Arkansas 8, Alabama 4

Joe Serrano had three RBIs and both he and Tyler Spoon drive home a pair in a five-run fifth inning that powers Arkansas over Alabama 8-4 Friday night in Birmingham, Ala.

BIRMINGHAM, Ala. - The month of May started just like April ended for the surging No. 23 Razorback baseball team.

Joe Serrano and Tyler Spoon both had a pair of RBIs as Arkansas used a five-run fifth inning to down Alabama 8-4 Friday night at Hoover Metropolitan Stadium.

Clark Eagan added two hits and two runs for the Razorbacks (28-18, 13-10), who beat the Crimson Tide (23-23, 8-15) for the second straight night and now have won six straight SEC series.

"Tonight's game is the way we won a lot the last month or so," Arkansas Coach Dave Van Horn said. "Maybe fall behind a run or two, didn't give up that real big inning and kind of hung around.".

Alabama head coach Mitch Gaspard - whose team has now lost six straight SEC series - was not as pleased with his squad.

"The first five innings may have been as poor of baseball that I've seen in my 16 years at Alabama," Gaspard said. "You throw in the silly base running mistakes and missed opportunities continue to grow."

Arkansas began its comeback with a run in the fourth when Eagan stole home on the front end of a double steal with Serrano to make it 2-1.

The Razorbacks, who were outhit 12-7 in the game, tied it in the fifth on a wild pitch that allowed Bobby Wernes to score.

Serrano then doubled home Brett McAfee and Eagan and Spoon’s single plated two more runs as the Razorbacks went up 6-2.

"I think it shows how big of competitors our pitchers have been over the last month, two months," Serrano said. "It seems like leaps and bounds from where our entire team was early in the season. Now it seems like we're closer than ever before. As a team, we can't be broken up and that team chemistry is showing up on the field."

Alabama got single runs in the fifth and the eighth to cut it to 6-4, but Teague left the tying runs stranded on base in the latter frame.

"The eighth inning could have been a disaster for us," Van Horn said. "I thought that was huge for us."

Arkansas then added a couple of insurance runs in the top of the ninth with Serrano and Andrew Benintendi both delivering run-scoring singles.

Dominic Taccolini pitch the first four frames while giving up for the Razorbacks before giving way to Jackson Lowery (5-1) and James Teague, who both allowed a run in 2 2/3 and 2 1/3 inning stints respectively.

Alabama fanned 12 times and left 12 runners on base.

"The game itself is pretty simple," Gaspard said. "You can see tonight's game, silly base running mistakes, not having the ability to pick up runners. Right now I'm just trying to give them 25 years of knowledge of how to get through something like this, the funk that we're in, because I care about these guys and I hate what I'm seeing.

"The guys, they want it really bad. They're trying the best they can but as I said last night, it's a very mental game. When the mind's in a bad place, it leads to bad things."

The two teams will meet again Saturday at noon in a contest that will be televised on ESPN2.

"It's a head-scratcher with our guys and with us," Gaspard said. "You've just got to forge forward and keep going and hope that tomorrow brings some better play for all of us. It's been a tough two games. You can't win baseball games in any league the way we're playing right now.

"We've given guys opportunities at this point, 40-something odd games in. you continue to work. You continue to make adjustments, but unfortunately we continue to get a lot of the same results. The cavalry's not coming right now. You've got to try to win with the guys that are here. I feel like the guys we have can win. It's just a real mental fog that leads to poor play. It looks bad."


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