Sun April 14, 2024

By Lance Hawley

Tide Downs Hogs on Sunday to Take Series
By Otis Kirk

No. 16 Alabama defeated No. 1 Arkansas 5-0 on Sunday take the series and hand the Hogs second defeat in a row.

Arkansas (30-5, 12-3) won the opener Friday night 5-3, but then fell Saturday night 4-3 in extra innings. Dave Van Horn talked about Alabama's Zane Adams who worked eight innings, allowed just four hits, walked one and struck out five.

"He threw a lot of strikes and kept some guys off balance," Van Horn said. "We let some good pitches go by and swung at bad pitches. Got ourselves out a lot. But give him credit. He was ahead in the count, and we didn’t get him early. We hit some balls hard early and they went at people. I think our hitters got a little frustrated, pressing a little bit. He walked one hitter, (Wehiwa) Aloy, and then (Alton) Davis walked Aloy again in the ninth. But they didn’t give us anything, and we didn’t hit very well obviously."

Alabama (24-12, 6-9) scored one run in the bottom of the third then added two in each of the seventh and eighth innings. That was more than enough for Adams.

“It felt like nothing could go wrong,” Adams said. “I wasn’t thinking about where I was throwing the ball, I wasn’t thinking about anything, I was just letting it go and it was going where it needed to go. I just kind of got in a groove.”

Alabama Coach Rob Vaughn was very complimentary of the Razorbacks even after his team won a pair of games and the series.

“That’s why that team came in here number one in the country,” Vaughn said. “Because they pitch it at an extremely high level. They play elite-level defense. They take runs off the board with their defense.  

“We just kept coming and didn’t let it fluster us and we just kept having good at bats. Bryce Eblin’s swing was a big one to put us up three. Those two runs in the eighth were huge. It lets you breath a little bit and let you get AD in the game with a little bit of a cushion.”

Jared Sprague-Lott and Ben McLaughlin each had two hits for the Hogs. Brady Tygart (3-1) took the loss. He worked five innings allowing one run, five "hits, two walks and struck out three.

"I thought he battled, competed," Van Horn said. "Really did not have his breaking ball for the first three innings. We were a little concerned, because he couldn’t land it. Maybe one time in three innings. Then the last couple of innings he started throwing a little more around the plate, got a strikeout or two with it. He was able to get us through five just down a run. Hey, that’s all you can ask. He did his job."

All wasn't lost for the Hogs this weekend as Peyton Holt moved to left field and had three hits and a big home run on Saturday night with two outs in the ninth to tie the game.

"I thought he played great the two games he played in," Van Horn said. "His first at-bat he hit a line drive to center, right center. When it left the bat, we thought it was gong to drop. There were two outs and a runner on second. (TJ) McCants ran in and made a nice catch. He just missed another ball when he flew out to left pretty deep. Or center, left center. 

"I liked his approach at the plate. It was really good to see as we’re trying to figure out what to do over there. Right now I’d say it’s his spot."

Arkansas will be at home Tuesday night to host Texas Tech on ESPN2 with the first pitch set for 7 p.m.