No. 21 Baseball Drops Series Finale To #13 Arkansas, 4-3
April 3, 2011
TUSCALOOSA, Ala. - The No. 21 ranked Alabama baseball team dropped the third game of the Southeastern Conference series to the No. 13 Arkansas Razorbacks, 4-3, on Sunday afternoon from Sewell-Thomas Stadium. Alabama left the tying run on third base and saw its seven-game conference winning streak come to an end with the loss.
"I thought Arkansas did a good job today, they put some hits together and I thought it was a well-played game on both sides," UA head coach Mitch Gaspard said. "I thought (Tucker) Hawley did a good job to compete today, and he got us through six innings. I thought (Trey) Pilkington gave us a chance, and in the ninth inning our best hitter came up with an opportunity to tie the game. You can't ask for a whole lot more than that."
Three Arkansas pitchers combined to hold the Crimson Tide (21-9, 7-2 SEC) to a season-low three hits, as the Razorback (19-8, 3-6 SEC) bullpen threw the final 5.2 innings without allowing a run on just one hit. Razorbacks' reliever Trent Daniel (1-0) earned his first win of the season, throwing 3.2 innings, allowing just one hit with one strikeout. Nolan Sanburn threw the final two innings for Arkansas for his third save of the year.
"Their closer Sanburn was really good, he got up to the mid-90s in those last two innings and made some pitches when he needed to," Gaspard added. "Still, I'm really encouraged with our team and the way they fight towards the end of games. As long as you keep putting yourself in those positions, you are going to have a lot of success."
Alabama starting pitcher Tucker Hawley took the loss and is now 5-2 on the season and drops to 2-1 in SEC play. Hawley threw 6.0 innings, allowing four earned runs on eight hits with six strikeouts. Trey Pilkington threw the final 3.0 innings for the Tide without allowing a run on two hits with one strikeout. Austen Smith, Josh Rosecrans and Brandt Hendricks had one hit each for Alabama.
Alabama struck first as freshman first baseman Austen Smith grounded out, allowing junior centerfielder Taylor Dugas to score. Junior designated hitter Josh Rosecrans then stepped up to the plate, singling to left field, bringing in junior shortstop Jared Reaves to give the Tide the 2-0 lead after one inning. Arkansas responded by scoring one run in the top of the second inning and another in the third to tie the game at 2-2. The Razorbacks then took the lead for good, scoring two runs in the top of the fourth on a RBI single from Tim Carver and a RBI double by Jacob Morris, making the score 4-2.
After two scoreless innings, Alabama was able to score one run in the fourth. Sophomore left fielder Andrew Miller reached first after being hit by a pitch and Hendricks' single down the left field line moved Miller to second. After Brett Booth's sacrifice bunt moved the runners up, junior second baseman James Tullidge grounded out to second base, plating Miller for the final run of the game.
With two outs and runners on first and third for the Tide, junior center fielder Taylor Dugas grounded out to shortstop for the final out of the game, as Arkansas won 4-3 after dropping the first two games of the series.
Alabama returns to action on Tuesday against the Samford Bulldogs with a 6:05 p.m. game from Sewell-Thomas Stadium. Starting pitchers for each team have not yet been announced.