Knoxville, Tenn – Nick Crowe’s one-out double in the bottom of the 11th inning drove in Josh Alley to give Tennessee a 4-3 victory over the Arkansas Razorbacks Sunday afternoon at Lindsey Nelson Stadium.Arkansas fell to 33-16 overall and 13-14 in the Southeastern Conference. The loss completed a series sweep by Tennessee and was the seventh straight loss on the road in league play for Arkansas. The Vols improved to 30-21 overall and 13-14 in the SEC.
With the loss, Arkansas dropped to the eighth seed for the SEC Tournament and holds a one and a half game lead over Florida with three conference games remaining for each team.
Ryan Fox (0-1) took the loss for Arkansas after going a third of an inning for starter Charley Boyce. Fox allowed one run, unearned, on two hits with one strikeout. Boyce pitched 10 innings, a career-best, allowing three runs, two earned, on nine hits with six strikeouts.
Joey Andrews (3-1) earned the victory for Tennessee after pitching one inning without allowing a hit. Andrews was the fifth Tennessee pitcher of the day.
With one out in the 11th and Alley on first, Crowe hit a sharp line drive to right. Andrew Wishy booted the ball attempting to field it which allowed Alley to score from first and give the Vols the victory.
Arkansas plated a run in the first inning when Haas Pratt singled home Chris Williams. Williams singled up the middle and moved to second on a single to right by Wishy. Pratt then gave the Hogs a 1-0 lead with his fourth hit of the series.
Boyce worked out of a first-inning jam when Alley singled and stole second with only one out. Boyce got Javi Herrera to fly out to center for the second out as Alley tagged and moved to third. Alley was left stranded at third when Crowe bounced back to Boyce for the third out.
Tennessee tied the game in the bottom of the second inning when Kyle Norrid singled home Walter Sevilla. Sevilla singled and stole second to get in scoring position. The Vols took the lead in the second when Jimbo Watson doubled to left. Norrid was waved home and appeared to be out on the relay throw from Clay Goodwin at third, but the ball was dropped by catcher Brady Toops which allowed the go-ahead run to score.
Still in the second inning, Tennessee took a 3-1 lead when Brian Cleveland single to right to score Watson.
Arkansas loaded the bases in the top of the fourth inning. Pratt and Goodwin each singled to open the inning and Toops was hit by a pitch to load the bases for Fox. Tennessee starter Brandon Crowe got Fox to strike out for the first out, but then threw a wild pitch to Scott Bridges to score Pratt from third.
Bridges then singled to right to score Goodwin and tie the game at 3-3. Crowe then struck Scott Hode out and was lifted for Dustin Johnson with two outs. Johnson fanned Pitts to end the inning with a pair of runners stranded on base.
The Razorbacks mounted a scoring threat in the top of the seventh inning. Bridges and Hode were each hit by a pitch to put two on with no outs for Pitts. Pitts put down a bunt that was fielded by Johnson who threw to third to get Bridges for the first out of the inning.
Williams then chopped back to the pitcher who threw to second to get Pitts for the second out, while Hode moved to third on the play. Wishy then field out to right on a ball that was caught by the centerfielder after Watson tripped drifting back on the ball.
In the top of the ninth Fox singled but was thrown out at second on a fielder’s choice by Bridges. Hode then put down a sacrifice bunt to move Bridges to second. But Bridges was stranded at second when Pitts grounded out to first.
Alex Suarez singled with one out in the bottom of the ninth to snap Boyce’s string at 14 straight batters retired. Boyce then forced Sevilla to hit into a double-play to end the inning and send the game into the 10th inning.
Norried opened the bottom of the 10th with a single to left off Boyce. Watson then bunted for a single to put runners on first and second with no outs. Cleveland struck out for the first out of the inning to bring Czarniecki to the plate. On his 127th pitch of the game, Boyce forced Czarniecki to hit into an inning-ending double-play.
In the top of the 11th the Razorbacks got a runner in scoring position when Toops was hit by a pitch for the second time and moved to second on a wild pitch. Fox then put down a sacrifice bunt to move Toops to third with one out. Bridges hit a sharp grounder to first for the second out and bring Hode to the plate. Hode flied out to center to end the inning with Toops stranded at third and set up Tennessee’s 11th-inning victory.
Arkansas returns to action Tuesday with a 6:30 p.m. game against Southwest Missouri in Springfield.