Trouble In Tuscaloosa

TUSCALOOSA, Ala. — Arkansas may very well be a College World Series-caliber team. The Razorbacks are not, however, looking anything like an Omaha-bound bunch these days.

For the second weekend in a row, inconsistent baseball led to a disappointing result. Sunday, poor pitching was the latest problem to rear its ugly head as starter Duke Welker and the bullpen behind him struggled in a big way in a 9-5 Arkansas loss to Alabama in front of an announced crowd of 4,277 at Sewell-Thomas Stadium.

The defeat sent the No. 8 Razorbacks (37-16, 17-10) to their second-straight Southeastern Conference series loss and their first on the road this season. It also showed how far away Omaha might be if Arkansas doesn't get some pitching issues worked out in a hurry.

"Just disappointed. We felt like our pitchers were tippy-toeing around out there and they didn't give us a great chance to win," Diamond Hogs coach Dave Van Horn said. "I mean we didn't set the table. You know, we hit some balls out of the park here and there but we didn't set the table at the plate. But the main thing was (pitching) coach (Dave) Jorn getting after some of the pitchers and how disappointed he was this weekend in our pitching staff.

"We just did not pitch good. Expect for Jess Todd on Saturday, we just did not pitch good this weekend. Whoever we ran out there just pretty much did not get the job done."

Welker was banged up to the tune of five earned runs and seven hits in just five innings of work against the Crimson Tide (29-23, 13-14). In his last four starts, the once-hot junior right-hander has now gone 0-1 with a 6.86 earned run average since April 21.

"Welker's a concern right now, Schmidt's a concern," Van Horn said. "The thing is, they need to look at themselves in the mirror and start getting it done. Quit tiptoeing around. Basically that's what coach Jorn told them or they going to have to face him when he sees him in that dugout.

"You know, he'll see him (today) at two o'clock and we'll get back at it and see just how tough some of these guys are."

Whether or not this guy or that guy proves to be tough enough or not, Arkansas knows this weekend — just like last — will again prove to be a tough one to swallow.

Particularly for a team trying to come off as College World Series capable.

"We've just got to find a way to bound back," senior Danny Hamblin said. "I don't care if it's with pitching, hitting, whatever. We've just got to find a way to put this behind us and get back on track Thursday night against Ole Miss."


No. 24 Ole Miss at No. 8 Arkansas

WHEN: 7:05 p.m. Thursday; 7:05 p.m. Friday; 2:05 p.m. Saturday

WHERE: Baum Stadium, Fayetteville

RECORDS: Ole Miss 33-20, 14-13; Arkansas 37-16, 17-10

Hawgs Daily Top Stories