Chris Murray: Razorback Baseball Welcomes Tide To Begin SEC Home Slate


razorback baseball hosts alabama

Chris Murray BioAfter a frustrating start to the Southeastern Conference schedule, the Arkansas Razorback baseball team looks to regain some swagger when they host Alabama for a three-game set starting Friday night.

Arkansas (11-7 overall) lost two out of three at Florida last week to begin SEC play. The Hogs wasted quality pitching performances in losses on Friday and Saturday. In the opener, Jalen Beeks and Zach Jackson combined to allow the Gators just two runs over seven innings, but Clark Eagan’s second-inning RBI was the lone tally for the Hogs in a 2-1 loss. Arkansas scratched out seven hits, but Florida reliever Aaron Rhodes slammed the door with six strikeouts over the final 2.1 innings.

Saturday proved to be even more frustrating for the Razorbacks. Trey Killian’s (eight-inning) complete game was wasted, as the Hogs were limited to three singles in a 1-0 loss. Peter Alonso homered off Killian with two outs in the first inning, and three Gators pitchers made that hold up. Killian struck out six and allowed seven hits, using 104 pitches to cover the eight innings. His performance, despite the loss, was especially promising, as his bump up to Saturday could solidify the rotation.

So, despite allowing just three runs in two games, the Hogs were looking to avoid a sweep heading into Sunday’s finale. The Hogs jumped on Florida starter A.J. Puk early, scoring one in the first and three more in the second, with Jake Wise clubbing a homer.
Arkansas scored in a variety of ways, taking advantage of Florida wild pitches, and scratching across a run on a squeeze bunt. Tyler Spoon scored three times and Brian Anderson batted in three.

Chris Oliver got the start, but ran into trouble in the third. Dave Van Horn showed his noted quick hook and went to the bullpen. Jacob Stone and Michael Gunn each delivered three innings of one-hit relief, picking up the win and save, respectively.

Alabama took two of three from Kentucky last weekend in Tuscaloosa. Austen Smith leads a potent Tide offense with a .989 OPS and 17 RBIs in 19 games. Spencer Turnbull is 2-1 in five starts with a 0.31 ERA.

There were no sweeps in the SEC in the opening weekend. As a result, the Razorbacks find themselves just a game out of first in the West. Now would be an ideal time for the Hogs to find some offense and leap over some teams in the standings.


UCA, looking to continue on its unprecedented success from 2013, is 11-8 on the season after dropping two of three games at Texas A&M-Corpus Christi to open Southland Conference play.

The Bears scored 31 runs in sweeping a midweek two-game series from UAPB and host Sam Houston State this weekend. The Bearkats are ranked no. 16 nationally, with wins over Rice, TCU and Texas Tech under their belt, and swept New Orleans to start Southland action.

Starting pitchers Bryce Biggerstaff and Connor Gilmore return to bolster the Bears’ rotation. Shortstop Justin Treece is the only returning position player starter. First baseman Doug Votolato is the team’s top hitter through 19 games, with an .864 OPS.


Last weekend in Jonesboro, Arkansas State opened Sun Belt Conference play with a three-game sweep of UALR. On Friday, when the ASU and UALR basketball teams were engaged in their epic four-overtime clash in the Sun Belt basketball tourney, David Owen pitched seven scoreless innings to lead State to a 3-0 win.

In Saturday’s doubleheader, the Trojans squandered leads in both games. ASU rallied from a 3-0 deficit with five straight runs to take the game one, 5-3. In the nightcap, UALR tied the score with a run in the ninth. The score stayed tied until the 14th, when Matt Burgess drove in Dustin Jones with the game-winner.

The Red Wolves had won five straight games before a tough 4-3 loss Wednesday at Ole Miss. ASU travels to UT-Arlington for a weekend series. UALR rebounded from the sweep, going to Norman, Okla., on Wednesday and hammering the Sooners, 11-2. Chad Bradford pitched into the seventh inning and gave up just two runs. Joseph Paulino went 3-for-3, and Ben Crumpton and Sam Vogel drove in three runs each. UALR hosts South Alabama starting tonight.