Walker Does His Part In Latest Arkansas Loss

FAYETTEVILLE -- Gosh, what happened?

Arkansas catcher Brian Walker tried to explain how his team lost 9-8 against top-seeded Florida on Wednesday night in the Southeastern Conference Tournament in Hoover Metropolitan Stadium.

Believe it or not, the Razorbacks were leading 8-2 heading into the bottom of the eighth inning.

Then the roof caved in.

"We played well for seven innings," Walker said. "We've got to play good for nine innings in our next game."

Arkansas plays the loser of Wednesday's late game -- it started around 10 p.m. -- between Alabama and Ole Miss at 1 p.m. today.

Arkansas broke out of its offensive coma by collecting 14 hits and had Florida on the brink of folding like a piece of patio lawn furniture.

But ...

The Gators rallied for six runs in the eighth on feasted on Daryl Maday's fat pitches to tie the score. Florida won it in the ninth on an RBI single by Stephen Barton.

Ouch!

Until that eighth inning, the Razorbacks were cruising behind starter Nick Schmidt.

And they just kept on hitting.

"I love their offensive approach," said Florida coach Pat McMahon. "Offensively, they are aggressive at the plate and they showed that tonight.

"They are so well prepared and that's why they hit the ball so well. They had a lot of guys do a good job, Walker was one of them." Walker, a redshirt freshman, went 3-for-5 with an RBI. It was the third time he's had three hits in a game. His last three-hit game was May 15 at Alabama.

On Wednesday night, Walker singled to left in the second, singled to right-center in the fourth, struck out in the fifth, drove in his run with a double in the seventh and grounded back to the pitcher in the eighth.

"I just had to take the plate away, that's what I tried to do today," Walker said. "I was fortunate enough to put some good swings on the ball and get three hits.

"I wish I could have gotten a hit in that last a.b. (at-bat) when there were runners at second and third.

"That's just the way it goes.

"I've just been working with coaches. They said to put the ball over the plate and that's what I tried to do."

Walker said his team is at crossroad today. Win and it keeps playing in the tournament. Lose and it goes home.

"Obviously, we're disappointed, distraught at the outcome," Walker said. "We did a lot of things right, but did some things wrong at the wrong time, too.

"We can either not show up tomorrow and go home, or come back and do something," Walker said. "We'll set the alarm tonight, wake up tomorrow (today) and just see what happens in our next game."

Hawgs Daily Top Stories