Baseball Falls to No. 4 Arkansas, 4-3, in 12 Innings
March 17, 2012
FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. - In the Southeastern Conference opener, it took three extra innings to decide the game between Alabama and No 4-ranked Arkansas on Friday night at Baum Stadium. Arkansas' Jake Wise drew two-out walk with the bases loaded to push in the game-winning run, as the Razorbacks defeated the Crimson Tide, 4-3, in 12 innings.
Arkansas (17-2, 1-0 SEC) got a single and three walks in the 12th inning for to produce the game winning run. In his first appearance of the season, reliever Josh Rosecrans (0-1) allowed a single and a walk before giving way to Adam Windsor. Windsor walked Matt Vinson to load the bases, then with a 3-2 count on Wise, he missed high and away to push the final run across.
"You walk away from tonight disappointed with a loss, but I thought the effort from our team tonight was outstanding and we learned something about our team," UA head baseball coach Mitch Gaspard said. "We competed like crazy against the No. 4 team in the country. A lot of credit goes to Arkansas, they have a tremendous pitching staff, and we knew that coming in. We put ourselves in position to win the game twice, and the next step now it to finish the game and get the win."
Barrett Astin threw the final 3.1 innings for the Razorbacks to get the victory, as he improved to 2-0 on the season. Rosecrans pitched the Tide (8-10, 0-1 SEC) out of a jam in the 11th inning, as he threw 1.2 innings, allowing one run on two hits with a walk and a strikeout.
Offensively, Alabama was led by freshman catcher Ben Moore, who was 3-for-6 with three singles to extend his hitting streak to nine games. Hunter Gregory had a pair of hits, including an RBI double in the ninth inning. Taylor Dugas was 1-for-5 with a single in the fourth, extending his hit streak to 11 games.
"We're starting to move in the right direction, and if we continue to play the game like we did tonight, we will win a lot of ballgames," Gaspard said. "Some kids stepped up and really laid it on the line tonight in a tough environment. This is one of the toughest places to play in the country, and our guys played with a lot of confidence and didn't break down. You never want to lose a game that way, and outside of the loss, tonight was a very positive step for our ball club."
Alabama used six pitchers in the game, as starting pitcher Charley Sullivan lasted 5.1 innings, before giving way to Jon Keller for two. Jake Hubbard lasted 1.2 innings and Ian Gardeck threw one before giving way to Rosecrans for the final 1.2 innings. It was the first appearance of the season for Rosecrans. The final pitcher for Alabama, Adam Windsor walked both batters he faced in the 12th inning. The six Alabama pitchers allowed 12 total walks in the game.
Wise was 2-for-4, with a run scored and an RBI and Jacob Morris and Sam Bates had two hits each for the Razorbacks.
It looked like Alabama would take an early two-run lead, but Arkansas left fielder Matt Vinson reached over the fence to rob Josh Rosecrans from his third home run of the week, to end the first inning.
In the third, Jon Kelton was hit by a pitch and Taylor Dugas singled, to extend his hit streak to 11 games, to put runners on first and third. A balk by Baxendale with runners on the corners allowed the runners to move up 90 feet for the first run of the game. The single also extended Dugas' streak of reaching base to 30 consecutive, as he's reached in all 18 games this season and the final 12 of the 2011 season.
Arkansas answered with a run in the bottom of the third, when a single up the middle by Tim Carver plated Jake Wise to tie the game, 1-1. Arkansas threated to take the lead by loading the bases with one out later in the inning. With the bags full of Hogs, Sullivan got Ficociello to pop out to third and then he struck out Bates to end the threat.
UA threated in the fifth, but with the bases loaded Jared Reaves' ground ball up the middle was fielded by the Arkansas shortstop Carver, who flipped to second for the force out to end the inning.
In the sixth, Alabama threated again, but failed to push a run across. When Ben Moore extended his hit streak to nine games with a single to left field, it put a pair aboard with no outs. A wild pitch moved the runner up 90 feet and Roberts was hit by a pitch to load the bases with one out. Pinch-hitter Austen Smith grounded into an inning ending 6-4-3 double play to end the threat.
The Tide manufactured a run in the eighth to go ahead, 2-1. Reaves singled to open the inning and moved to second on a sac bunt by Rosecrans. After a groundout to the pitcher allowed Reaves to move up to third, Arkansas reliever Colby Suggs threw a wild pitch that allowed Reaves to score.
The Razorbacks answered in the eight when Bo Bigham doubled high off the left center field wall with runners on first and second. Ficociello scored from second, but a perfect relay from Hunter Gregory to Reaves to Moore cut down pinch-runner Brian Anderson at the plate.
Alabama regained the lead in the ninth when Gregory doubled down the right field line to score Brandt Hendricks from second base. The Razorbacks answered in the bottom half of the inning, when an RBI double by Jacob Morris drove in Vinson to tie the game and send it into extra innings.
The Crimson Tide and No. 4 Razorbacks will continue the three-game SEC series on Saturday. First pitch scheduled for 3 p.m. CST from Baum Stadium, and will be televised on CSS with Joe Davis and Jay Powell providing the commentary. Alabama will start freshman left-handed Taylor Guilbeau (1-1, 3.98) and Arkansas will throw right-handed pitcher Ryne Stanek (4-0, 1.12).
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