Trailing by a run heading into the ninth inning, Alabama baseball rallied for four runs and a 7-4 win on Sunday for the series sweep of the Arkansas Razorbacks in Fayetteville.
Georgie Salem, who had four runs batted in on the day including a first inning home run, had a two-out single in the ninth that put Alabama up 5-4 after the Tide had given up a two-run eighth-inning homer to trail 4-3 going into the final frame.
Gene Wood started the rally with a one-out single and Daniel Cucjen popped a single in the next at-bat. After a second out, Cobie Vance drew a walk to load the bases and bring Salem to the plate. He slapped a single up the middle to drive in two runs, and he and Vance advanced to scoring position on the throw home.
Chandler Taylor walked to load the bases and Will Haynie – who would have eight RBI in the three-game series – singled to right center to score two and give the Tide a 7-4 advantage going to the final inning.
Thomas Burrows (2-0) earned the win, retiring Arkansas in the ninth. Burrows entered in the eighth and allowed the home run, but his offense picked him up to help the Crimson Tide reliever notch his second win of the season.
Starter Nick Eicholtz had another quality start, although he did not figure in the decision. He pitched six innings, allowing two runs, one earned, and three hits and three walks while striking out four. Eicholtz has allowed one or no earned runs in seven of his nine SEC starts.
Alabama improved to 30-21, including 15-12 in Southeastern Conference games. The sweep assured Bama of no worse than a .500 conference record this season as the Tide will host South Carolina in the final league series of the year beginning Thursday. Arkansas fell to 26-25, including a 7-20 conference record. The sweep was Alabama’s first in Fayetteville since 2000. The Razorbacks have now lost nine consecutive games, the longest Arkansas losing streak in baseball since 1965.
The Tide jumped out front in the top of the first for the third consecutive game, using a solo home run from Salem to make it a 1-0 game. Alabama homered in the first inning of all three games on the weekend. Arkansas took the lead in the bottom of the second, using two walks and a double.
Alabama evened it up in the top of the third, using a one-out walk from Cucjen and a single by Keith Holcombe to put runners on the corners. One out later, Salem delivered his second hit, a double to left to score Cucjen and tie it at 2-2.
The Tide regained the lead in the top of the eighth courtesy of back-to-back wild pitches. Vance drew a one-out walk and Taylor singled to put runners at first and second with two down. A wild pitch moved the runners up a base, and a wild pitch on the next throw allowed Vance to score and give Bama the 3-2 lead.
With one down in the bottom of the eighth, a bobbled ground ball put a man on. A two-run homer put the Razorbacks up 4-3, setting the scene for the Bama rally.