith each had a hit. Rosecrans, Smith and Tullidge each recorded a RBI.
The Crimson Tide struck first, plating two runs in the bottom of the first. Taylor Dugas led off the inning with a walk. With one out, Jared Reaves reached base and Dugas moved to second when James McCann was called for catcher’s interference. A double steal moved runners to second and third with one out. Smith drove in the first run of the game with a groundout to short. Rosecrans then singled to left field to bring home Reaves to put Alabama in front 2-0.
Arkansas got a run back in the top of the second. Matt Reynolds and McCann started the inning with back-to-back singles. Fisher then lined a single to center field to score Reynolds to trim the lead to 2-1.
The Razorbacks tied the game with a run in the top of the third. Kuhn singled to start the two-out rally and then stole second base. Bates brought home Kuhn with a double to the right-center field alley to tie the game at two.
Arkansas grabbed the lead with a pair of runs in the fourth. McCann started the frame with a walk and moved to second when Fisher grounded out to first. A groundout to the pitcher by Kyle Robinson advanced McCann to third. Carver lined a single to center field to score McCann and put the Razorbacks in front 3-2. After Carver swiped second base, Morris lined a double down the right field line to bring home Carver and stretch the lead to two.
The Razorback bullpen held Alabama in check for the rest of the game, but the Crimson Tide did make things interesting in the ninth, advancing the tying run to third. Andrew Miller drew a walk to start the inning and then moved to second on a sacrifice bunt by Brandt Hendricks. A ground out to the pitcher by Brett Booth advanced Miller to third. Pinch hitter David Kindred was hit by a pitch to put runners at the corners for Alabama’s top hitter, Dugas. Sanburn got Dugas to ground out to shortstop to end the ball game and give Arkansas the one-run win.
Arkansas returns home on Wednesday to host Texas State. First pitch at Baum Stadium is set for 6:35 p.m.