Tide Swept in Fayetteville

Jake Dugger's three-run home run highlighted a four-run sixth inning as No. 16 Arkansas completed its three-game sweep of No. 6 University of Alabama with a 5-3 win in front of 7,564 fans at Baum Stadium on Sunday afternoon.

Box Score

The Razorbacks scored four runs off five hits in the bottom of the sixth inning to take a 4-2 lead en route to the eventual sweep. It was the Hogs first sweep over the Tide since 1994.

The loss was doubly frustrating for the Crimson Tide, who fell out of first place in the SEC standings and stranded 15 base runners in the process.

Alabama even had a four-hit inning in the fifth, but managed only one run. UA also left the bases loaded in the first and eighth innings as it equalled its longest losing streak of the 2006 season.

Alabama (34-16, 15-9 SEC) falls one game behind Kentucky (16-8 SEC) for the overall lead in the SEC with six games remaining. Alabama will host Florida (May 12-14) and travel to Tennessee (May 18-20) the next two weeks, while UK will host Miss. State and close the year at Georgia.

Arkansas (34-15, 14-10 SEC) moved into sole possession of second place, one-game behind Alabama for the SEC Western Division lead. The Razorbacks are in sole possession of third place overall, one-game ahead of Ole Miss and South Carolina.

The Crimson Tide was 2-for-14 with runners in scoring position in the loss and left multiple base runners in six of the nine innings.

"It's all about the timely hitting," Alabama head coach Jim Wells said. "We had 10 hits and only two runs at one point. We just have to keep plugging along. We can't do anything about this weekend or what has happened in the past. We have to keep the team together and get back to playing good baseball."

The offensive struggles caught up with Alabama in the the sixth inning as Arkansas scored four runs on five hits to take a 4-2 lead. Pinch-hitter David Hum put the Razorbacks on the board when his bad-hop single scooted past Greg Paiml at short to score Clint Arnold, who reached on an error by Downs to open the inning. Jake Dugger followed the pinch-hit single with a three-run home run off the scoreboard in right field to put the Hogs in front 4-2.

Hunter gave up four runs (three earned) and eight hits in 5 1/3 innings to suffer his first loss since March 19 at No. 23 Georgia. He added one walk and struck out five.

Alabama got an unearned back in the eighth inning off Devin Collis to close the gap to 4-3, but left the bases loaded for the second time in the game when Valverde flied out to center to end the inning.

Belcher singled up the middle with one out and Paiml reached when Arkansas shortstop Matt Willard booted a bad hop on another sharp grounder up the middle. Belcher took third on the play. Salem struck out for the second out, but Belcher scored on the wild pitch and Paiml moved to third. Downs and Avila drew back-to-back walks to load the bases.

Arkansas replaced its closer with Brian McLelland, who got Valverde out on the first pitch to end the threat.

The Razorbacks made it a 5-3 game in the eighth inning of David Robertson when Matt Willard slapped a two-out single to right to score Steven Robinson tack on the insurance run.

The Crimson Tide left two more runners in the ninth inning against McLelland, who retired four of the six UA batters he faced for his first save of the year.

Alabama's struggles began in the first inning on Sunday as the Crimson Tide loaded the bases with one out, but did not score a run. Downs laced a one-out double into the left field corner and moved to third base on a Avila's single through the left side of the infield. Valverde then walked on four pitches to load the bases with one out. The rally ended there as Bush struck out and Rhoden flied out to right as UA left the bases loaded.

The Crimson Tide plated an unearned run in the second inning when Belcher scored from second base on James Ewing's two-out error. Belcher slapped a one-out single to left center and moved to second when Paiml walked. After Salem flied out for the second out, Downs reached on an error by Ewing at second base as Belcher raced home for the 1-0 lead.

Alabama left eight men on base through the first four innings and even stranded a pair of one-out base hits in the fourth inning. Paiml stroked a single to right field and Salem followed with a single to left with one out. Seibert stranded both runners when he retired the next two hitters on consecutive pitches. Downs popped up to second and Avila flied out to left as Dugger snared his ball with a diving catch to end the inning.

The Crimson Tide added to its lead with a run in the top of the fifth inning to chase Seibert, but wasted another golden opportunity to bust the game open.

Bush lined a one-out single to center and Rhoden followed with a line-drive single to right to put runners as first and second. After a wild pitch moved both runners up 90 feet, Pennington singled down the right field line to score Bush with the 2-0 lead. Rhoden, who apparently did not get a good jump at second base, was easily thrown out at home on the play.

That play loomed even larger when Belcher greeted reliever Charley Boyce with a double into the right field corner to send Pennington to third base with two outs. Paiml then struck out looking to strand two more base runners as UA managed only one run on four hits in the frame.

Seibert allowed only two runs on nine hits in 4 2/3 innings, with two walks and one strikeout.

Charley Boyce (3-2) earned the win in relief, with two scoreless innings to improve to 4-2 in his career against the Crimson Tide.

Alabama returns home next weekend to face the Florida Gators in a three-game SEC series, beginning Friday at 6:06 p.m. (CT) in a game that will be televised by CSS Sports

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