Big Innings Paired with Impressive Pitching Lift Alabama Baseball to 10-0 Shutout of Ninth-Ranked Arkansas
Alabama baseball turned the tables on Saturday after Friday’s loss, blanking the ninth-ranked Arkansas Razorbacks by a score of 10-0. With the win, the Crimson Tide evened the series at 1-1 and moved its overall record to 19-5, 2-3 in Southeastern Conference play.
“How quickly things can change – This was a really, really good win for us today,” said Alabama head coach Brad Bohannon. “It started first with Brock (Love) having a really good start after his outing last weekend. Then, we had a lot of hard contact up and down the lineup to beat a very good team; Arkansas is very worthy of their ranking. On top of that, the way we responded after a tough night last night. I’m really pleased with the effort today and excited to come to the park tomorrow with a chance to win a series against a top-10 team with a pretty fresh bullpen.”
Alabama excelled on both sides of the ball on Saturday, posting 10 runs while shutting out the high-powered Razorback offense. All nine Crimson Tide starters reached base safely, with eight of the nine collecting at least one RBI and seven of the starters recording one or more runs scored.
Keith Holcombe finished his day at 2-for-5 with a double and his third home run of the season. The senior added one RBI and a team-high tying two runs scored. Also recording two hits was Kolby Robinson, with the junior going 2-for-5 and crossing a team-high three RBI to go with his one run scored.
On the mound, redshirt junior Brock Love (3-0) earned his third win of the season thanks to a career-long 5.1 scoreless frames. The right-hander allowed two hits and three walks while striking out one across his 83 pitches before turning it over to the bullpen. Brock Guffey followed, with the sophomore matching his career-long for innings at 2.2 before freshman Connor Shamblin closed things out with a scoreless ninth.
Alabama used a three-run second to take the early lead. The scoring started thanks a solo home run from Holcombe to lead off the inning. The senior sent a 2-1 pitch deep to left to get the Tide on the board. Alabama then loaded the bases with a one-out walk followed by a two-out single and walk to bring Robinson to the plate. The junior took advantage of the bases-loaded opportunity, sending a single through the left side to score a pair and give Alabama the 3-0 advantage after two innings of play.
The Tide added to the lead with six runs in the sixth to make it a 9-0 game. Sophomore Tyler Gentry led things off with a single through the left side before Holcombe sent a double down the line in left to put a pair in scoring position. Gentry came home in the next at-bat, as junior Brett Auerbach singled back up the chute to score one and force a Razorback pitching change.
Arkansas’ new reliever walked the first batter he saw to load them up for T.J. Reeves, with the freshman drawing a walk to push one across. Another walk in the next at-bat brought another run in and sent the Hogs to the bullpen once again. Senior Joe Breaux greeted the new pitcher with an RBI-single to left and Robinson followed with another single, this one to center, to plate one more run and keep them loaded. Junior Morgan McCullough ended the scoring sequence with a sacrifice fly to center, bringing in the inning’s final run to cap the scoring at six and give the Tide a nine-run advantage.
Alabama added one more in the eighth, using a sacrifice fly from Gentry to bring in the Tide’s 10th run of the day. Shamblin then entered for the final frame, keeping the Hogs off the board to help Alabama record its first shutout of Arkansas since 2013.
The two teams return to the diamond on Sunday at 1 p.m. CT to decide the series. Alabama will send junior right-hander Wil Freeman to the mound while Arkansas counters with righty Cody Scroggins, a redshirt junior. The series finale between the Tide and Hogs can be seen live on SEC Network+.
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