FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. – Despite being out-hit 12-3, Alabama earned its first league road victory of the season with a 6-5 win at Arkansas on Friday night in the opener of a three-game Southeastern Conference series at Baum Stadium.
The win was the seventh in a row for the Crimson Tide (24-16, 6-10) in the series while the Razorbacks (16-21, 2-12 SEC) saw their school-record home and conference losing streaks stretched to 10 and 12, respectively. The Hogs fell to 0-7 in home league games this season.
Scott Murphy (5-1) earned the win for the Crimson Tide, giving up five runs (four earned) on 11 hits while striking out seven and walking one in 8 1/3 innings. Alabama reliever Lance Cormier recorded the final two outs of the ninth to earn his second save.
Cliff Lee (4-2) took the loss for the Hogs despite holding the Tide to three hits in 8 1/3 innings. Lee gave up six runs (five earned), walked six and struck out seven.
Alabama got what proved to be a needed insurance run in the ninth when UA second baseman Bryan King overthrew first base on a potential inning-ending double play ball, allowing Brent Boyd to score from second for a 6-3 Crimson Tide advantage.
Arkansas cut the lead to 6-5 in the bottom of the ninth with two runs on three hits, including the fourth hit of the game by Greg Blum. But Cormier got Scott Crossett to ground out to shortstop to end the game on a close play at first base.
Blum’s four hits, including two doubles, were more than the entire Alabama team and matched a career high for the senior catcher.
Arkansas led 1-0 after one inning on Blum’s RBI double, but the Tide exploited two walks, a hit batsman and three hits for five runs in the top of the second. The Hogs scored once in the fifth on an RBI single by Jeff Hoefler and once in the sixth on Jeff Fletcher’s sacrifice fly.
The Hogs and Crimson Tide continue the series Saturday at 3 p.m. CT with Fox Sports Net South televising the game regionally.