Arkansas vs. Alabama Basketball Advance

Nate Allen

FAYETTEVILLE – Those Razorbacks rolling, 12-0 and unanimously No. 1 in the baseball polls just hit a couple of bumps heading into their SEC opening series.
After finishing a 3-game series Sunday at Louisiana Tech plus Tuesday’s game against Oklahoma at Baum-Walker Stadium, Arkansas brings a 12-2 record into this SEC opening series for both teams starting tonight as the Alabama Crimson Tide, 14-3, comes to Baum-Walker.
Game times are 6:30 tonight, 6:30 Saturday night and 2 p.m. Sunday.
Sunday’s game will be televised by the SEC Network.
After Tuesday evening’s 8-5 loss to Oklahoma following Sunday’s 2-0 loss at Louisiana Tech, Arkansas Coach Dave Van Horn was asked Tuesday if he’s concerned starting the SEC with momentum deflated.
“My concern has been about starting pitching, but we had pretty good starting pitching last weekend,” Van Horn said. “Now we had a midweek game and the starting pitching didn’t go well. The bullpen has been pretty good most of the season. It wasn’t so much tonight until the end of the game. We’re playing a good schedule and some really good teams so we know we’re going to lose games. Fought back (including overcoming a Friday deficit at Louisiana Tech) and won some games, maybe a game or two we shouldn’t have won. But we did.”
Ultimately, Van Horn likes what he’s seen from Benton’s Peyton Pallette, 1-0, 2.08 starting tonight, and fellow right-hander Zebulon Vermillion, 1-0, 2.60 and off his best outing in last Saturday’s 8-1 victory at Louisiana Tech, and lefty Lael Lockhart, 1-1, 3.00 and the pitching well hard-luck 2-0 loser Sunday at Louisiana Tech.
Vermillion and Lockhart are listed to start Saturday and Sunday against the Crimson Tide with Kevin Kopps, 3-0, 1.86 and closer Jaxon Wiggins, 1-0 and two saves and 0.00 ERA in five appearances ready in relief.
Van Horn is more concerned that some he counted on for big years aren’t hitting up to his expectations while Arkansas bats .267 as a team.
Transfer first baseman Brady Slavens, 3 for 4 with four RBI including a 2-run home run, and second baseman Robert Moore, .310 and a home run Tuesday, carried the bulk of the offense against Oklahoma.
“ We’re not nearly as good as we can be,” Van Horn said. “We’ve got some older guys hitting .250… .255… .245. Those guys have got to get it going. They know who they are. Those are our older guys that are supposed to lead us. Hopefully, we’ll kick it into gear.”
Regarding Coach Brad Bohannon’s Crimson Tide, Van Horn said, “They’re pitching really well. They’re scoring runs and playing solid defense. They’ve won 14 games already.”
Alabama’s two every weekend starting pitchers so far, Antoine Jean and Dylan Smith, are 2-0, with 1.45 ERA and 0-1, 2.13.
Tyler Ras, three starts, stands 2-1, 3.60.
Offensively, William Hamiter, .364 batting average, five doubles and 17 RBI, Zane Denton, .353, six home runs and 14 RBI, Jim Jarvis, .333, and Peyton Wilson, .268 with five home runs and 11 RBI, lead the Tide.

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