FAYETTEVILLE - If Arkansas could just skip the fourth and eighth innings this weekend, things might be so much different.
For the second game in a row, Alabama relied on a pair of big innings - the fourth and the eighth - to push past the Razorbacks. And just like Friday, it was those two frames where the Crimson Tide did most of the damage in an 11-6 win Saturday in front of 7,886 in Baum Stadium.
"I don't know what to tell you about it," Arkansas coach Dave Van Horn said. "(Justin) Wells is cruising along pretty good and we felt like he was still spotting it up and we feel good about it. Then two swings and we're down pretty quick.
"You know, we were trying to save (Stephen) Richards when we have a chance to win the game or maybe down a run. But before we knew it, we were down two or three. It was just one right after the other. They put together two great innings in both games and it's hard to overcome that."
And because they haven't been able to overcome those big Alabama innings, the Razorbacks (27-20, 9-13) now find themselves in a tough spot in the Southeastern Conference race.
"Basically what it comes down to, if we want to keep playing baseball in three weeks, we're going to have to win every game from here on out," junior second baseman Ben Tschepikow said. "That's really all it comes down to. We can't afford to lose any more games. We put ourselves in a really big hole and it's going to be tough.
"But I think we're going to come back and give it everything we have. It's going to be tough, but hopefully we can pull it out."
Through the first seven innings Saturday, Wells was magnificent for Arkansas, holding Alabama to back-to-back solo home runs in the fourth inning.
But then in the eighth, the Crimson Tide put together the big number. Scoring six runs on seven hits in the eighth alone - including another set of back-to-back homers - Alabama quickly went from a 3-2 deficit to an 8-3 lead.
"We've got a really strong offense and when we're working on all cylinders, there's really no stopping us," said Alabama junior rightfielder Kent Matthes, who hit two of his team's five home runs Saturday. "We can hit the long ball, we can run and fortunately we've done that all in a couple of innings this weekend."
Alabama (28-21, 12-11) extended its lead to 11-3 in the ninth before the Razorbacks got a three-run home run from Tschepikow in the bottom of the inning to close the gap. But by then, it was too little too late.
"It's tough. You know the games have been close for about the first five innings," Tschepikow said. "But they're finding ways to put together huge innings in both games and so far that's been the key for them.
"It's hard to come back up to the plate when they put six or seven runs up. It's a total mentality change. So it's been tough, but we've got to come back (today) and hopefully get a win."
Bama 11, Arkansas 6
Hawgs Daily Top Stories
Scout On the Road: SeptemberScout takes a look at some of the top prospects we saw in person during the month of September...
Scout FootballYesterday at 2:00 PM
Longhorns Preview Oklahoma StateTexas offensive players discuss the Longhorns' upcoming game at Oklahoma State to kickoff Big 12 Conference play.
Horns DigestMonday at 6:21 PM
Louisiana CB 'Real Close' to a DecisionIt may not be too long before one of the top cornerbacks in Louisiana makes his decision. Four schools are high on his list and you can get the latest here...
Scout FootballMonday at 6:15 AM
JC defensive back talks ISU official visitOver the weekend, Iowa State played host to one of their top 2017 targets in the current recruiting cycle in Paramount, CA three-star JUCO CB Keisean Nixon. This visit for the…
AllCyclonesSunday at 6:34 PM
TCU vs Iowa State primerAfter falling in double-overtime to Arkansas, TCU looks to get back to their winning ways against Iowa State.
Horned Frog Insider09/15/2016