HOOVER, Ala. — The new venue and setting hardly changed anything for the Diamond Hogs on Wednesday afternoon, as Arkansas lost its third consecutive game against the Alabama Crimson Tide in a 4-3 decision.
The loss put the Razorbacks in the losers’ bracket of the double-elimination Southeastern Conference Tournament, so the next loss will be the last game before the NCAA Tournament field is released.
The Hogs came out in sloppy fashion defensively, allowing two unearned runs to score in the first four innings.
With the bases loaded in the second inning, Alabama left fielder Tommy Seidl bounced into a fielder’s choice, but an errant throw from junior second baseman Robert Moore produced a second run on the play.
In the top of the third, sophomore third baseman Cayden Wallace made a long run into foul territory to make a play, but the runner on third tagged up to make it 3-0.
Senior shortstop Jalen Battles ended Alabama right-hander Jacob McNairy’s shutout bid with a solo home run in the bottom of the frame
The Crimson Tide loaded the bases again in the fourth, and graduate catcher Michael Turner’s wide throw on a backpick to third cost the Razorbacks another run.
Arkansas picked up momentum in the sixth when senior designated hitter Brady Slavens reached first base on a dropped third strike. Three pitches later, graduate right fielder Chris Lanzilli took Alabama lefty Jake Leger deep to left-center, making it a one-run game.
Despite five combined innings of scoreless relief from seniors Kole Ramage and Evan Taylor, the Hogs could not hold onto the momentum they generated in the sixth. In the last three frames, they managed just one hit as they searched for the game-tying run.
The Razorbacks are slated to play the loser of Thursday’s Florida-Texas A&M contest. No start time has been announced due to forecasted inclement weather.