Hogs Takes Game Two

FAYETTEVILLE, Arkansas -- The No. 14 Arkansas Razorbacks scored nine runs in the first two innings en route to a 13-6 series-clinching win over the No. 6 University of Alabama in front of 7,256 chilly fans at Baum Stadium on Saturday.

The Razorbacks clinched the series with its early scoring barrage and moved into a second-place tie with Ole Miss in the SEC Western Division race, just two games behind Alabama.

Alabama (34-15, 15-8 SEC) falls into a first-place tie with Kentucky (15-8) in the overall SEC standings with seven games to play. The Wildcats have take the first two games of their series against Ole Miss this weekend in Lexington.

Arkansas (32-15, 13-10 SEC) moves into a second-place tie in the SEC West with Ole Miss and a third-place tie overall with the Rebels and South Carolina (13-10). The Gamecocks have also lost both game in its series at Georgia.

The Razorbacks opened the game with nine runs in the first two innings, scoring five runs in the first and four more runs in the second off losing pitcher Bernard Robert.

Danny Hamblin plated the first run of the game with an RBI single to left, his team-leading 60th RBI of the season. Logan Forsythe, who won the game with an 11th inning single on Friday, ripped a bases-loaded single up the middle to give the Hogs a 3-0 lead. Brian Walker capped the inning with a two-run double to right-center to make it a 5-0 game.

The Razorbacks continue to rough up Robert and the Tide with four more runs on four hits in the second inning to take a 9-0 lead. The nine-run deficit is the largest incurred by the Crimson Tide in 49 games this season.

Jake Dugger plated the first run with a two-out RBI to make it a 6-0 game. Forsythe followed with a two-run triple and Walker capped the scoring for the second inning in a row with a base hit to right as the Hogs took a 9-0 lead.

Forsythe was 2-for-4 with three runs scored and career-high four RBI. Walker was 3-for-3 with two runs scored and three RBI. Hamblin added three hits and one RBI for the Hogs.

"The game got of hand early," Alabama head coach Jim Wells said. "That is the first time this season someone has really jumped on us like that. I thought if we could have kept the game 5-0 we would make a run. We gave up the four, two-out runs in the second inning and could not overcome that."

Robert (6-4) suffered his second straight loss and third in his last four starts in his shortest outing of the season. Robert allowed eight runs on seven hits in 1 2/3 innings, with three walks and two strikeouts.

The nine runs were more than enough for Arkansas junior right-hander Darryl Maday, who was making his first SEC start of the season. Maday (1-0) held Alabama to one run and five hits in six hits and needed only 72 pitches. He added three strikeouts and walked none.

Alabama showed some signs of life in the fourth inning with one run on three hits to cut the deficit to 9-1. Downs and Avila led off the inning with back-to-back singles and Downs scored on Bush's one-out single to center. Rhoden then rapped into an inning-ending double play.

The Razorbacks added to their lead with another two-out run in the fifth on Gentry's RBI single to extend the lead to 10-1.

Alabama climbed back into the game as they scored five runs on five hits against four different Arkansas pitchers in the seventh inning to cut the lead to 10-6.

Senior first baseman Spencer Pennington started the rally with a one-out, solo home run down the right field line off Brett Bollman. It was his first home run since the 2002 season. Brandon Belcher followed with a single to chase Bollman.

UA reliever James Gilbert then walked Greg Paiml and Emeel Salem and Matt Downs followed with back-to-back RBI singles to chase Gilbert and cut the Arkansas lead to 10-4. Salem's RBI single extended his hitting streak to 11 consecutive games.

Chris Rhoads then replaced Gilbert and retired only one of the three batters he faced. Freshman DH Alex Avila drew a walk to load the bases and senior catcher Kody Valverde lifted a sac fly to left to scored Salem and make the score 10-5. Senior second baseman Evan Bush smashed a double into the left field corner to score Downs and send Avila to third as Bama had closed the gap to 10-6.

"The guys came back like they always do and I am proud of them for that," Wells said. "We gave ourselves a chance."

That is as close as the Tide would get as left-hander Devin Collis retired Rhoden to end the inning and preserve the lead. Rhoden made the first and third out of the inning and finished the game 0-for-5 to snap his team-high 11-game hitting streak.

Any momentum the Crimson Tide picked up in the top of the inning was lost when the Hogs scored two unearned runs in the bottom of the seventh to take a 12-6 lead.

Collis retired Alabama in order in the eighth and ninth innings for his seventh save of the year. In two games in the series, Collis has retired 12 of the 13 UA batters he as faced.

Arkansas tacked on another two-out run in the eighth against Jordan Davis. After back-to-back two out walks to Forsythe and Walker, Matt Willard's RBI double to left made it a 13-6 game.

The two teams will close out this three-game series with a 12:35 p.m. (CT) on Sunday afternoon. UA will send freshman right-hander Tommy Hunter (7-2, 3.17 ERA) to the mound against Arkansas right-hander Shaun Seibert (3-0, 2.76 ERA).

GAME NOTES:

*Arkansas wrapped up its third straight series win over Alabama with Saturday's 10-2 win. The Razorbacks have won two straight series here in Fayetteville (2004, 2006) and won last year in Tuscaloosa. Overall, the Razorbacks have won six of the last eight meetings with the Crimson Tide.

*The 13 runs scored by Arkansas were the most allowed by Alabama this season. The previous high was nine against Winthrop in the 2006 season opener on Feb. 11. The 13 runs were also the most allowed since Texas A&M and Houston posted consecutive 16-run games in the 2003 NCAA College Station Regional.

*Alabama has won six of its eight SEC series this season, losing at LSU and Arkansas.

*Robert has lost his last two starts for the Crimson Tide against Auburn and Arkansas. He is 1-3 in his last four starts, dating back to April 15. In his last five starts, dating back to April 9, Robert is 2-3 with a 9.63 ERA for the Tide. He has worked 29 innings and allowed 33 runs (31 ER) and 41 hits, with 14 walks and 26 strikeouts.

*Junior RHP Patrick Kelly relieved Robert and allowed two runs and four hits in 3 2/3 innings, his longest SEC outing of the 2006 season. He added two walks and three strikeouts.

*Salem extended his hitting streak to 11 games with a seventh-inning RBI single.


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