Stuart McNair

Struggling Alabama hosts hot Arkansas in weekend baseball

Last year, Alabama swept Arkansas in Fayetteville

What a difference a year makes. Last season, Alabama swept Arkansas in baseball in Fayetteville. This year, most Crimson Tide partisans are hoping the Razorbacks don’t flip that this weekend.

Alabama has two series down and only one victory and now the Crimson Tide – tied for last in the bottom of the Southeastern Conference Western Division – is preparing for Arkansas – tied for the lead in the SEC West.

Alabama (12-13 overall, 1-5 SEC) hosts Arkansas (20-5, 5-1) beginning at 6 p.m. CDT Friday at Sewell-Thomas Stadium. Saturday’s game at 7 p.m. and Sunday’s game at 3 will both be televised on SEC Network.

The Razorbacks are tied for 21st in the nation.

The Crimson Tide will call on its regular SEC weekend rotation of Jake Walters, Dylan Duarte and Nick Eicholtz. Walters, a right-handed junior, will start Friday’s series opener and is followed by sophomore left-hander Duarte on Saturday. Eicholtz will get the nod in Sunday’s series finale against the Razorbacks. The Razorbacks will used a pair of right-handers in the first two games of the weekend with Sunday’s starter still to be announced. Sophomore Blaine Knight will get the call on Friday followed by junior Trevor Stephan in Saturday’s matchup.

The Crimson Tide is 1-3 over its last four games. Alabama came out on top in the series opener at No. 7 South Carolina before falling in the final two games of the weekend in Columbia. Most recently, Bama suffered a 4-3 loss to 18th-ranked Auburn in the annual MAX Capital City Classic in Montgomery on Tuesday.

Alabama and Arkansas will meet for the 83rd time on Friday with the Crimson Tide holding a 46-36 advantage in the all-time series, and a 23-12 mark at home against the Razorbacks.

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